Go Big Without Getting Big

For all of you fit college ladies out there just trying to resemble Kate Hudson’s chiseled bod before summer arrives, I am here to advise you to throw out all of your preconceived notions, fears, and stereotypes about weight lifting. They aren’t true. They are propaganda. They are keeping you from reaching your goals. You are missing out on a whole world of self improvement, sculpting, and awe at your own potential progress. I am guessing you are here because your current 5 day a week cardio + crunches plan isn’t working the way it promised, and you’re looking for something more effective. The answer has been right under our noses this whole time. Here are a few pointers to changing your relationship with weights because because becoming strong means being toned, and after all #strongisthenewskinny.

  1. Stop being intimidated by heavy weights. You can lift just as heavy as men can. Yes, men have higher levels of testosterone and generally biologically capable of lifting heavier weights than women, but this should not deter women from lifting heavy weights. The heavier you lift, the faster you will see muscular results (just like the harder you sprint, the faster you will see cardiovascular results). It takes less time to train this way, so rather than spending hours in the gym repetitively lifting light weights, push yourself to the max every workout session and leave the gym satisfied.

  2. It does not matter how heavy the weights you use are. As long as you work your muscles to failure, you are going to see progress. Experts suggest sets of 8-12 reps, so choose a weight that makes it extremely difficult to complete the last two reps.

  3. You will not get big! It is very difficult to get “big.” People spend copious amounts of time, energy, and tweaking in their diet and exercise plans to make this happen. If you are eating maintenance calories or sustaining a calorie deficit, it would be impossible to get big;  your muscles need a plethora of excess calories in order to grow, which is why professional bodybuilders have “bulking up” and “cutting” phases throughout their training cycles. It takes a conscious effort and a lot of testosterone to get bulky. Thus, you will only be pleased with the results you produce through the addition of lifting weights, assuming you also stay on top of your diet. Keep in mind that you may need to increase your food intake due to the fact that growing more muscle speeds up your metabolism, thus revving your calorie burn throughout the day.
  4. “Spot reducing” (losing fat in one localized area) is impossible. No matter how much you want it, you are not in control of choosing the body parts you want to look a certain way. They will all change little by little as you stick to a consistent training plan. Solely training your shoulders in the hopes of getting chiseled shoulder muscles may lead to structural problems; you need to be evenly built throughout your upper body in order to maintain good posture and overall strength. You should focus on full body exercises and make sure you are working a comprehensive list of body parts in order to reach the results you want. This will encourage an overall toned look as you lose bodyfat and the muscles you have worked so hard for begin to emerge.

If you don’t know where to start, check out Bodybuilding.com for more information. This is an excellent resource for training plans and articles as you begin your weight lifting journey.

Photos: https://www.pexels.com