It’s time to learn about weights. No, I’m not talking about metric vs imperial weights, I’m talking about getting into the gym and lifting those big weights. I realize they look heavy and difficult and there are always men-always-in the heavier free-weight section. But hear me out! Strength training is about growing muscle: You will not “bulk up” because women are built differently than men. Men have more muscle fiber connections and higher fat metabolisms, both due to higher testosterone levels. Whereas women have estrogen which is great for storing fat! (Thanks nature!) While we do naturally have less muscle mass and a little more fat than men, this doesn’t give us a pass when it comes to weight training. Training in a similar fashion as men do will yield similar gains. However, the fact that we have smaller muscle fibers/less overall muscle mass, means that we don’t have to worry about getting “bulky” while weight training!
Now while you will not get bulky, sticking with pinky weights at high repetitions will not achieve that “toned” look either. Muscle growth requires progressively increasing the force output of the muscle through incremental weight increases. This means getting into the gym and starting with a reasonably heavy weight where you can do, for example, 10 easy repetitions, and then increasing the weight to where you start to struggle to meet that final repetition. Repeat 3 times at the slightly heavier weight and once that weight is the new easy, increase to the next heavier weight! The “struggle” is the production of lactate in the muscles and does lead to muscle soreness sometimes.
Muscle soreness is a natural part of weight training, but that does not mean you want to feel sore all the time, or worse, pull muscles by doing an exercise incorrectly. Learning how to lift a weight properly is the best point to start in your strength training. Using the techniques of lifting/moving weights correctly will not only help you on your fitness journey but also in your daily life. For example, moving that overstuffed suitcase before vacation could throw out your back! A major bummer. But if you know how to lift, you’ll have no trouble getting it to and from your destinations!
If you’d like to learn how to lift properly, build your strength and confidence, come visit us at Evolve Fitness for a free initial consultation!
Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Coach at Evolve Fitness