The other day, when I was clicking my way through random pictures on Instagram, not so much a picture, but a comment on a picture caught my attention. The picture itself was a before and after pic of a relatively skinny girl in a bikini. I personally didn’t actually see a big difference…maybe she was a little more toned in the after picture, but already in pretty good shape before. Anyways, one concerned person asked her whether she was exercising to become skinnier, and she answered: “I mostly do weight training. I hope that answers your question ;)”
A common misconception among women and girls seems to be that weight training is only good for building muscle and bulking up, not for burning fat. Think again girls! While cardio is great for losing weight, it’s simply not enough to achieve that lean physique you’ve always dreamt of. Yes, weight training helps to build muscle, but in order to build muscle your body has to burn calories, which in turn boosts your metabolism, and we all know what happens when our metabolism is boosted, we burn even more calories…even when we’re just sitting in front of the TV.
When it comes to bulking up, on the other hand, don’t even think it’s that easy. It is extremely difficult for women to build visible muscle mass that goes beyond a toned and strong body. It requires a lot of discipline, dedication, intense weight training and a very specific diet, so don’t be afraid to lift…you won’t just accidently end up looking like the female version of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. Your weight may stay the same if you predominantly lift (or even increase), but you will see a huge difference in the mirror, and finally fit into those dreaded skinny jeans again.
So if you want to burn some serious fat, I suggest you eat clean and do a circuit of exercises that engage the largest number of muscles (e.g. lunges, squats, kettlebell swings, burpees, pull ups, and push ups) using moderately heavy weights. Simple, but effective!
On a side note: The other day in the gym, I saw a girl squatting 110kg (I can do 50kg at best). She was quite tall, but skinnier than me and sooo perfectly toned. Best example of how weight training, does NOT make you big, but beautifully strong! Over and out!