I can understand the concern about getting too big. I mean, who wants to wake up one morning looking like Lou Ferrigno? Not that he’s not a nice guy, but my goal doesn’t involve 280 pounds of lean body mass. I get it.
My goal with this blog post is to dissolve the concerns between lifting heavy weight and getting “too big.” This is probably one of the biggest concerns for my female clients, as well as some men. They’re scared that if they lift heavy, they are going to get big and bulky and start looking “all muscular.” Gross!
I’m not sure how this way of thinking became so mainstream, but it’s seemed to have caught on now it’s almost impossible to change anyones mind about it. Here’s the thinking: “If I lift heavy, I’ll get too muscular and look like a body builder, so I want to lift light weight for high reps and that will make me look like a swimsuit model.” This sound familiar? Almost all of my clients will say this to me at some point.
Here’s the reality: It takes a ton of work to build muscle. Not just time spent in the gym, but constant attention to diet and nutrition. Body builders, physique models, Crossfit competitors and power lifters are just a few sports that seem to breed the muscular physique that most people, who don’t want to get big, despise. In order to alter your body composition this drastically, we’re talking about hours and hours in the gym, every day, with forward thinking attention on increasing strength and power. It means complete and utter muscle fatigue after every workout. This is the only way muscle will grow.
How many people do you know have said, “Oh my God, I don’t know what happened. I was working out and the next thing I knew, I was huge!” Nobody. Nobody ever says that. You might see someone and think, that girls too muscular or that guys too jacked, but I’ll let you in on a little secret…they want to look that way. Those people have worked really hard to change their body. They’ve made the choice to workout hard, lift heavy and eat a proper diet to look that exact way.
Check out Tiffanee, she’s an example of someone who’s lost weight and gained muscle through weight training. These types of results come from a rigorous training and nutrition plan. You can read Tiffanee’s story at the Body By Sandy site.
Now, let’s get down to it. You want to tone up and lose body fat, right? I know, I’m psychic. Here’s what you have to do. Lift like a body builder. I’m not saying all the time, but you should make it part of your routine. Maybe you lift heavy once or twice a week, then do metabolic training a couple days and maybe squeeze in your favorite spin or yoga class. It’s up to you, but don’t shy away from lifting heavy weight if you truly want to change. Our bodies adapt to the stresses we put on it.
There are also some real benefits to having more muscle. It increases fat lose, enhances bone density, joint strength and can be used to increase cardiovascular capacity. You don’t get the same level of benefits by lifting light and walking on the treadmill.
Last words. If your goal in life is to feel, look and be healthy, you’ve got to mix it up. Don’t be afraid to lift heavy. You’ll be happy you did.