Get Your Weight Up, Ladies!
I see it every single time I walk into a big box gym: ladies flooding the cardio area, where they put in hours of work in just one session, never to be found in the INFAMOUS weight room. Apparently weight rooms and weight lifting are for men only….YEA F***ing right!! I know, I’ve heard it all before- Weight lifting will make me bulky, Only cardio will burn fat, Im too old to lift weights, or There’s no way I can do the things I see guys do. With all the fad diets, celebrity tidbits, and new “life changing” equipment coming out everyday on the market (a.k.a the shake weight, which I hope we all can see is only affective in one area really *wink, wink*) it can be hard to know what fitness plans are best and worth it. But if you keep reading below, I’ll debunk 5 of the most common myths regarding weight lifting for women and aim to show you how Bodhi uses weightlifting to change the lives of all our members, especially the ladies!
1. Lifting Weights Will Make Me Bulky
I get it, you see men lift big weights to have big muscles. Its easy to assume the same will happen to you if you follow suit. However, the thing to remember is that there are many factors that made those people look that way.
Firstly, men have a little thing called testosterone. This helps them put on more muscle mass than us ladies. Its genetically impossible (I REPEAT–IMPOSSIBLE) for us ladies to get as big as our male counterparts unless we are using supplements that have testosterone present in them. Secondly, another thing to keep in mind is diet. Those people who may be appearing as too bulky may be on a various eating regime in order to gain that look. What makes a person look “bulky” isn’t necessarily due to the muscle gains but rather the layer of fat on top of the muscle. Want muscle tone in your arms without looking like a monster, check your diet first or let us at Bodhi take a look and show you how 🙂
2. Cardio is the Only Way to Lose Weight/Fat
Ehh, first let me preface this answer in that this myth isn’t 100% wrong. When aiming to lose weight and blast body fat, cardio exercises will get the job done, without a doubt. What people, specifically women, fail to understand is that while cardio is a quick solution for seeing those numbers change on the scale, it won’t do much for your muscles. Want to go down a pant size? Cardio. Want an ass people will be jealous of in that smaller pant size of yours? Weight lifting.
So why is this? Well lets look at cardio first. Sure, when comparing the two, minute for minute you will undoubtably burn more calories in one cardio session. However, when looking at weight lifting, it may burn calories off at a slower pace but overall with adding more lean muscle mass, your body will start to burn at a higher rate and lead to not only weight loss overtime but a body that will turn heads.
Does this mean you have to throw your running shoes out? ABSOLUTELY NOT! The best solution is to create a combination of the two, along with a healthy diet. That is what we at Bodhi believe and demonstrate in our nutrition lessons and all of our Small Group Training classes. We show our members that you can have the best of both worlds. It is possible to shed the fat, gain muscle and just basically kick ass. Interested in learning more, click here to start your transformation today!
3. Younger the Better
“I’m too old to start lifting weights!” is something I have heard many times when trying to convince friends and family members to start incorporating weights into their daily workout regimes. I get that there is this whole “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” but I think thats a load of B.S. and not to mention not true. Pretty sure we teach our very own Coach Cheech new tricks everyday and he is 12 so take that! Don’t believe me, check out the link here and see Cheech in action!
Whether you are 20, 40, 60 or even 100, weight lifting is beneficial for every woman in every life stage. As many older women can attest, your bodies don’t always stay or look the same when you age. Your muscles can begin to lose tone, balance can be shaken, bones become brittle, flexibility can be hindered and fat gain can sneak up on areas you never once had to think about. Aging should be a beautiful thing, free of of these problems and with weight lifting, that can be achieved.
On top of the clear benefits we have already covered in this article (weight loss, fat loss, etc.), weight lifting has a multitude of other extraordinary benefits. Lets start with balance, for example. By strengthening our muscles and stabilizers (core) to lift that weight, we can react appropriately when facing something that can throw us off kilter. In addition to weight lifting paired with mobility drills, you are now looking at strengthening and lengthening those muscles. No more falling over when trying to put on a pair of pants or tying a shoe.
Additionally, one of the most important benefits is that weight lifting affects bone density. Osteoporosis is one of the most common problems many women will or are facing. By including weights into your weekly routine, not only are you helping create new bone growth but also can help reverse the previous damage already done. That means, no more worrying about taking a spill and breaking a bone!
We are all going to grow old, its inevitable! But it doesn’t have to be terrible. Don’t believe me? Stop into Bodhi and check out some of our older members (65+) who I’m pretty sure kick more ass than most 20 year olds I know.
4. Women Must Train Different Than Men
What did we just discuss?!? No, lifting like a man will not make you look like a man! We can’t, we won’t! Stop this silliness! While there are definitely a few differences that come between being a man vs a woman, we pretty much are the same. Aside from a few differences in anatomy (I think we know of what I am referring to), dietary needs, and hormones (men= testosterone; women= estrogen), we really aren’t that different at all. We move the same way and have the same exact muscles but each gender will elicit a different outcome from weight lifting. Men will grow in size and strength and as for us ladies, we will grow strong, tone and tighten and produce a nice lean physique. Of course, always remember that these results need a good diet to pair with.
I think the main reason this myth exists is that women are intimidated to enter the weight room. Its much easier to use this excuse than admit we are just scared to even try. While we may carry a little bit more fat in specific areas (do to a friendly hormone called estrogen) and have to work a bit harder in reps/sets to reach paralleled strength to men, us women are the ones who place the limits on what we can and can not do. Want to do a pull up or full push up but think its something just for the guys? Well pay one of us trainers a visit sometime and we will show you how.
Alright, end of feminist rant…
5. Weights Should Remain Light
I remember reading once in some silly celebrity magazine that the personal trainer of Gwyneth Paltrow said she never made Gwen pick up any weight over 3lbs because she didnt want her to get too big. I think I about tore my hair out and then quickly proceeded to throw the dumb magazine out. Do you realize how silly that statement is? I mean, I guess Gwen doesn’t ever carry groceries, pick up laundry baskets, or Hell, even carry her baby. Sorry kid, I guess you’re on your own!
Although this magazine article made me shake my head, I couldn’t help but realize that it isn’t a myth totally unheard of. It actually goes hand in hand with the top myth, in the belief that lifting will lead to bulkiness. BUT, as we should hopefully now understand, this just is not true. Lifting heavy leads to strength, not bulkiness. Of course, remember if you are eating a calorie fueled diet, increasing the fat that lays over your muscles, and/or taking testosterone supplements, bulkiness will certainly occur.
Now, this does not mean to rush yourselves and go too heavy too quick. Instead, take your time, perfect that form, and take pride in the opportunities you discover you are ready to move up that weight rack.
So whats the take away from my long winded rant? Ladies, step away from that hamster wheel and widen your horizons by mixing in a day or two of weight lifting. Here at Bodhi, we aim to teach our members the solution to gaining a fully balanced program that will have a little bit of everything so that we can continue to grow stronger, get leaner and overall be happier. Find that inner badass I know we all have inside and take that step into the weight room. You got this girl, go show them what you got!