Hey everyone!

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while – I’ve been working hard on my dissertation, but that’s all done now, so I’m back.

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Something that’s been on my mind a lot while I’ve been away from blogging is the fear many women seem to have regarding lifting weights. If you’re reading this and are worried that lifting weights will make you ‘look manly’, listen up…

Lifting weights will not make you bulky!

It won’t make you wake up one morning looking like Arnie, or any of the other amazing body builders out there. It will, however, sculpt your body and burn fat while giving you a great figure.

Part of the reason I’m writing this post is because I used to be just like you – I was reluctant to lift weights, or drink protein shakes because I thought I would bulk out and end up looking like a body builder – which, by the way, there is nothing wrong with…it’s just that the majority of women who are just starting out getting fit aren’t after the body builder physique.

I used to stick to cardio, happily sweating away on the treadmill, cross trainer and rowing machine hoping it would leave me with the physique I saw in fitness magazines.

I dabbled in weight lifting a bit – basically just using the leg press machine and dip station, but never spent more than about ten minutes of my workouts using weights…and certainly never lifted any free weights. I didn’t want to get big after all – at the time I was serious about that but now I am, of course, being sarcastic.

beware-of-sarcasm

I eventually decided to start listening to the advice from a few friends who had been weight lifting and tried it. I admit, I was petrified the first time – thinking I was going to gain pounds of muscle in a week and end up getting bulky, but as soon as I felt the burn (DOMS) after that first session, I was hooked. I’ve been lifting for quite a while now and, for the record, still am not in any way bulky or ‘manly’.

I am, however, for the first time in my life, starting to see my glutes growing (after always having a totally flat butt) and am currently working on sculpting my waist (abs/obliques) for summer.

Now don’t get your hopes up thinking that if you switch to lifting weights that you’ll look like Christina Halkiopoulos *cue heavenly music* in a month or anything silly like that. To get a body that incredible you’ll need to work hard for a very long time, but you will notice improvements in your body shape fairly quickly…and once you start to notice improvements, you won’t be able to stay away from the gym.

Sadly it’s not as simple as a few days of squats and you get a perfect bubble butt, but I definitely noticed better results once I added weight lifting to my workout routine, rather than just doing cardio.

Before anyone jumps to cardio’s defense, I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying that if you want a sculpted body with super sexy curves then you should introduce weights to your routine. I do HIIT sessions two or three times a week too so I’m not saying to completely avoid cardio…especially if you’re one of the rare few who actually enjoys running.

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By all means, keep doing cardio but don’t be afraid of lifting weights as well, ladies. It may seem a little daunting at first as it’s not your usual workout routine but I’m pretty sure you once found what is now your current routine scary at first, yet look at you now.

Don’t just go into the gym totally clueless and start lifting weights here, there and everywhere though – that’s sure to lead to injury. Everyone has to start somewhere, so talk to your gym coach and ask for some help getting started so you know you’re doing the right thing. Don’t be afraid to ask your coach for help, that’s what they are there for.

Don’t be afraid of lifting weights.

If you do still need more convincing, check out my post about 10 reasons for women to start weight lifting.