Re: Lies about weight lifting, bulking up and fat loss....!!!!!
03/08/05 04:23 PM
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Ughh!! I'm sorry but this is one of my HUGEST pet peeves.
Clarification: lifting heavy will NOT make women 'bulk up' or get any 'gross' looking huge muscles. There's this stupid myth out there that says that lifting heavy weights will somehow overdevelop women's muscles. Total garbage! Women's bodies are not built to have those kind of muscles that men have - bulky masculine muscles etc. We just don't have those hormones. The simple fact is that the heavier you lift, the stronger your muscles will get, and the more able and efficient your body will be to burn fat. Simple as that. This is from a really good website, which says it better than I'm trying to here:
LIE: Weight training will make you huge and masculine.
Probably the worst lie ever. People look at women bodybuilders and say, "Ohmigawd, they're huge and if I lift anything heavy I'll look like that too." Nope. In general, women are not able to build monstrous muscle mass in the same manner as men, due to a number of physiological factors. It's a rare woman that can become a competitive bodybuilder, and to get that big she has to combine genetics, extensive long-term training, strict diet, and supplementation (legal or otherwise).
If you enjoy watching bodybuilding, have a look at the tested (natural, i.e. steroid free) shows versus the untested (anything goes) shows. You will notice a great difference in the builds of the women onstage. A natural female bodybuilder is lean, almost wiry, and certainly not the mythical monsters whom exercising women fear resembling (have a look at my reader letters page to see some examples). Also, women bodybuilders do not normally have the low levels of bodyfat that they do while in competition. Low bodyfat makes muscles stand out, and it changes the contours of the face, making jawlines and cheekbones prominent, which contributes to a rather unnatural look. Bodybuilders about to go on stage for a competition look quite odd, actually, due to dehydration, extremely low bodyfat, and deep tans. During the offseason, competitors' bodyfat is higher, and in clothing, most wouldn't stand out as unusual in any way.
The average woman (that's you) cannot achieve a masculine monster look simply through strength training. You're not going to wake up after a workout and be huge. You don't believe me? OK, then, try to get huge. Just try. And see how far you get.
And also, on lifting to lose weight...
Weight training is a must for long term fat loss
One of the stupidest pieces of advice I've heard is that overweight people shouldn't weight train because it will build muscle that will push the fat out more. It's very hard to build that kind of muscle mass in a short time, or ever. In fact overweight folks are perfect candidates for weight training.
Any loss of bodyweight involves a loss of both fat and muscle. The key is to maximize the fat loss and minimize the muscle loss. You do this through both your diet and your training. In terms of training, cardio alone doesn't cut it. Extended bouts of cardio are catabolic to muscle, which means they contribute to muscle mass loss. So you might lose some fat, but in the long term, your metabolism is compromised because you've lost muscle too. For long term body recomposition, nothing seems to get results that measure up to weight training combined with other activity (if desired) and sensible nutrition.
Weight training has other benefits besides retention of muscle. It helps keep you motivated as you see strength gains quickly, as most newbies do. Many folks report that strengthening the muscles results in less joint pain and less difficulty in moving around.
This doesn't mean you should run into the gym and start killing yourself. The beauty of weight training is that it can be easily modified to every trainee's needs, and adjusted as the trainee becomes stronger and more familiar with technique. Many overweight beginners are surprised to discover how strong they actually are.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to explode on you or aything Kimm! This is just a total MYTH that gets fed to women when they start lifting weights that's totally not true. It just toally irks me to see women spending so much time in the gym and only trying these teeny tiny little weights for a million reps! It's a total waste of time.
Ok stepping off my soap box now... thanks for listening!
OUTSTANDING INFO!! I agree with you I use 8-10# dumbells in my class when the others are using 3-6...I don't know what they are getting out of it... and tiny tinny little weights on the bars... I load my up... PUSH yourself....if it's too much then take the weight off... In my body scuplting class I'm going to tonight... I go a little lighter 6# because she does not have us count reps but rather we do TIME and fatige the muscles...THEN do cardio after... but my goal is to burn fat, and tone!!
My question is.... about abs.... if you have a big tire around the waist (like I still kinda do) is a lot of ab work really helping or should I wait until most of the tire is gone??