I have talked about this before and will most likely be talking about it again… This is one of the reasons I am undertaking this series, because this fitness myth just won’t die.
MYTH: Women shouldn’t life heavy weights.
I think this is a myth because if the truth gets mainstream, a lot of gyms with women’s only segments and chains catering to just women are going to be in very big trouble. The truth is that heavy weights are EXACTLY what women should be lifting.
The old school belief that heavy weights will make women ‘too big’ or ‘too muscley’ is completely false. I don’t know how else to say it, other than the fact that it doesn’t make any sense based on the laws of human physiology.
Yes, some women think that they are the miraculous exception. That as soon as you lift heavy weights your thighs get bigger and your arms look manly. I guess you had better not lift heavy weights then. That is ok with me! Keep doing aerobics with your jiggly butts and arms with your little 5lbs weights and kettle bells.
Yes, you are unique and different.
Sorry, you’re not. You might be a little lazy and unwilling to actually challenge yourself. But you are not the exception to physiology and biology.
The real truth is that women’s muscle fibres and men’s muscle fibres respond the same way to external stimulus (aka weights) and if you want to have a lean body with some muscle definition in place of your soft flab than you have to lift the biggest and heaviest weights you can manage.
You want your muscles to get bigger and stronger. This will ramp up your metabolism and give you that muscle shape you probably refer to as ‘toning’ (another word i wish would die…). You need to lift heavy weights to make this happen. You need to challenge your body beyond what its current ability is to elicit a change.
Little weights aren’t going to do it. How often have I seen women go to the gym and lift 5lbs and 10lbs weights for hundreds of reps, barely break a sweat and then head over to the grocery store where they promptly lift 20lbs grocery bags with their 40lbs toddler on their hip?
What the hell were you just wasting your time at the gym for? And you are probably wondering why you are putting in all this time and not getting the results you are looking for.
I won’t bore you with the scientific explanations, although if you are interested I can. No I am just going to tell you.
Women – lifting heavy weights will not make you big and bulky or look like a man. The truth is that you need to lift heavy weights that challenge you beyond your current limits in order to get any results from your fitness program.
If you aren’t lifting heavy weights you might as well go for a walk and pretend that that is enough exercise to keep you healthy and fit (that is a blog topic for another day).
You want results from your fitness program? Pick up some weight.