A lot of people (especially women) shy away from weight training for the fear they will end up with big, bulky, and oversized muscles. This simply isn’t true. A properly designed resistance program can deliver whatever you want from your muscles: tone, size, strength, and endurance.
So your skin won’t turn green and you won’t rip off all your shirts in a rage just because you do a weight training program! Men and women often see body builders and think that weights will make them look similarly big and scary. But professional body builders train twice a day for hours on end and follow an extremely strict diet to achieve the hulking figures you see in magazines (and cartoons!).
Not only does it take a lot of hard training to develop very large muscles, especially for women, the extent to which our muscles grow depends on many factors including:
• The type of resistance program followed (high volume and loads will add more bulk)
• Diet and food intake (you need to eat plenty of food, especially protein, to have the building blocks for big muscles)
• Gender (females generally don't have the chemicals eg testosterone for extreme muscle building)
• Genetic make up (some people gain muscle faster than others)
Everyone can benefit from a regular weight training program, especially women. Not everyone however, will respond the same way, even if they follow identical programs because we are all very individual and our genetic and body shapes are all very different. For example, if a program is designed to increase muscle size and strength, men will respond very differently to women as their muscles grow much larger due to higher circulating levels of the hormone testosterone. It’s primarily this reason why most women won’t get big muscles from resistance training, even when training with heavy weights. Genetics also play a part in how we adapt – some people gain lean muscle mass faster and in different places.
Good weights training design is of paramount importance and a program must “deliver the goods”. At Complete Fitness we ensure our clients get the right program for their aims and body type. Bigger doesnt necessarily mean stronger so programs designed to increase muscle strength differ from those designed to increase muscle mass or endurance. Women should follow a weights program designed specifically designed for them and their body type.
If weight loss is your goal then combining weights training with aerobic exercise is proven as a very successful approach. A number of studies have shown that aerobic work combined with resistance training gives the best fat loss results. You'll increase your metabolism, gain strength to make your aerobic workouts more effective, and improve posture, balance and get good feelings of well being.
• Bone density (especially important for women in the fight against osteoporosis)
• Muscle endurance (reducing muscle fatigue by lifting lighter weights for more repetitions)
• Muscle tone and firmness (we all like this!)
• Increased work capacity (ie you can walk, run, cycle etc faster and burn more calories)
A weights training program can be designed according to your individual needs. Getting big muscles need not be one of these, so women shouldnt worry about turning into the incredible hulk from some weights training!
Read our articles on getting started with weights training!
To find out more about weights or strength training contact us!