If you are a woman who wants to change your body, you NEED to lift weights
Weightlifting has long been the preferred method among men to build lean muscle mass, help burn extra calories, and change their bodies from flabby and smooth to chiseled and toned, but for whatever reason, women have often avoided weights and have focused primarily on cardiovascular exercises. exercise.
While cardio is effective at burning calories and reducing body fat (which is very important for building muscle definition), it doesn’t help build lean muscle mass. In fact, most steady-state cardiovascular exercise is actually very catabolic. In other words, it promotes muscle breakdown. This is why many people who do a lot of constant cardio find it very difficult to get the muscle definition they want. People often think of this as looking “slim” but not “fit”.
So how do you tone, define and look fit? You add resistance training to your exercise regimen! There are many myths about lifting weights, especially related to women, so the rest of this article will talk about some of these misconceptions and what you need to do to change your body.
Misconception #1: Women will get big and bulky by lifting weights
When it comes to lifting weights, the goal is to build lean muscle mass to increase muscle definition. While resistance training burns calories, especially if you use supersets, compound sets, and Tri-Sets (more on that later), its primary function is to challenge the muscles in your body enough to make them grow.
The process of muscle growth (also known as hypertrophy) is complicated, but one of the main hormonal factors is testosterone. Testosterone is a big part of the reason weightlifting affects men so much more than women. Normal testosterone levels in men are 200 to 1200 ng/dl, while in women 15 to 70 ng/dl is normal. This difference is why women simply can’t bulk up in the same way as men, no matter how they train. Even in men with the highest testosterone levels, it still takes years of intense, strict training and precise dieting to achieve the muscle mass seen in many male bodybuilders. Considering that, when it comes to women with average testosterone levels, there is literally no chance of them getting anywhere near that size.
You may have seen bodybuilders on TV or in magazines with big, bulky muscles. These women are likely taking some type of testosterone or anabolic steroid. Side effects of these medications can be seen relatively easily and include deepening of the voice, redistribution of fat storage to a male pattern, hair on the face and chest, among others.
Truth #1 – Women will see better muscle definition when lifting weights
Women won’t see the same bulking effects as men with weightlifting, however, that doesn’t mean they won’t see increases in strength and muscle definition. In fact, the BEST way to get that fit and toned look is to lift weights, more specifically, HEAVY weights.
There are numerous research studies showing that women who lift heavily during compound multi-joint exercises show impressive improvements in muscle definition and strength, in addition to many other health benefits, such as increased bone density and reduced risks of metabolic syndrome . In other words, if you want more curves, lower the 5lb dumbbell, stop working over 20 reps, and start lifting weights. Here are some excerpts that talk about this:
“In a June 2013 study published in the journal Diabetes, both men and women became more sensitive to insulin after 12 weeks of resistance training, which lowered their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”
“In a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, women who lifted more weight with fewer reps burned nearly twice as many calories over the two hours after training than when they lifted more reps with a lighter weight.”
“The University of Alabama study found that women who lifted weights lost more intra-abdominal fat (deep abdominal fat) than those who only did cardio. This not only helps lose belly fat and look better in a bikini, but also reduces the risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome and some types of cancer.
What qualifies as “heavy” weight? In general, any exercise that you can’t do more than 12 reps of is a good place to start. As you build muscle and get more comfortable with the weight, you can also start mixing in heavier weight with 4-8 reps.
What are the best exercises to develop those curves?
Developing a fit-looking physique requires a combination of resistance training, calorie burning, and nutrition. When it comes to going from fluffy and soft to lean and defined, male or female doesn’t make a difference. He should be doing a lot of heavy weight multi-joint compound exercises. As always, form is the number one priority, especially as he lifts more and more weight. The sloppier his form, the less effective any exercise will be and the higher his risk of injury.
Resistance training takes many forms, including machines, dumbbells, barbells, and many others. To stimulate change as quickly as possible, you want to stimulate as many muscle fibers as possible. This is done by incorporating those multi-joint exercises we talked about earlier. Here are some of the must-have compound exercises that will help build that lean muscle mass:
The deadlift is a full-body exercise that works a ton of muscles, including lats, traps, quads, glutes, hamstrings, abs, and more. You can lift a lot of weight safely by deadlifting, so it’s a great exercise for recruiting muscle fibers and building lean muscle mass. Deadlifts are essential for a well-developed body.
Do you want nice, toned legs and tight buttocks? So you need to be doing squats. Squats, more specifically barbell squats, are probably the best exercise for overall leg development. They target the entire upper leg, including the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. They also effectively strengthen the lower back. If you’re skipping squats, then you’re missing out on some serious muscle definition.
The chest press is another great compound exercise that works many muscles in your upper body, including your chest, triceps, and deltoids. It also works the core. The chest press is a key exercise for building good upper body strength.
Pull Ups are one of the most important exercises for building strength. They also work the lats, rear delts, and biceps to give your upper back and arms some serious definition. If bodyweight pull-ups are still not possible, try an assisted pull-up machine or use bands under your feet to help.
Like squats, lunges are another quality compound exercise that will take your legs and glutes from soft to toned and tight. Lunges can be done with body weight at first and with heavier weight as you go.