?I can?t do deadlifts, they are a man?s exercise?.
?If I lift heavy weights I will get all bulky and look like a bodybuilder?.
?High reps and low weight is the way all females should resistance train?.
The statements above are some of the most common I have heard from the female clients I have worked with. The amount of misinformation that has being disseminated by the media and so-called ?professionals? on the subject is mind-boggling to say the least.
The goal of this article is to educate you on why you should not be afraid to lift weights, and lift heavy weights at that. I realize this may be the complete opposite to what you have learned to be true and currently practice. Therefore, I ask you to please put that aside for now, and read this article with an open mind.
First, let?s discuss some of the benefits of weight training. There are many benefits to regular weight training but if I were put on the spot and had to choose two, it would be the impact it has on fat loss and bone health.
If you get one thing out of this article get this ? muscle is your friend for fat loss! Adding more muscle to your body will increase your metabolism and result in you burning more calories on a daily basis. Furthermore, countless research studies have shown that resistance training is the best mode of exercise to illicit fat loss. Yes, better than cardio! In fact, long steady state cardio was shown to be a poor mode of exercise to achieve fat loss (I will cover this topic in more detail next week).
Chronic bone loss leads to low bone mineral density and the deterioration of bone tissue. This is known as osteoporosis and is an issue that females are especially susceptible to. Proper nutrition is vital to keeping this inevitability at bay but so is the incorporation of weight training into your daily life. The old saying of ?if you don?t use it, you?ll lose it? is particularly applicable here. If your bones are not stressed from activities such as weight lifting, loss of bone mineral density will occur and with it come several unwanted side effects.
Now that we have touched on why it is important for weight training to be part of your workout program, let?s now discuss how you should train. Similar to the ?why? you should lift weights, I will discuss what I believe to be the two most important facets of the ?how? you should lift weights.
First, as the title of this article suggests, you should lift heavy. This is where females tend to get scared. However, consider this very important fact; testosterone levels in females are 5-7% of the levels found in males. Simply put, you will not get bulky from lifting heavy weights! But what about the female bodybuilders, they lift heavy and they are big and bulky, you may ask? That is true, but that is their job! They spend countless hours training every single day and many are taking performance-enhancing substances. So, get those images out of your head because they do not represent reality. Another reason you should lift heavy is to achieve that tight toned look that all females crave. The only way to get that firm toned look is through lifting heavy weights. High reps and low weight is a distant second here as it leaves you with a ?softer? toned look.
Second, you should train with compound, multi-joint movements and do exercises that are not machine-based. So, ditch the bicep curls while sitting down in a machine, get on your feet, put a dumbbell in each hand, and do some walking lunges. You will burn more calories, build more muscle and burn a lot more body fat! For more examples of multi-joint, compound movements please visit our You Tube page at www.youtube.com/divergefitness.
Please keep in mind that the above suggestions need to be interwoven with what you can and can?t physically do. First, speak with your physician to make sure you are cleared to perform physical activity. Second, get screened by an experienced and qualified fitness professional for any physical limitations that may impede your ability to perform certain movements. And once you are cleared, lift! And lift heavy!
See you all next week.
Chris Kendrick, CSCS
DiVerge Fitness?Move Yourself!