Ladies, Should You Lift Heavy?

  In my experience as a personal fitness trainer, and from spending a lot of time at the gym, I’ve noticed a lot of women only doing cardio(elliptical,treadmill,etc.) because they have it in their mind that the only goal is to lose weight through burning calories. The few women I do see lifting weights not only choose weights that are too light but they don’t perform enough reps to get an optimal benefit.

If your goal is to perform 15 reps of an exercise – then you should be struggling to get the last 1 or 2 up. This will not cause you to gain HUGE muscles, but it will break your muscles down – which is GOOD! When we break down our muscle fibers we are not only burning calories during the workout. We will continue to use calories after the workout while our body repairs those “broken” muscles – how cool is that?!

As a personal trainer, I have a lot of my female clients telling me they want to stay away from lifting weights because they don’t want to “bulk up”. Although this is a common fear the likelihood is slim. To gain a bulky muscle mass you would need to eat a few thousand EXTRA calories a week, REALLY lift heavy(1-6 reps) and sorry ladies, you just don’t produce enough testosterone naturally – and testosterone is the primary muscle-building hormone.

So, when I say women need to lift heavy, I mean that they need to pick a weight that will be heavy on the last couple of reps. Some of the amazing benefits that proper resistance training provides are:

Increase in metabolism – how quick your body burns calories.

Increase in muscle definition – my female clients love when they notice the definition in their back/arms/etc. Improved functional strength – every day movements and activities will seem easier.

Less chance of injury – your body will be used to lifting and moving, reducing the risk of pulling something.

Increased bone mineral density. When you lift weights your bones get stronger!
Many other health benefits including  reduced blood pressure, reduced risk of heart problems, etc.

So, lets go ladies, lets see those guns!

-Zach Bennett