This post is going to bust the myth that lifting weights is going to make you bulky. Many people think the only way to work out is to use light weights or do lots of cardio. I’m tired of seeing myths like this out there. There are so many women that think that they can only lift light weights or do exercises for their smaller stabilizer muscles. Then they wonder why they aren’t seeing results or losing weight.
That type of workout is filled with 1 pound dumbbell curls, elastic tubing and takes way too long to produce results, much less sweat. That’s not to say that those exercises don’t have a place. They are great for rehabilitation after an injury or to help strengthen stabilizer muscles. They are not as great for helping with weight loss or increasing muscle mass.
Working with a client the other day, I was reminded of how important it is to lift heavy weights to get real results. Especially for women, as we get older, and I mean beyond 20 or 25, we need to change our workouts. That does not mean that you’re old past the age of 20- I promise! It just means that you need to start paying attention to your body to get the results that you’re looking for.
Anyone over the age of 20 really needs to be lifting weights or doing resistance training. From the research I’ve done- the heavier, the better (with good form of course!) That doesn’t mean that you need to go out and lift the heaviest weight you can, especially if you’ve never worked out before. It doesn’t mean that all your workouts need to be a maximal effort. Your weight just can’t be a pencil light weight that you lift over and over again, expecting bigger muscles or a toned lean physique.
Use bigger muscle groups such as your quadriceps (front of your thigh), hamstrings (back of the upper leg) and your glutes (that’s a fancy word for bum). Use those big muscles to do multi-joint exercises like squats, lunges, and lunges for your lower body. For your upper body, do exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and dips. Those are the three dreaded arm exercises that most women hate. I’m in that group as well. I don’t really enjoy doing them, but they produce results.
If you want to be in the gym less often and get better bang for your buck, do those multi-joint exercises for a bigger return on your investment. Lifting heavier weights will help you to see results faster than a higher repetition of super easy weights. Make sure that your form is good before increasing weight. Then gradually increase your weight until it’s challenging to do six to eight repetitions. More muscle means a faster metabolism and better blood sugar control.
Who wouldn’t want that?
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