Here is one of those exercise myths that truly needs to stop being perpetuated.
Looking over the past 10 decades or so there are numerous examples of truly inaccurate information that people believe wholeheartedly.
Remember when women were told not to ride bicycles because it would prevent them from having children? How about the notion that eating fat would make you fat? (If you believe that one still you need to keep reading my posts). Eating only soup is the diet answer, the grapfruit diet, the ab roller, the thighmaster, the jiggle your fat off systems. The list is not only long but extremly comical.
Somewhere in the last 20 years women have been taught that lifting weights will make them huge, muscular, hulks with deep voices and 5 o’clock shadows. OMG, this is ridiculous.
Female clients are always telling me that they do not want to ‘get huge’ or ‘bulky’. Even better is when they tell me that within a few weeks of lifting weights they notice such large gains in muscle size that they stop the program.
I have a deal with all of my clients that if they ever wake up, look in the mirror and think, ‘wow, I have too much muscle and look too jacked’, I will give them $100 and free training for a year. Six years of training, ten years of dispensing advice, and I have yet to pay out on that offer.
Women, you are NOT going to get huge and bulky lifting weights. In fact, the reason that you do not get the health and fitness results you are looking for is that you are stuck in this low weight, high repetition mentality that is actually taking you further from your goals.
Basically, women have significantly less testosterone in their bodies then men do, much, much lower. Testosterone is the primary hormone that lets you build muscle, hence, why men typically have more muscle and are stronger than women. In addition to that our testosterone levels peak in our mid-to-late twenties before beginning a long and drawn out decline. This means that the group of people best able to build extra muscle tissue in a short period of time is men in their mid twenties.
Here is something you may have noticed. I am in this category and I have been TRYING to gain as much muscle as possible for years. For years! And I am not there yet. I don’t look anything like a bodybuilder despite lifting as much weight as I possibly could 5 days a week for the last 8 years.
So how is a women who is older than I am with lower and declining testosterone levels able to build muscle more efficiently and faster then I am able to do it? The answer: you are not able to. Let it go!
I train everyone with a resistance that causes muscle failure around the 4 to 12 repetition mark (big margin I know, but I deal with a lot of different goals). I rarely let any client perform more then 12 repetitions of anything. I am a very experienced and very good trainer, so why would I do this?
Because the whole point of exercise and training should be to increase strength, increase muscle mass, and challenge the body to work harder then it is used to working. If you are not trying to make your body get stronger and more efficient you are wasting a lot of time with your exercise program.
You want to be stronger and build muscle. This is what increases your metabolism, improves your mood (controlled by hormones which respond best to higher intensity exercise), and actually gives you a significant benefit from exercising.
Let me guess, you want to get toned? I HATE that word. Get toned? No you don’t. You want to see your muscle definition. Well guess what? You already have all of those muscles you so desperately want to see. Yet most people do not have the coveted muscle ‘tone’.What you REALLY want to do is build those muscles larger so that you can actually see them.
There are so many other benefits that come from increasing the intensity of your training. Increased growth hormone production (the stuff celebrities pay $2000 a month to inject, think about it, strength training is saving you $2000 a month!!), improved insulin response (less likely you will get diabetes!), increased metabolism (eat the same, burn more calories), and better fat oxidization (your body will burn body fat even when you are not exercising). And this is just scratching the surface of the benefits that are possible when you perform the right exercise program.
You don’t need to start 500lbs squats and start training like a bodybuilder. You do have to increase the difficulty of your exercise to the point you can only do a movement or exercise 6-12 times before you can not do it properly anymore. You need to be working harder then your body wants to work.
If you are not breathing heavy and sweating you are not working hard enough to affect significant change in your body, health, and fitness. So chatting on the elliptical trainer, watching TV from the treadmill, or reading on the stationary bike do not qualify as efficient or useful exercise in my books. Ask around to my clients and see how many of them do those ‘non-workouts’.
So get rid of the silly notion you are going to look like a man and put away those silly 5lbs weights that you use while doing bicep curls and back rows (if you are using the same weight for your arms and back you need help with your routine ASAP). You are wasting your time.
If you do not believe me, come do ONE training sessions with me. I will even give it to you for free. I promise that in under an hour I will show you the difference between a real workout that will positively change your life and the stupid ineffective programs most women are taught.