We'd like to dispel the most common strength training myth right now. You will not bulk up from strength training. We hear this concern nearly every day from our clients and explain to all of them that it's physiologically impossible for women to create giant muscles because their bodies don't produce the testosterone that a human body requires to bulk up.
The link between testosterone and muscle size is the reason why most men are larger than most women. It's why men have more upper body strength, and it's why nobody asks girls to open the lid on the pickle jar. It's also why those meatheads on the cover the muscle magazines and the major league baseball players with the gorilla-like arms inject testosterone-based steroids to get so enormous. Testosterone builds muscles. So unless you've got testicles, you won't bulk up from strength training. Period.
Benefits of Strength Training
Now that we know what strength training won't do, let's talk about the incredible things it will do.
- Strength training will rapidly increase your weight loss. Pick up any health or fitness magazine and you'll see yet another study showing that women who combine cardio workouts with weight training lose significantly more weight than those who only do one or the other. The combination of cardio and strength training is like kryptonite to fat cells.
- Strength training prevents osteoporosis. It increases bone density, making your entire skeletal system stronger and more resilient.
- Strength training doesn't make you larger, it makes you smaller. We can point to ourselves as evidence. Most women at the gym lift 8-pound dumbbells. We use 15-pound and 20-pound weights, yet we're both a size 4 and have smaller bodies and more lean definition in our arms and legs than the majority of the pink dumbbell users, who usually appear sort of soft and doughy. That's because muscle burns more calories than fat. The more lean muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolism rate. Strength training turns you into a fat melting machine … even when you're sitting around doing nothing. How cool is that?
So concentrate on the obvious: Fat makes you look big and bulky; strength training makes you look athletic, sculpted, and sexy. If you don't believe us, ask any man if he'd rather date Posh Spice or Jessica Alba. Skinny is out. Strong and athletic is in!
Simple Strength Moves
These exercises require zero equipment and can be done in your house! Perform two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions a few times a week.
- Incline push-ups (You can do these on the bottom step of the stairs or against the kitchen counter.)
- Tricep dips
- Double knee tuck
- Leg circles
- Open books
Please consult with your physician or healthcare provider before embarking on a new diet or exercise program. Nothing contained on this site should be considered as, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.