Achieving a perfect body and good health is something that both men and women desire. For men, it is often clear that you must work out and train hard to develop muscles and an attractive build. Weight lifting is the most common workout men opt for in order to develop the desirable body.
But what about women? Most women will comment that weight lifting causes bulging muscles and a masculine build which they would rather not have. However, studies and the real facts indicate otherwise. You don’t have to worry about ending up bulky – you’d need a specific ‘muscle-gain’ program to do that. Good advice is to lift weights at least 2-3 times each week for 30-45 minutes, and have found this by far the most effective way to lose body fat and create a sculpted look. There are many women who use weights to maintain a lean curvaceous figure with the right distribution of muscles. The impressive physique of Jennifer Aniston is partially attributed to weights.
Will I gain those big muscles if I lift weights?
This is the biggest fear of women who just want to achieve the perfect figure. Weight lifting gives the immediate illusion of big muscles, biceps and triceps since this is what men achieve lifting weights. It is important to remember that the hormone testosterone plays a significant role in muscle growth and development in men. This hormone occurs naturally in men in the range of 200 – 1200ng/dl. In women, the range is 15 – 70ng/dl. This clearly demonstrates that men have more testosterone than women and the man with the lowest level still has almost thrice the woman with the most testosterone. When lifting weight, women are less likely to develop the big muscles men develop since they have low testosterone to influence muscle build.
There should be no difference in men and women training
According to research studies, men and women can perfectly reach their targets training the same way. The media has often purported that women need a special type of training to avoid looking like men in their output. However, the testosterone story clearly tells a different story. There are women who lift weights in the same training as men without supplementing their efforts with testosterone injections. Their results differ from what men achieve through weight lifting. They never grow big muscles but simply shed off the extra fat to achieve a lean trim and perfect shape that most women desire to attain. The superficial overview is that you need 1-5 reps for strength, 6 – 12 reps for hypertrophy and 12 and above reps for endurance. This is a vague analysis although it gives you an idea of the training required. You need weights that you can lift at least 6 reps but not more than 12 reps. This is the ideal weight that will help you burn the extra calories and grow lean muscles.
The real benefits of weight lifting to women
Women have the same reasons for training as men and while the visual results may differ, the intent is the same. Men are more desirable with bigger muscles and a sexy tanned abdomen. Women on the other hand look more attractive with a curvaceous lean muscle frame.
Most women will hit the gym and go straight to machines which are effective in shedding extra pounds and increasing energy demand. In fact, the popular workout among women is cardio and when they cross over to weight lifting, they only pick up light 5-pound weights which they use to do endless reps. This does little to helping you gain muscle and as you already know, you cannot achieve the curvaceous trim with extra fat on your frame. You must shed off the calories and build lean muscles that give your strength and perfect contour. Fat can be distributed anyhow and deposited in any place the body chooses to. Muscles are however developed in specific areas and can be modeled as desired. You can work on specific muscles and tissues using various workouts.
Women must therefore lift more challenging weights that stimulate muscle growth. Although machines can help you lose weight and gain some muscles, it cannot be as effective as free-weight and compound exercises. Weightlifting takes a toll on the body and immediately prompts it to dedicate more nutrients and resources in building slightly bigger, stronger muscles in the areas you put tension on. All the other workouts are highly boosted with challenging weightlifting. What’s more, you can achieve various maneuvers lifting weight. Squats, dead-lifts and lunges will help you target specific muscle pools including hamstring, biceps, triceps, back and abs muscles, leg and thigh among others. Therefore, you will achieve even growth and distribution.
What about dieting?
While men and women can benefit differently from the same training, they have different diet requirements. Men naturally have less fat to muscle ratio compared to women who have fewer muscles in their body. Women have a higher fat-to-carb burning ratio than men which is probably why they perform better on low carb diets. However, the most important thing is to watch your caloric intake. If you consume more calories than you burn, you will end up gaining more weight. Nonetheless, you must be watchful not to underfeed your body. Consume sufficient protein, essential fats and carbs, stay hydrated and watch your insulin secretion since it is the hormone that directly impacts sugar-fat conversion and weight gain. Aspects of sufficient rest and sleep, breaking off your schedule and allowing your body to recover are all important when training.
Women should not refrain from weightlifting simply because of the misconceptions spread around. Nothing beats weightlifting when it comes to achieving the unique physique and it works for women just the same way it does for men. If you are doing it the right way, you will definitely get the results you are looking for. Nonetheless, you should remember that there is more to fitness that just the workout and issues of nutrition, relaxation and stress elimination are all important in influencing how you adapt to your workouts.