One of the most common questions we get from female clients is “will I get bulky if I lift weights?”. And we completely understand that, considering the abundance of pictures online of huge, muscular women striking bodybuilding poses.
The short answer is no, you can’t gain so much muscle just from lifting weights at the gym. This is because of the very low amounts of testosterone (male hormone) in women. In fact, it is hard for most guys to pack on muscle, nevermind women, who watch what they eat.
So what does happen, when a woman lifts weights?
Increase in metabolism. Increasing metabolism is a factor that plays a huge role in fat loss. The faster you metabolize nutrients the faster you will burn calories. By increasing your metabolism you will also use fat cells for energy much more efficiently.
Increase in strength. Increasing strength possesses a myriad of benefits of its own. Here are just a few of them: reduced risk of injury, increased body functionality, stronger bones and joints and more.
Reduced stress: By lifting weights you imitate the hostile environment in which we have been evolving for millions of years. Our ancestors were used to a daily physical activity, whether it was hunting a mammoth, picking up heavy objects, running after and from wild animals. Nowadays, we find ourselves sitting behind desks, and this in itself poses an enormous stress on our bodies. By lifting weights you put your body to use and relieve this stress, keeping it young, functional and healthy.
Here is a short weight lifting guideline that you can incorporate into your weekly schedule:
– Lift weights 2-5 times a week (depends on your fitness level)
– Your workouts should be 30-60 minutes in length
– Majority of the exercises should be compound (hit a number of different muscles at once). Examples include, squats, deadlifts, pushups, shoulder presses, etc.
– Your weights should not be too light but also not too heavy. As a general rule pick those weights with which you can do 10-12 reps, 1-3 sets per exercise. The last few reps should be challenging enough for you to barely finish them.
Lifting weights is the one main type of workout that you should be doing. Doing cardio, yoga and other activities, is great, but they should be supplementing your weight training routine and not make up the most of it. So, if you want to get lean, build those legs and tighten up that stomach, get to lifting!