No, Weightlifting Will Not Turn You Into A Monster

First, my exculpatory Kene-is-Not-Liable Disclaimer:

You will not hold me or this website responsible for any damages you may incur as a result of reading this information. See a health professional before starting any diet or exercise program.

I hate having to include this legalese, but that’s the world we live in today.

Let’s continue….

‘How to lose weight’ is one of the more popular search queries in the Google engine. The importance of appearance to our self-esteem is well-documented, doubly-so for women.The current fashion in mainstream America is a light weight workout, featuring weights that a yorkie could carry.

If you’re lifting weight that weighs less than this dog, you’re wasting your time.

Swimsuit season is here; give yourself a fighting chance to get it right.

Ladies….

Lifting (heavy) weights will not turn you into a muscle-bound monster.

Consider the millions of men who buy pounds of supplements and devour every fitness magazine article in a quest to sprout muscles. Attaining a muscular, well-defined physique is no easy feat. If building muscle was easy, the fitness industry would shrink by a factor of ten.

How much more difficult to build that muscular physique for a woman?

If you think lifting heavy weight will turn you into a female version of He-Man, you’re underestimating how difficult it is to build muscle.The female bodybuilders with bodies like NFL linebackers are almost always using drugs to get bigger. Lower levels of testosterone and other gender differences prevent women from attaining a truly-masculine appearance.

The biggest reason the ‘lifting huge weight makes women huge’ myth persists is that the general public’s perception of weightlifting is still shaped by images of *extreme* female bodybuilders. These women, sporting biceps that rival a professional wrestler’s, are the products of anabolic steroids and other synthesized substances. Chiseled facial features, inordinate muscle
 size, and other masculine traits are the result of chemical use in women.

Women cannot
 build a physique like this….*naturally*.

Yes, this is a woman. Yes, she’s on anabolic steroids.

If you’re lifting naturally, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Women that lift heavy weights create strong, yet feminine bodies.

What you can expect when you’re in peak (natural) condition.

A number of Hollywood actresses get in magazine cover shape through weight lifting. I’m talking about leading ladies who need to look like they can throw a convincing punch, not the waif-thin ones who need a good meal.

Strong, yet feminine.

If you want results, you have to lift heavy and incorporate compound movements (e.g. squats). In fitness—and life— the only way to
 induce growth is to introduce new stimuli; your body needs a reason to
 change. Muscle burns calories, even at rest, so the more muscle mass you have, the easier it is to maintain an attractive form.

There is no such thing as “firming” or “toning” a muscle.

These words are figments of the diet and fitness industry, who prey on the naiveté of the general populace. The shape of your muscles cannot be altered by exercise. You *can* increase or decrease the thickness of your muscles through exercise. Form follows function; challenging exercise programs beget spectacular results. “Toning” or lifting weights that pose little challenge to your muscles is a waste of time.

Big, compound exercises work well for everyone. They encourage muscle growth and, by extension, fat loss. Eating right (i.e. more protein and fat, with fewer empty carbs) helps the cause as well.

Another problem is the use of the terms “weight loss” and “fat loss “interchangeably.

“Weight loss” is a vague term, insufficient for what we want to accomplish. You should care about the type of weight you’re losing.

Don’t be a slave to the scale.

Muscle is denser than fat, so you may actually gain weight on the road to a better body. You want programs that encourage fat loss while preserving muscle, which keeps the athletic look most people want. There are plenty of diets for losing ‘weight’—you may not like how you look when you’re finished.

Forget the cookie diets, juice binges, and other pseudo-starvation programs. Like Weight Watchers, Slim-Fast, and other programs that have stood the test of time despite dubious results, they will not help you lose fat and keep it off. These programs are unsustainable because they conflict with our biochemistry and innate preferences. And, if you don’t know any better, you might continue believing that fat loss is a matter of education and ‘willpower’, no matter what evidence is provided to the contrary.

“Eat less and exercise more” is the flippant suggestion offered to people who want to lose fat, but it’s insufficient. You may even get better results by eating more and working out less. You’re more likely to get a body you’re proud of by eating more than you think you should than by starving yourself.

Without sufficient muscle mass, you’ll end up with the dreaded “skinny-fat” appearance. Men like “curvy, but not fat” and “thin, but not shapeless” body types. If attracting the opposite sex is the reason you want to get in shape, knowing what men want is critical.

What causes the skinny-fat appearance?

Too much slow, steady-state aerobic activity (e.g. jogging, aerobics classes).

(Note: Sprinting and other anaerobic cardio activities are notable exceptions to this rule.

The nature of the exercise—explosive, intense movement–builds lean muscle mass while burning fat, creating a more shapely appearance.

Think about the diffference in appearance between a marathon runner and an Olympic sprinter. 

Your body adapts to the challenges you present to it; participate in activities that create the look you want.

Form follows function.)

Resistance training creates an attractive look.

Most people want to lose fat, not weight. Defining the problem–and lurking variables– is the first step to creating solutions that stick.

Forget the flavor of the month. The basics (challenging resistance, anaerobic work, solid diet) are all you need to transform your figure.

Contact me if you have any questions.

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