This is something I hear a lot when talking to new clients at the gym. Many women’s fitness programs consist of long cardio sessions with strong repetitions of perhaps some very light exercises. You may ask, “Why do you do those exercises? Most of the time, clients tell me that they want to lose fat and tone up.
Some of them may explain in detail what they want to do: they want to tone their arms, they want their legs to be smaller and more contoured, or they want to build muscle underneath for a flat abdomen. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a point reduction, it’s physically impossible for a person to lose fat in certain areas of the body, but it’s a whole new topic for another day.
I always ask them if they want to include weight training in their program, and the majority of women say no or yes, but with lighter weights and higher rep counts. But why is that? Most of the time, many women avoid weight training because they end up just wanting to work out for fear that lifting heavy things will greatly increase their muscle mass. I don’t know where the idea of “toning” comes from, because in reality, there is no such thing as gaining or losing muscle mass.
The toned look that many women are looking for is achieved through strength training to develop the underlying muscles, and then through excessive loss of body fat through a well-structured diet program. Hours of mind and endurance training at high performance and low weight can leave you feeling frustrated and unable to achieve results. The majority of my clients say they have avoided weight gain in the past for fear of becoming “bulky” or gaining muscle like men. We have all seen pictures of female bodybuilders and I have great respect for the hard work and dedication they put into their passions, but it is impossible to look like this after a short period of weight training. If it’s that simple, why doesn’t everyone who lifts things look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Phil Heath?
If men can work out quickly, this is not the case for women. But why is that? It all depends on the hormone. Testosterone is the main hormone responsible for building muscle, and while women have some, it’s not nearly as high in men as it is in women. So it makes sense that they can build muscle, but not as much or as fast as men.
So what happens when a woman lifts weights? It will slowly build up your muscles, which will improve your physique. The increased muscle tissue in your legs makes it easier to work your thighs and buttocks, and the development of your arms helps to counteract bingo wings. Building muscle tissue in the shoulders and back gives the illusion of a narrower waist and helps to create hourglass joints.
But what about body fat? Weightlifting burns calories, but the only way to lose body fat is to create a calorie deficit with a solid nutrition program, like the “only diet that really works” that I’ve mentioned in a previous blog. If you decide to go on a diet to lose a lot of fat with little or no muscle underneath because you look fat, you will end up with a skeleton. With some well-developed muscle, however, you will get the tone and “Wonder Woman” physique you’ve been dreaming of.
In short, women should lift weights because building “toned” muscles will give you the figure that many women want and will help you lose fat and get in shape.
If you need help setting up your training and nutrition program to achieve your dream body, contact me at Valkyrie Fitness today to get started.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy your time with me.
If you need help setting up your strength and nutrition program to develop “toned” muscles and lose fat to get you in shape and achieve the body of your dreams, contact me at Valkyrie Fitness today to get started.