My boyfriend and I work out and lately, he’s asked me to try weight lifting with him rather than the cardio I just do normally because I seem to have hit a plateau with losing weight. I keep telling him no because I don’t want to be big and muscular like a guy. He says that can’t happen. Who’s right, him or me?
Your boyfriend is totally right. Unless you’re taking some sort of performance enhancer to change your testosterone to estrogen ratio and/or you’re in the gym for 4-5 hours every day, you will not get big/bulky muscles. What weightlifting WILL do for a woman is to help her burn more fat. More muscle doesn’t mean more weight either. Despite what some may say, muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat. A pound is a pound either way, but muscle IS more dense and compact, and will burn more calories than fat storage. Weighing yourself is one of the worst ways to check fat loss, because a woman with 4% body fat may be a size two and weigh 130 lbs, but a woman with 34% body fat and very little muscle may weigh 130 lbs and be a size 12. Weight is not the issue, fat loss IS the issue.
*An added bonus of weight training is that extra muscle density will strengthen connective tissues and bones. A plus for any woman.
Women NEED to incorporate weight training into any workout in order to reach full fat loss potential. I am not talking tiny weights either. You really can go all out and build a little muscle density without looking like the Rock, I promise. Yes, you may be sorer for a bit, but isn’t that the point? If you’re not sore/tired/drained from a workout, then you simply didn’t work hard enough. A workout is called a workout for a reason..you need to work! In order to work the muscle, you need to give it an increasingly higher weight. This doesn’t mean to up your lifting weight with every workout, but perhaps every three workouts. That means, if you’re doing 25lb bicep curls for three workouts, you should try the same workout with a 30lb weight on the fourth workout.
Any educated trainer will tell you the same thing about not becoming bulky. You can look it up online too if you like, there are TONS of articles that will back me up on this. Give it a shot Kenzie, and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at your results.