If you are a woman who wants to change her 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 shift their bodies from flabby and smooth to chiseled and toned, but for whatever reason, women have often avoided dumbbells and have mainly stuck to cardiovascular. exercise.
While cardio is effective at burning calories and reducing body fat (which is very important for building muscle definition), it does not help build lean muscle mass. In fact, most of the steady state cardio performed is actually very catabolic. In other words, it promotes muscle breakdown. This is why many people who do a lot of steady-state cardio find it very difficult to get the muscle definition they want. People often think that this looks “slim” but not “fit”.
So how do you tone, define and look fit? Add resistance training to your exercise regimen! There are many myths about weightlifting, especially those 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 No. # 1: women will get big and bulky when 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 main function is to challenge your body’s muscles enough to grow them.
The muscle growth process (also known as hypertrophy) is complicated, but one of the main hormonal factors is testosterone. Testosterone is one of the main reasons that weight lifting affects men much more than women. Normal testosterone levels in men are 200-1200 ng / dl, while between 15 and 70 ng / dl are normal in women. This difference is the reason why women simply cannot bulk up in the same way that men can, no matter how they train. Even in men with the highest testosterone levels, it still takes years of intense, strict training and a precise diet 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 female bodybuilders on TV or in magazines with big, bulky muscles. These women are likely taking some form of testosterone or anabolic steroid. Side effects of these medications can be seen relatively easily and include a deepened voice, redistribution of fat storage to a male pattern, facial and chest hair, among others.
Truth n. # 1: women will see better muscle definition when lifting weights
However, women will not see the same bulk effects as men when lifting weights, however that does not mean they will not see increases in strength and muscle definition. In fact, the BEST way to get that toned and fit look is to lift weights, more specifically HEAVY weights.
There are numerous research studies showing that women who lift heavy weights during compound multi-joint exercises show impressive improvements in muscle definition and strength, in addition to many other health benefits, such as improved bone density and lower risks of metabolic syndrome. . In other words, if you want more curves, lower the 5-pound dumbbell, stop working with 20+ reps, and start lifting heavy weights. Here are some excerpts that talk about this:
“A June 2013 study published in the journal Diabetes, both men and women became more sensitive to insulin after 12 weeks of strength training, lowering their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”
“In a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, women who lifted more weight with fewer repetitions burned almost twice as many calories during the two hours after their training as when they did more repetitions 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 did cardio alone. This not only helps you lose your belly and look better in a bikini, but it also reduces the risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome and some cancers “.
What qualifies as “heavy” weight? Generally, any exercise that you can’t do more than 12 reps is a good starting point. As you build muscle and become more comfortable with the weight, you can start mixing in a heavier weight with 4-8 reps as well.
What are the best exercises to develop those curves?
Building a fit-looking physique requires a combination of resistance training, calorie burning, and nutrition. When it comes to going from flabby and smooth to lean and defined, male or female makes no difference. You should be doing a lot of compound multi-joint exercises with a lot of weight. As always, form is the number one priority, especially as you lift more and more weights. The more sloppy your form, the less effective any exercise will be and the greater your risk of injury.
Resistance training takes many forms, including machines, dumbbells, weights, and many others. To stimulate change as quickly as possible, stimulate as many muscle fibers as possible. This is done by incorporating the multi-joint exercises we talked about earlier. Here are some of some must-have compound exercises that will help build that lean muscle mass:
The deadlift is a full-body exercise that hits a ton of muscles, including lats, traps, quads, glutes, hamstrings, abs, and more. You can safely lift heavy weights when performing a deadlift, making it a great exercise for recruiting muscle fibers and building fat-free muscle mass. Deadlift is essential for a well-developed body.
Do you want nice, toned legs and firm buttocks? Then you need to do 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 are skipping squats, then you are missing some serious muscle definition.
The chest press is another great compound exercise that works many of the muscles in your upper body, including the chest, triceps, and delts. The core also works. The chest press is a key exercise for building good upper body strength.
Pull Ups are one of the most important exercises for developing strength. They also hit the lats, rear delts, and biceps to give your upper back and arms serious definition. If bodyweight chinups are still not possible, try an assisted chin-up machine or use underfoot bands to help.
Like the squat, lunges are another quality compound exercise that will take your legs and glutes from soft to toned and taut. Lunges can be done with body weight to start and with a heavier weight as you go.