I believe that this is a very common question that a lot of gymgoers, especially those new to the scene, asks their peers. Somehow, there is a very, very very wrong assumption that weightlifting or resistance training is only meant for men.
This topic came about during my hangout session with Ash over the weekend and he mentioned that a few of his female ex-classmates were telling him that they want to lose weight and look good so badly but they do not want to do any weight training with fear that it would build muscles that make them look like men.
So I figured, its time to break the myth.
Here's the golden rule ladies, weightlifting does not immediately bulk you up, but in fact that it helps you tone your body and in the same time help burn fat faster than just cardio!
The simple fact is that looking good is NOT ABOUT STARVING yourself thin but rather having a gym tight body that looks healthy. A lot of ladies, my wife included, have this perception that all they need to do is to eat less and burn as much as possible from cardio.
In another words, please consider the following facts:
1. Fit Girls over Skinny Girls, anytime of the day
I don't know about you guys out there, but I prefer a girl with a healthy look over a stick insect looking one anytime of the day. The problem here is that a lot of people usually perceive the "zombie, starving" look as attractive.
There is an urgent need for people to understand that this is not the way to go for fitness among ladies. Starving oneself is just going to invite more health problems which is SERIOUSLY not worth it.
I would agree with the article on "Fitness Food and Fitspo" that mentioned:
"Now ask yourself this question, do you want to be skinny, unhealthy and have no shape to your body at all or do you want to be fit and healthy allowing you to look great in any outfit you wear? The latter is a result of weight/resistance training so I suggest you ditch the boring cardio!"
2. Toning - Have a Tight Body and a Nice Ass While You're at It!
Now that we have establish that looking good is not just about looking skinny, weight training helps a lot on not only in burning down the calories but also toning up the body as whole. Logic would dictate that the human body is covered entirely on muscle therefore it needs the workout to get itself in shape.
Fellow Teh Tarik gymgoer Virgil was a huge fan of weightlifting and still managed to avoid a "man like" body in the process. In fact, she did credit a lot of her body transformation on a healthy balance of cardio, weight training and yoga to get where she was.
3.Step Up your Fat Burning Workout!
One of the biggest "joykill" in doing cardio is that training and running on a treadmill can get boring. As a runner, I do realize that after a while, there is only so much the average mind can focus while being on a treadmill.
So a high intensity weight training can give a big variation of workouts that either burns the same amount or even more calories compared to just running. That way, your weekly workouts doesn't look mundane and would give you something to look forward to everytime you do your workout.
4. Avoid the Body from Going to Plateau
Without the necessary weight training, one of the biggest problem that happens is that you do not prep your body to be strong enough to be doing constant cardio workouts. The knees especially, becomes prone to short term and long term injuries should you not have the necessary training to strengthen the area first.
Bear in mind, after a while the body will adjust itself accordingly and the workouts that you have been doing would no longer bear the same result as before. So it is important to change it up a little every now and then.
5. Muscle Building Takes More than Just Lifting Weights
The one final point on this is the most important. LIFTING DOES NOT NECESSARY RESULT TO BIG MUSCLES!
If people can gain massive muscles by just weight lifting, the gym will be full of muscle bound lifters after just one week.
The fact is, muscle building takes a combination of workouts, nutrition and most importantly high testosterone level that contributes to large muscle building.
So, there is should not be any fear for ladies to gain too much of a muscle body as it takes more than just lifting weights.
In conclusion, I implore ladies working out there to put in the effort in your workout to include resistance training in your routine. The focus here is to not do the same amount of weights as the men does but focusing more on lower amount of weights but higher number of repetition.
I'll be doing a write up on effective workout for ladies with weight training. In the mean time, do check out other blogs that promote workouts for ladies on their view on this topic. I highly suggest Fay Hokulani's Site for more ideas on working out for ladies!