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‘Man Up’, Ladies: It’s Time to Start Lifting Heavy

Amber DeLeal July 1, 2014
Women Should Lift Heavy

So the battle continues… Women vs. heavy weights… Let me start with a spoiler and tell you who always wins: women, if they do in fact lift heavy weights.

I can already imagine most of you ladies out there saying to yourselves, “I just want to be toned. And I’m going to continue to only do cardio and some light weight lifting because heavy weights will make me big and manly.”

That’s great. Except, you’re WRONG!

I always used to hear that women should lift light weights, using higher repetition sets, to ensure not to get an unattractively masculine bodybuilder’s physique. And, like the majority of American women, I too once thought this was true.

And things haven’t changed much. To this day women continue to be brainwashed by this deception.

Fortunately for me, I have been blessed to receive no B.S. fitness instruction from a few people who really know their stuff. And, fortunately for you, I’m excited to share what I have learned – and personally experienced – so you can avoid this tragic mistake and develop that lean, toned body you’ve been dreaming of.

I used to say the same things as most other women: “I don’t need to lift weights because I don’t want to get big muscles. I just want to have a little more definition.” Or, “Weight training isn’t for me and I don’t see a single way that it will benefit my goals anyway.”

So I just stuck to jogging on the treadmill and occasionally lifting that 5lb dumbbell – over and over, and over, until the repetition bored me into oblivion.

The worst part was that I wanted to lose body fat and tone up so badly, yet I was going about it all wrong.

What could have been a fat blasting, muscle toning workout that would have given me the tight, sexy body I wished I had, was instead causing me to lose muscle mass, driving up my cortisol levels (cortisol is a fat-storing hormone, BTW) and leaving me frustrated with lackluster results.

Even though cardio is an important factor in getting toned and shredding fat, it is not the only factor. Did you know that lifting heavy weights can actually make you burn fat faster than cardio?

That’s right! The metabolic boost heavy lifting provides can lead to greater calorie burn than a long boring treadmill workout. And the heavier you lift the more fat you will burn.

Here’s Why You Should Lift Heavy!

Lifting Heavy Weights Permanently Boosts Metabolism

As just mentioned, lifting heavy helps to enhance your metabolism, which is a key factor in keeping that disgusting fat off your body once you get rid of it. You will also PERMANENTLY increase your metabolism as you build more muscle.

That’s right! Keep up the weights, build a little sexy muscle, keep up your metabolism.

Another reason to lift heavy is sexy muscles – the kind of muscles all of us ladies should desire. I’m talking about the kind of muscle definition that will make your sexiness impossible to ignore.

Not only will your new body cause heads to turn, but you’ll also feel completely confident and sexy in and outside of your clothes.

Which brings me to my next reason you should lift weights: it will build your confidence.

Feeling good about yourself, including how you look, is a key element to being happy. Once you start to see the change that building a little sexy muscle has on your body you will never look back.

There is no better feeling than looking at yourself, seeing what you’ve accomplished – an accomplishment you probably didn’t even think was possible – and saying to yourself, “Look at that! You actually did it!”

And I promise that toned, sexy beast staring at you in the mirror is going to make you proud…and confident.

Lifting Heavy Will Help You Look Better As You Get Older

I can only speak for myself on this. However, I doubt that you’ll disagree with me.

I care about the way I look and I care about the way others perceive me. And I don’t see this changing as long as I’m still walking this earth.

Wanting to look my best for myself (and others) is one of the main reasons I made the change to my lifestyle that would be necessary to transform my body. While lifting weights won’t prevent gray hair (fortunately they make dye for that 😉 ), it will keep your body looking younger longer, especially when combined with a diet full of healthy foods.

You know that toned body you think you’re going to get by not lifting heavy weights? You know, because you don’t want to bulk up, right? Well, you’ll get that body a whole lot faster if you upgrade to that 5lb dumbbell to a 10-pounder.

If toning up is your goal, then make that bad boy your new best friend until you can complete 10-rep sets. Then, guess what? It’ll be time to make that 15-pounder your new best friend.

I personally like the look of toned arms and legs (on men, yes, but women in particular). Not massive muscles… Toned muscles.

Trust me when I tell you that this is what we’re in the gym for, ladies!

I love to be able to see the separation between my shoulders, biceps and triceps. So this was obviously one of my goals.

Since my workouts in the beginning only consisted of cardio, because I was afraid I was going to get too big, you won’t be shocked to learn that I didn’t see that beautiful separation on my arms. To be honest, they were pretty blah and shapeless.

So I talked to my husband. Who is almost as obsessed with weight training as I am now. He insisted that I start lifting heavy weights.

After some mild resistance I followed his advice and almost immediately began seeing positive changes on my body. As solid results tend to do, they kept me consistent, and the end result left me with the arms I desired for years, arms that only lifting heavy could have given me.

And my strength went through the roof. I went from only being able to do 3 sets of 3 push-ups (pathetic, I know) to crushing three sets of 15!

I don’t want you to think that I have “man arms” (I don’t) or that my goal is to look like a bodybuilder (it isn’t).

Like most women, I have always wanted nothing but a lean, toned, sexy, feminine body. Being stronger was just an additional bonus!

Ladies, Lifting Heavy Will Not Make You Look Like a Bodybuilder

Manly Woman Bodybuilder - Not From Lifting Heavy Weights

As a woman, with plenty of women friends who “workout”, I know that many other women are afraid to pick up the weights in fear of getting too big. Well, rest assured, I’m here to tell you that it’s not going to happen.

The way your body looks is entirely up to you. Whether you want to have solid definition or biceps the size of Mount Rushmore, it’s up to you.

If you don’t want to look like Chyna, you can rest assured that it’s not going happen.

You won’t ever look like that or any other bodybuilder you’ve seen pictures of, unless you want to. And unless you’re willing to inject yourself with dangerous steroids to do it.

The women who attain bodies with biceps the size of cantaloupes didn’t get them by simply lifting heavy weights.

They have to eat like a horse and inject themselves with loads of synthetic hormones to get that kind of unnatural amount of muscle mass.

Not to mention the fact that they likely spend more time at the gym in a week than you or I do in a full month.

So, unless your goal is to get as big as these women here, and you’re willing to go to dangerous and illegal ends to make it happen, it’s not something you need to worry about.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I find it to be very impressive that anyone could achieve that amount of muscle (with the help of steroids or not). The time and dedication alone is enough to make most people blush.

Just don’t get the wrong impression and think that their extreme results came solely from lifting heavy weights. They didn’t.

Lifting heavy produces strong, lean, sexy bodies. The irrational fear that most women have of lifting heavy weights is unfounded and it’s keeping them – as it was me – from building a lean and hot body they can be completely confident in.

If you want a toned, sexy body, then those weights sitting on the rack are calling your name. It’s time to make that body fat cry and those admiring heads turn!

See you at the squat rack!

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1 Comment

  1. Wendy Nichols July 1, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    What a great article – spot-on! I’m 50, menopausal…….and in the best shape of my life. For as long as I can remember I’ve craved a lean, toned and muscular (not in a manly sense) body. It wasn’t until I discovered Craig Leonard’s programme and started following his advice that things really started to motor! Whilst maintaining a constant weight, I’ve dropped 7% body fat and am finally starting to see the results I’ve always wanted. Now I do cardio for 3 days a week and weight train for the alternate 3 with 1 day’s rest. The weights are getting ‘properly’ heavy now (I started with an empty bar and progressed slowly to avoid injury) and now the results are coming. So come on ladies – go for it! You can’t get ‘butch’ – you don’t (naturally) have the correct hormone suite.

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