By: David Frankovic
Article found on Bodybuilding.com
- The theory that lifting weights will cause a
woman to appear bulky and manly is false.
- If you love the activity you perform, you are
much more likely to stick to your program.
- All the pieces of the puzzle must be taken into
consideration for you to reach your goals.
"I just want to lose fat around my stomach and nowhere
else." "I just want to tone my inner thighs."
"Lifting weights is just going to turn me into a man!"
I have heard these statements from women about 3,000 times.
Those 3 desires have one thing in common; they are pretty much
Lifting Weights Will Not Cause A Loss In Femininity.
1: Spot Reduction
Let's start off with the theory of
burning fat or toning a certain area of the body. Toning
involves two constituents: adipose tissue (the subcutaneous body
fat) and muscle tissue. In order to appear more toned, a
reduction in body fat and increase in muscle mass will have to
The human body does not allow spot
reducing, which would include losing fat exclusively in the
abdominal area. If you were to lose weight, it would occur all
over your entire body. Unfortunately, body fat is not
necessarily reduced evenly.
People often have trouble areas
where the fat is last to go. Women especially find this to be
their stomach, legs or arms. There is not much that can be done
about this aside from continuing to lean out.
A reduction in body fat occurs
when a person is in a caloric deficit. This occurs with two
variables: decreasing the amount of calories you consume,
increasing the amount of exercise you participate in, or doing
both. Resistance training is used to help build and maintain
muscle tissue, while cardiovascular training is a tool used to
help achieve a caloric deficit.
Here is a statement that many of
you probably do not want to believe: There is no exercise out
there that is going to burn fat off of your body in a specific
area! No resistance training exercise will help tone or reduce
fat on top of any muscle in your body. It is a reduction of
calories and an increase in exercise that will take care of
There is a very big misconception
regarding that "burn" you feel after performing many
repetitions during an exercise. Some people actually believe
that is the fat melting off the body right before our very eyes!
That burn is actually caused by lactic acid, which is used by
your muscles to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for immediate
I often see a female lying on the
ground at the gym performing sets of 100 crunches. She probably
assumes that burning sensation is actually helping her
"toning her stomach". If you are performing a set of
100 repetitions on any exercise, don't you think it is time to
move on to something a little harder?
There Is No Exercise Out There That Is Going To
Burn Fat Off Of Your Body In A Specific Area.
2: Losing Your Femininity
The theory that lifting weights
will cause a woman to appear bulky and manly is completely
false. I used resistance training to bring my body weight up 60
pounds over the course of about five years.
I must say that the actual weight
training was the easy part. The difficult part included eating
like a horse, because a calorie surplus is needed to gain muscle
mass. I often gagged during some meals as I was pretty much
force-feeding myself like a mother would to a small child eating
Now, I am pretty sure that most
women do not force feed themselves by mistake. Extreme muscle
mass gains are not something that occurs out of the blue. You
have to really want it for it to happen. It is pretty safe to
say that muscle gain is much, much harder than fat loss for most
Another little fact that most
women forget is testosterone. Testosterone is a very anabolic
hormone found in the human body, males and females, which is
very important for gains in muscle mass. Men usually have about
ten times more testosterone than women.
Even if a woman were to put the
time into eating a crazy amount, it would still be about ten
times harder to look like a man. It sounds like it is fairly
difficult for a woman to gain an incredible amount of muscle
mass and be mistaken for a man, doesn't it?
The Theory That Lifting Weights Will Cause A
Woman To Appear Bulky And Manly Is Completely False.
3: Avoiding Chest Exercises
Another fairly popular fallacy is
the theory that a woman should not perform any chest exercises,
as this would "shrink her breasts". A woman's breasts
are an area of fat deposit just like anywhere else on her body.
The breasts will shrink as body fat levels of the entire body
Resistance exercises for the chest
would not cause a reduction in size. In fact, it might help your
breasts appear larger as you can stimulate growth of your
pectoral muscles. The larger pectoral muscles would help push
out the fat found on your breasts and assist them in looking
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4: Eating Less To Lose Weight
Most women claim to have a sound
diet, but this usually ends up being in the form of a starvation
diet. It probably includes skipping breakfast, eating a salad at
lunch and one slice of cheese for dinner if you are lucky.
Breakfast is known as the most
important meal of the day for a reason. Your body is begging for
fuel, as it has not received any in most likely a good eight to
ten hours. Skipping meals frequently actually slows your
metabolism down as it is much more beneficial to eat five to six
smaller meals spaced evenly throughout the day.
A lot of people are always
confused by this as they think eating so frequently will cause
them to gain weight. This simply is not true unless you eat many
calories above your maintenance level.
Let's say 1,500 calories is
adequate for your goal of weight loss. Instead of eating two
700-calorie meals, five meals consisting of about 300 calories
would be much better. If you happen to eat 500 calories for one
meal and 200 calories for another, this will not break you. As
long as you finish the day with the same amount of calories and
you eat several times per day, you will be fine.
It Is Much More Beneficial To Eat Five To Six Smaller
Meals Spaced Evenly Throughout The Day.
There Is No Replacement For Hard Work
I have known too many ladies who have purchased far too many
fitness gadgets seen on television at 4am on any random
weeknight. There are things like the famous "ab
belts," which "electronically stimulate your abdominal
How many people actually think a little belt will trim down
belly fat without breaking a sweat at all? I think we have
struck gold here! There isn't an overweight person in the world
anymore due to this cool belt!
Wait, it is time to enter reality again as there are no
tricks or gadgets that replace the hard work you have to put in
to achieve your goal. It all comes down to diet and exercise,
which has always been the equation and always will be.
I have thrown a lot of information at you, and you are
probably wondering what you should do. Well, I hope you have
realized that resistance training is an important tool you can
use to achieve a better-looking body.
It is important to focus on compound movements, which use
more than one muscle group. These include all variations of
squats, lunges, bench presses, rows and shoulder presses.
These are the biggest bang for your buck exercises, as you
are using many muscle groups. Focus on performing variations of
these exercises at least twice a week for about 40 minutes, and
you will reap the benefits in your physique.
Do not forget to include cardiovascular training, which
doesn't have to be running on a treadmill. It is important to
find an activity you enjoy and look forward to, such as hiking,
tennis, swimming or even rowing a boat.
If you love the activity you perform, you are much more
likely to stick to your program in the long run, which will
improve your chance of succeeding.
It Is Important To Find An Activity You
Enjoy And Look Forward To.
The Importance Of Diet
A sound diet is just as important as exercise, if not more
important. Make sure to eat frequently throughout the day, but
control the portion sizes.
Eating the right types of foods will definitely help your
progress as well. Protein rich foods are very important, as they
are necessary for recovery from your workouts. Lean meats, eggs,
and whey protein are great examples.
Moderate carbohydrates should also be included in your diet,
as it is your body's main fuel source after all. Whole grains
are the keys here as they are much slower digesting and help
keep you fuller longer.
Fat is also important for recovery and hormone production;
examples of good fat sources include: olive oil, canola oil, any
variety of nuts, fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel.
Fruits and vegetables also need to be incorporated as they
are packed with vitamins and minerals necessary for everyday
body functions. The fiber found in them promotes digestive
health as well as helps keep your belly satisfied.
Make Sure To Eat Frequently Throughout The
Day, But Control The Portion Sizes.
All the pieces of the puzzle must be taken into consideration
for you to reach your goals. Make sure to treat every aspect as
important as the others.
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