Fitness can be intimidating. Even small, mom-and-pop gyms are usually full of weird-looking machines, equipment you don't know how to use, and unapproachable sexy people lugging around milk cartons full of pink water. Most of us new to the world of weights will walk into a gym feeling immediately overwhelmed. There's so much going on it's difficult to even know where to begin!
That's when the non-scary elliptical calls your name. Your friendly neighborhood cardio machines have never failed you, so you jump on one and start swooshing. And that's where you stay, silently watching other people go about their awesome-looking workouts.
TRAINING WEIGHT TRAINING FOR A BETTER BODY
Many women worry that weight training will somehow transform them into Hulk-ettes, so they spend hours doing cardio in order to maintain their “feminine” figure. The truth is, women just don't have the hormonal support to gain muscle mass like men. The hormone testosterone is responsible for large increases in muscle mass. Women's testosterone levels are a fraction of men's. That means you can bench press without concerning yourself about how much chest hair you might grow.
There are women, typically professional bodybuilders, who look masculine. It takes many, many years of dedication and a particular lifestyle to achieve this sort of muscularity. Unless you have goals of becoming the next star in female bodybuilding, you don't ever need to worry about looking too masculine.
You're right about one thing, though: training with weights will increase your lean muscle mass. That's a good thing! The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn. The more calories you burn, the leaner you'll get. Increased muscle mass will also add shape to your arms, take inches from your tummy, and even add some roundness to your booty! When women's magazines talk about “tone,” they're really talking about strong muscles.
REACH YOUR FITNESS GOALS EFFICIENTLY
Another problem women run into is that they just don't know what they should be lifting or why. We hear and read things like “split,” “leg day,” and “programming,” but have no context for those ideas or how they apply to us.
All those fancy words refer to one thing: the routine you'll use to achieve your fitness goals. To get the best results from lifting, it's important to lift with purpose and direction. You can't wander from machine to machine without first establishing which exercises and which amount of sets and reps will best help you achieve your goals.
If you're not sure how to reach your goals most efficiently, try one of our awesome trainers. It's like having a personal trainer, except you don't have to pay for one. We've done all the prep for you—all you have to do is follow along!