Women can’t get big naturally1 July, 2013
Many women exercise to lose weight and get toned and to change the way they look and most of the time that goes hand in hand with dropping body fat, yet after many weeks and months of working out with light weights, high repetitions or just cardio they get barely any results and get disheartened. Strength training is the most efficient way to do this, so the solution is to lift heavier weights and do fewer repetitions.
I always have trouble getting women to lift heavy weights as a lot of women are scared that if they lift heavy weights they will look like female body builders, but that won’t happen. It’s impossible, unless they take an array of supplements with steroid and hormone based chemicals intended to bulk them up, women cannot get big with just strength training alone. Strength training has a large variety of benefits for women, one of which is preventing the earlier onset of bone and joint-related diseases such as osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and increased metabolic rate.
Increased basal metabolism is probably the most obvious advantage of having more muscle, the more muscle you carry, the higher you’re resting energy expenditure; which means your muscles are working more efficiently at rest, they are constantly being broken down, re-constructed or synthesized even when you are sitting at your desk working. Your body uses energy to break down and remake muscle. How much energy? That depends on how much muscle you have and how dense it is. The denser your muscles, the more energy you use = the more fat you are burning.
Since muscle is denser than fat, 1 kg of muscle will take less space than 1 kg of fat. If you gained 10kg of muscle at the same time you lost 10kg of fat, you would be smaller. Two people that weigh the same can have totally different body shapes. On the scale you would weigh the same, but your clothes would be looser. When people talk of weight loss they usually think of fat loss, but one is not the same as the other. Next time you step on the scale panic — “I gained weight! But I was really good last week!” — RELAX: You want to lose fat, not just weight. Your bathroom scales lie to you, it does not know the difference between muscle, fat, bone or water. So, when you weigh yourself on the bathroom scale it gives you a number that is your weight. Your scale says weight and you think fat, when you lose weight you’re very happy, because you think you’ve lost fat! When you gain weight you’re very unhappy, because you think you’ve gained fat! So, stop worrying about your weight when you are doing weights, as although the scales may not move, you will look leaner and have less body fat if you start incorporating strength weights into your workout.
There is a difference between the hormonal status between men and women and the fact that women not only lack an excess of the anabolic hormones to build large amounts of muscle tissue but also they have an excess of catabolic hormones which permits for more muscle loss and a larger amount of fat gain and too much cardiovascular training will increase cortisol (a catabolic hormone) and inflammatory levels (which also causes premature aging and cellular damage). High cortisol levels will switch on the survival mechanism that stores FAT especially around the mid section. So, cut down the cardio and up the weights, TRAIN LIKE A MAN.
You need to stick to big multi joint movements to get the best out of strength training for the all over body, keeping your workout intense.
So, try these exercises: 3 -5 repetitions of each move, 5 sets (make sure you do a warm up set with a lighter weight first).
- POWER CLEAN
- PUSH PRESS
- BENCH PRESS
- STRAIGHT LEG DEADLIFT (ROMANIAN DEADLIFTS)
- CHIN UPS/PULL UPS
- BENT OVER ROW
- SPLIT SQUATS
Just try it, you will be surprised and you won’t end up looking like the woman in the photograph.