Should Ladies Weight Train?
A lot of my female clients express their fear of ‘bulking up’ from weight training and almost all of them just want to ‘tone up’ when they train with me. So let’s start with the word “toned”.
By definition, toning is to define muscles, but not gain muscle size significantly. To achieve this we will have to remove the layer of fat that covers our muscles. The only way to allow your muscles to show without increasing their size is to reduce your body fat percentage.
In order to reduce your body fat is to be in a caloric deficit. There is no one type of exercise that will ‘tone’ your muscles. Lifting light weights at high repetitions is not a proven method of specifically lowering body fat, nor is lifting heavy weights. The amount of weight you use does not matter. Some people may think cardio is the answer. Just so you know one pound of fat is made up of 3500 calories. Let me give you a brief idea on how you can burn 500 calories per day, which will result in one pound loss after a week.
One hour jog every day. One hour of swimming every day. Cycle for 75 minutes every day. Or, just climb the stairs for 50 minutes every day!
Losing a pound of fat with any of these methods means a lot of work. Resistance training increases the release of testosterone and human growth hormone, resulting in a higher metabolism (meaning you burn calories faster). Weight training increases your lean body mass, which in turn increases the number of overall calories you burn during the day. Unlike cardio, after you weight train, you will be burning more calories at rest as your muscle tissue will be using energy to help rebuilding process.
Ladies who are worried about getting bodybuilder bulky - remove this from your thought process immediately. Females do not produce enough testosterone to gain a bodybuilder's muscle mass. Even men who produce 7-8 times more testosterone compared to women struggle to get 'bulky'. To look like a bodybuilder, even men would need to weight train consistently with intensity, eat in a huge caloric surplus and use anabolic steroids to ramp up their testosterone levels (of course this is NEVER suggested).
If you are still nervous about going to the gym, the best bet is to get professional advice from a trainer who can tailor a training programme and diet that works for you. Book in for a free consult here