Is weight-lifting the only answer to strength training? Can you use your own body weight to get the same results? These are all the questions we frequently here from women looking to start weight lifting.
Question #1: Will lifting weights make me bulky?
ANSWER: Females have considerably less testosterone than males and because of this, it also effects the amount of muscle they are able to gain.
A total-body weight training programme, done regularly without too much volume, is an effective way to strip fat that is covering muscles giving that ‘toned’ appearance a lot of women desire.
Question #2: Do I need to use weights all the time?
ANSWER: Some of women’s favourite exercises to create length from strength training include single leg RDLs (Romanian Dead Lifts), inchworms (walking the hands from a forward fold into plank and back again) and high planks with alternate arm reaches – all of which can be done without weights.
Questions #3: Will working out my legs make me have boxy thighs?
Glute bridges, RDL’s and back extensions are all great exercises for lengthening the legs. They can be done using body weight, or made more challenging with resistance bands or weights.
Question #4: If I do a lot of crunches, will my abs show?
Ab exercises alone won’t be what creates a toned looking stomach. You need exercises that will burn fat, which is where weight training comes in.
A combination of clean nutrition, good quality sleep, some high intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio circuits such as Tabata training, along side resistance training (lifting weights) will help you develop better abs.
Question #5: Is lifting heavier weights more important than reps?
ANSWER: It really depends on your body type. Some women respond better to heavier weights with fewer reps, where some respond better to lighter weights and more reps.
You have to find out what works for your body.
Question #6: Is it true we all have to use the leg press machines?
ANSWER: There are lots of different body types and machines can be quite rigid in their set up.
Some people may have longer legs, shorter torso’s, and using free weights allows for the variability of body type.