More times than not, I am the lone girl in the weight room at the gym.
Cardio room? Full of women.
Locker room? Packed with girls.
The room with the lame-ass weight machines? Some ladies, at least.
But the free weight room? A genuine female dead zone.
Why is this?
As I see it, we’re facing three separate problems.
First off, many women don’t know how to use free weights. They’ve never been taught, they don’t know how it will help them, and they’d rather not go into the weight room and flail around there.
Secondly, women are intimidated because there aren’t any women already there, and they don’t want to join the Boys Club. This is something of a vicious cycle.
Thirdly, and most disturbingly, women don’t want to use weights because they are afraid they’ll bulk up. Generally, women are working out to make themselves smaller, while men are working out to make themselves bigger. Men use weights, so they must make you bigger, right?
WRONG. Wrong!!! Never, ever think that!!
Do you have any idea how HARD men work, with the sole intention of bulking up? Do you have any idea just how heavy they lift? The amounts of protein powder they consume? They have testosterone in a way that we just do not. They build muscle in a way that we just do not, will not, can not.
Are you planning on benching 180 pounds? Doing curls with 40′s?
I didn’t think so.
Cardio is great and irreplaceable, of course. The best option for all over fat reduction. But that isn’t the whole equation. You need muscle to look lean. You need muscle to boost your metabolism and burn fat.
If you want a hot body—a REALLY hot body—you need muscle.
No matter how skinny you get, if you want to look toned, you need muscle. Doubt me? Name your celeb body inspiration.
Jessica Biel? Candice Swaenpoel? Jessica Alba?
Muscle. Muscle. Muscle.
Don’t be afraid of free weights… and I emphasize FREE weights. Those assisted-weight-machine-thingys are bullshit. Period.
They’re ineffective and a waste of everyone’s time. You’re going to get a better all-over workout with free weights because they aren’t stabilizing you—you’re fully in control of what you’re lifting, and how you’re lifting it. Your obliques are keeping you steady while you’re working your shoulders. Your lower abs are engaged while you’re doing flys. Your glutes are squeezing while you’re doing curls.
Those weight machines make it easy. You don’t want easy. You’re not going to get results with easy.
If you’re just starting, you don’t have to start huge! Start with 3’s, and work up to something more. You won’t believe the changes in your body! Get over your gym shyness—the worst thing that will happen in a weight room full of men is that you’ll finally talk to the cute guy by the dumbbells—and start lifting your way to a super-toned body!