Many women are taught that if they lift weights, they will become bulky. They avoid heavy weights, and opt for small, lightweight ones in order to achieve the toned look they are trying to achieve. While cardio and exercises like Pilates are important parts of any training program, the truth of the matter is that in order to achieve the toned muscles, you need to lose fat and gain muscle.

 

(Related: Living Healthy in an 8-5 World: Spotlight on Personal Trainer Kayla Itsines)

 

There is not better way to do this than by lifting the weights that many women are so fearful of. The fact of the matter is that women do not have the hormonal build up to become as bulky as men. Women who do have the big muscles achieve their look with very high calorie diets, massive doses of protein, and oftentimes, growth hormones.

 

Women have much lower testosterone levels than men and higher estrogen, which means that it is harder for women to build muscle mass.

 

Weight Lifting (www.wellandgoodnyc.com)

Weight Lifting (www.wellandgoodnyc.com)

In addition, simply putting in hours of cardio at the gym will not achieve any muscle growth, which means no muscle definition. Instead, you must push your muscles out of their comfort level. According to Bodybuilding.com “Provided you also follow a proper diet for fat loss, heavy weights will create the greatest change to how your body looks.”

 

Lifting weights will also help you lose fat. Since lifting temporarily tears your muscles, in order to grow back your body will use more calories, and in turn use fat as an energy source — even hours after you leave the gym. More importantly, having muscles will help you later on in life by reducing chances of injury and keeping you safer as you age.

 

What are you waiting for? Try our fail proof tips and start building strong, lean muscle today.

 

  1. Learn proper form. This is personal trainer Nia Shanks’  first tip to start lifting weights. “It’s much easier to learn proper form initially than to develop poor habits and try to break them later,” she says. Ask a friend, watch YouTube videos, and ask for technique support from people at your gym — more often than not people are more than happy to help.

 

  1. Start small. Do not over exert yourself. Try to incorporate a few weight lifting exercises into your daily routine and start building your way up. This will help you gain muscle and stay motivated to learn more.

 

  1. Focus on compound movements. These will combine the most muscle groups into one move, which enables you to engage more body parts and burn the most calories. Doing compound movements will help you see the best results from your weight training.

 

  1. Have fun. In order to stick with any fitness program, it needs to be enjoyable for you. We suggest starting with just the moves you like and then incorporating more difficult ones. Over time you will find that weight lifting is more and more enjoyable as you build strength. Just stick with it.

 

 Let us know if you have any questions along your weight lifting journey! Ask us anytime in the comments below or tweet me @LydiaYekalam