As a woman and a coach, I hear this every day and all day from a lot of women. We, as women fear to lift heavy due to the misconception of looking “bulky”. True, lifting heavy promotes hypertrophy in muscles which leads to gains in muscle but strength training leading to the “bulky” is definitely a myth!
Let’s face it ladies (and men too) if you feel you are getting to the point of a “bulky” physique it’s has more to do with fat accumulation then muscle growth. Your fat percentage is piece to the puzzle of having a nice, fit physique that we all strive for and lifting heavy can actually help you attain those goals.
Strength training has so many benefits and is one of the best things you can do for your body.
Some reasons why we focus on building in such a way at B3 are:
*Stronger muscles, tendons and ligaments leading to more stable joints and movement
*Decrease in body fat due to burning calories and favorable hormonal balance
*Increase in bone density (especially important as we get older)
*Improves physical coordination
It is important to keep in mind that in any exercise regiment, your diet is one of the most important variables to a lean body. Diet itself accounts far more than the exercise itself. Naturally, in order to build muscle it is extremely important to eat carbs to fuel your body and protein to repair the body. However, always keep in mind the fats and empty calories that sometimes can get in the way of your goals. These calories have more impact on your perception of being bulky then any strength training regiment.
One of my favorite transitions from strength building is our very own member, Amy Bailey. I have known Amy for a very long time (she is my neighbor) and seeing her transition over the years has been the coolest thing. She has always taken her physical fitness seriously but just did the cardio and lifting needed to feel good within her workout. Sure, she wanted to lose weight and look strong but the game-changer was when Coach Chris pushed her to focus on the weights and build strength like never before. As her muscles grew, the fat literally burned off of her. There is no “bulky” on this chic. She is living proof that lifting heavy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to such success!
Within 8 weeks, Amy lost 9.2 lbs of weight, 2.2 lbs of fat and has 105 lbs. of muscle mass! Great job, Amy!
So here I am not only to preach about results from strength training but to actually practice myself. For years, I have always been a group fitness trainer (mostly cardio-based). I have taught so many cardio classes and never left any time for me to care for myself. My muscles never repaired themselves and I have always worn myself down. To the point of a plateau. It wasn’t till recently, I decided to take back my life and how I trained. I cut my cardio down and hyper-focused on strength training. It was the best decision I have ever made. This before and after are only 7 weeks in between. AND….since that photo on the right, I have lost 4 more lbs. and gained 1.2 lbs more of muscle mass!
At the end of the day, no rapper made a song about a small butt. Be proud and be strong! I promise you, your body will thank you!