Have you heard that lifting weights makes you “bulky” before? Most of us have heard, especially females, that if you lift heavy weights you will become a hulk, or a “she-hulk”. Even if you are a male, weight lifting should be part of your current exercise routine for a number of reasons. Hopefully this article will help alleviate your fears of lifting weights and you will discover that lifting weights can actually change your life as well as your physique.
You Will Not Become Bulky
First off, the notion that females who lift weights will become “bulky” is inherently untrue. Females cannot physiologically build huge muscles because they produce estrogen, and very, very low levels of testosterone, which is one of the primary hormones responsible for muscle gain. Men are able to gain more muscle due to the fact that their bodies naturally produce greater levels of testosterone, and very low levels of estrogen.
If you are a female reading this, don’t fear the weights! Like previously stated, your hormones PREVENT you from gaining any muscle beyond your genetic potential. Women you see in the gym/fitness industry with an extremely massive muscle mass have most likely been abusing some form of synthetic hormones.
Weightlifting is Fun
Weight lifting can definitely be intimidating, don’t get me wrong. Walk into any fitness center and you are surrounded by fancy machines, powerlifting racks, cardio machines, and sometimes even TRX ropes. If you are completely new to exercise and weight lifting, this can be extremely intimidating, especially when you may be surrounded by people who have the physique you desire. To combat this intimidation factor, get a friend to start with you!
If you make weight lifting and the gym a FUN place to go it will allow you to build an even better relationship with your friend and keep each other accountable. If your schedule is a limiting factor to working out with someone, don’t fret! Do your research online, or consult with a personal trainer to help you start your fitness journey, you will not regret it.
Lifting weights properly with the right intensity also has been shown to improve metabolism! By lifting weights consistently, your lean muscle mass will increase slowly over time. Since muscle is such a dense tissue, muscle cells use more energy than normal tissue cells to maintain their structure and function properly. Though the increase in metabolism isn’t huge, it is still enough of a reason to make lifting part of your routine!
Another form of resistance training, known as “High Intensity Interval Training” or “HIIT” is also very effective at keeping that metabolism revving away. This kind of training involves performing all out exercise for a bout of 10-45 seconds, followed by a rest interval of 45-2 minutes, performed for sets ranging from 4-10. Though this kind of training is short, it is not for the faint of heart or mind, but it is definitely worth it! Studies show that HIIT actually causes your metabolism to continue to be elevated even after you are done exercising. Are you sold yet?!
Weightlifting can also improve insulin sensitivity – causing your body to become more efficient at utilizing glucose for fuel. What does this mean for you? Well, your body will be able to use glucose (sugar) more efficiently – giving you more energy, better workouts, a better mood, better sleep, and the list goes on! Since weight training depletes muscle glycogen during training bouts, more of the carbs you eat will be used to replenish your muscle glycogen fuel stores.
Bone Density Benefits
Are you already thin and in shape yet still question whether you want to lift weights? Well, weight lifting can also improve bone density. Young and old, everyone can appreciate maintaining and improving bone mass. As you age, your bones become less and less dense, which is unpreventable. This is especially important for females, whose risk of osteoporosis goes up after menopause.
However, lifting moderate to heavy weights every week can help maintain bone density and slow the effects of aging. Among the effects of aging, is loss of cognitive and memory function. Good news – lifting weights actually improves cognitive function, problem solving, and memory!
Now that we have uncovered the secrets of success, what’s holding you back? Don’t fear the weights!