Plenty of women refuse to lift weights because they’re terrified of turning into the Female Hulk with a fat neck, thick thighs, and pecs for boobs. These women are doing themselves a disservice, though – weightlifting is fantastically good for you, and the chances of you getting big are really slim. The main reason why is simple: you don’t have nearly as much testosterone as men do, and testosterone builds muscle.
Personal trainers hear women say they want to get lean, but they’re afraid of bulking up all the time. Their response is always the same. “You’re not going to bulk up.” Good news ladies: the female Hulk is a total weightlifting myth. Unless you’re genetically predisposed for muscle growth, most likely, gaining muscle is actually going to be really difficult for you. Women can and should lift weights. If you want to get toned and strong but you’re afraid of bulking up, there’s a sure-fire way to do it successfully.
So there’s a reason for this myth. If you’ve been to any gym, you’ve probably seen people who look way more muscular than you want to look. Women who are professional bodybuilders and weightlifters can be pretty terrifying. They’ve also put years of hardcore training into developing their body. They can also be pumped up with all sorts of drugs and supplements that you don’t need. The most common reason women like you look bulky, though, is that they’ve got muscle on fat. If you eat way too much and you’re not burning enough calories, unsurprisingly, you’re going to look a little bulky.
Toning up without getting bigger requires weightlifting and a caloric deficit (AKA eat healthy foods in healthy portions). Your goal isn’t to simply build muscle. It’s to burn fat, too. Good news: The more muscle you gain, the more calories you burn.
So many women go to the gym and waste their time slaving away on the elliptical or treadmill when they could get even better results if they add weightlifting to their workout! Don’t be that girl who goes to the gym regularly but has no idea what she’s doing. Work out smart.
Here are a few tips for how to avoid the bulk while getting toned:
It’s everyone’s favorite word, and all it means is cold, hard exercise. Just like weightlifting, you need to mix up your cardio, not just jog every other day, to hit numerous muscle groups. Here’s a pro tip: do cardio after you lift weights. Your body needs much more energy to lift weights than to run.
See Also: Adequate Workout For Womens Fitness
2. Do Plyometrics
Or, in basic English, jump training. Plyometrics are perfect for getting lean because they help turn fat into lean muscle while upping your heart rate and calorie burn. If you aren’t doing burpees and jump squats yet, get going!
3. Interval Train
For high fat loss, look no further than interval training, also known as HIIT (high intensity interval training). Interval training is simple: you go back and forth between working as hard as you possibly can and taking it easy. Think walk two minutes, sprint one minute, repeat. Interval training results in more calorie burn during and after your workout
4. Challenge Yourself
Lifting 2 and 5 pound weights is a common mistake women make – they think this is a good way to avoid bulking up. Guys aren’t just looking at you because you look hot in that spandex. They’re also thinking about how much time you’re wasting with baby weights. Lifting light weights is a good way to waste your time and see zero results. Instead, you need to challenge yourself with heavy weights in order to both build muscle and burn fat.
5. Get a Personal Trainer
Training with someone who knows what they’re doing. How could you go wrong? Your health is the greatest thing you could invest in, and a personal trainer is going to force you to push yourself, fight for real results, and train the right way.
Now that you know weightlifting isn’t going to bulk you up, you can get excited about adding weights to your workout. The more you lift, the more addicted to it you get. Weightlifting energizes you, tones you up, and makes you feel super hot and sexy when you start seeing results. Being strong isn’t just for men. Real women lift weights.