One common misconception is that women should stick to lifting lightweight dumbbells and leave the heavy lifting to the men. One reason this misconception manages to prevail is that many people still believe a woman will “bulk up” like a man is she lifts the same heavy weights. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The reason men are able to bulk up is due to the high level of testosterone in their systems. Women have eight to 10 times less than men; if men had the same amount as women, they would not bulk up either regardless of how much they lifted.
By women lifting heavier weights, it naturally encourages the release of testosterone and the growth hormone, both of which are required to build lean muscle and burn fat. However, building lean muscle in women means toning and firming existing muscle and adding just a touch of mass.
Lifting Strategies for Women
We know a women’s weight lifting routine should involve lifting weight, but different amounts, reps and sets will produce different results. By lifting heavy weight one to five reps, you’ll build strength. But lift moderately heavy for six to 15 reps and you’ll build shape and definition. Lift lighter weights for more than 15 reps per set and you’ll build endurance which is something you also want if training for a triathlon or other endurance event.
If you are new to weight lifting, start out lifting lighter weight for lots of repetitions. Not only will it help you build endurance, but it will give you a better feel on how to properly do the weighted exercise, before you start getting to the heavy weight. Once comfortable, start adding weight and cutting back on the number of reps.
Technique is Critical
In the last paragraph we mentioned learning how to do exercises correctly by first using light weights. The value of knowing how to do it right not only works the muscles intended to be worked from that exercise the right way, but by lifting correctly, you reduce the chance of a debilitating injury that could put you down for days, weeks or even end your lifting career.
If you want to get that sexy, lean, toned body that you have always dreamed about, then walk over to the “men’s” weight area and start lifting. You have nothing to lose but body fat and everything to gain in muscle toning and definition.