If I lift weights, I will become bulky like a man
Cardio is the best form of exercise to lose weight quickly
I do lift weights but light weights, just to tone up. If I lift heavier weights, I will develop muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger
Every time I hear these statements, being a woman, I cringe inside at the widely prevalent myths regarding women and strength-training and lifting weights. Here are some facts to dispel those myths, and I hope the next time you visit the gym, you make your way towards the weights section, fearlessly.
1. Lifting weights will NOT make you bulky like a man. For the simple reason that women’s bodies do not produce testosterone in the same quantities as it is produced in men’s bodies, which is the key hormone responsible for building bigger and bulkier muscles. All these women body builders with big muscles that you see have ingested this hormone from external sources to look the way they do. Unless you do so too, you will NOT become bulky. What you WILL become is lean and strong and be envied by many.
2. Lifting weights will strengthen your muscles and your body will thank you as you age when these muscles, which have become stronger owing to the weight training, will play a crucial role in supporting your joints. The stronger(stronger, not bigger) your muscles are, the younger your body feels, looks and functions.
3. In no way cardio is bad for you. Only cardio and moderately intense cardio at that, may help you see some result in the initial phase, when you lose water and fat content. However, you will hit a plateau, those last kgs or inches you want to get rid of, will not happen and then you start losing muscle mass as well. Only cardio will not get you a Fit, Toned look as you will not only lose muscle mass but also have loose skin in all the wrong places (arms, stomach, butt, thighs). This is where Weight Training and Interval Cardio (intensity ranging from moderate to high) will yield the desired result as it keeps your body on a fat burning mode for upto 48 hours of your workout. So even though you might be resting, your muscles are still working for you, using energy and calories to repair the broken down muscle tissue, making them leaner and stronger. Unlike just doing moderately intense cardio on a daily basis which only works while you are at it and that too not beyond 30-40 mins (as the body moves from fat burning to muscle loss mode)
4. This would be a good time to remind you that fitness is 70-80% diet and 20-30% exercise. You must create a “healthy caloric deficit” for fat loss to happen. You must work on your muscles to give you that trim and fit look and you must eat right for your muscles to do their work. Just strength training while eating unhealthy or just diet control without exercise, will not be sufficient. YOU MUST EAT TO LOSE WEIGHT. Do not ever starve yourself, do not skip meals. As far as possible, eat healthy, eat natural, avoid fried, sugary, overly chemically processed foods, ensure you are getting all your essential macro nutrients – carbs, lean proteins and fats. Your body needs all of these in the right proportion to be able to function at its optimum best. Eliminating any of these essential nutrients is extremely harmful for your body. Steer clear of fad diets and focus on healthy, sustainable eating habits. (an article will soon be published on the subject)
5. If you are wary of stepping into a gym, don’t. Anything that puts a strain on your muscle, CORRECTLY, will do the trick. Freehand exercises, carrying your kids, lifting heavy things, certain yoga asanas etc. will work. However, the benefit of going to the gym or hiring a personal trainer is that professionals supervise you on your form, repetitions and the correct usage of equipment available there. When it comes to weights and strength training, 40-45 minutes, min 3-4 days and not more than 6 days a week, is all you need. That’s all.
At Evrox Fitness Studio, depending on your body, age (yes, you may strength train at ANY age) and goals, the experts will guide you and work with you, on the kind of weights you need to lift progressively, its repetitions, mixing up the required cardio routine with it and your dietary requirements. Fat and inches loss, increased strength and endurance and you looking and feeling your leanest and strongest best are just some of the benefits you get by joining the Evrox fraternity.