Ladies, want to look like Jessica Biel?
Then it’s time to start lifting weights! (And not the pink or purple ones, heavy ones)
I use Jessica Biel as an example because many women have told me that their “fantasy” body would look like hers.
(Now, I definitely don’t think it’s good for any of us to want to look like someone else. But I do think, if you’re looking to shape your body in a certain way that you understand how it is done).
Although many women want this type of tight & toned body, I don’t see them doing the right exercises to make this reality.
A body like this does not come from yoga, pilates, spin, zumba, barre, or any of the other fitness classes.
This body comes from building muscle by lifting heavy weights and eating a diet that supports a low body fat – sub 16%.
So, why aren’t more women lifting weights?
I wondered the same thing.
When I ask women if they lift weights they usually say “no”.
When I follow up with why, the response is some sorts of variation of “I don’t want to look like a man,” or, “lifting weights makes me bulky.”
Every time I hear this, my stomach takes a dive.
The thought of women forgoing their own slammin’ hot body and other important health benefits weight training offers for an absolute fallacy drives me bananas.
Why you’ll never look like Hulk Hogan
Because, simply stated: it’s not possible.
The reason: a small word called physiology.
Your physiology as a woman determines your hormones. Hormones are the regulators of biochemical actions in the body. They tell the body to store fat, build muscle, burn fat, etc.
In order to gain muscle you need a hormone named testosterone. Testosterone is an anabolic hormone that makes muscle grow. While women do have some testosterone in their bodies they have far less than men – roughly ten times less. That is why any man that lifts weights over time gains muscle. It is very easy and natural for them, physiologically speaking.
For women it’s just not the same.
We simply don’t have enough testosterone running through our veins. It is actually hard for us to build muscle. That is why you never see a woman walking around with a Hulk Hogan body. Ever.
Women who lift weights regularly, in conjunction with a smart diet, remain small but curvy, in all the right places. I’m talking tiny waists and curvy backsides. A great example of this is Jessica Biel.
Look at those shoulders and arms…Look at those abs.
That is muscle from lifting weights.
Endless steady state cardio, spin, aerobics, and yoga alone just can’t produce a body like this.
She is pumpin’ iron to get those curves. (And heavy iron at that)
Why Lifting Weights is Good in the Long Term
Besides looking hot like Jessica in the short term, there are also really practical reasons to lift weights for your health in the long term. Increasing your metabolism and preventing bone loss are two of them.
As we age we more easily lose muscle, which is less than optimal. When we lower our total muscle mass we lower our overall BMR (basal metabolic rate) – the amount of calories we burn throughout the day at rest. So if you remain eating the same calories over time without doing anything to prevent this muscle loss, you are going to gain weight.
We also lose bone density as we age. Calcium is robbed from our bones for many reasons. Therefore, it is imperative to take measures to prevent this so we don’t end up with a broken hip or as a hunchback with kyphosis when we’re older. Building muscle prevents this.
With every 1 pound of lean muscle you build, you can burn 50 more calories each day and your basal metabolic rate (BMR) can increase by up to 15%.
What does that mean?
It means that while you’re watching television or even sleeping you will be burning more calories than you would without that muscle. It also means that if you normally burn 1500 calories per day, that now you will burn an additional 225 calories per day. Who doesn’t like that?
Numerous studies have shown that weight training not only reduces bone density loss but also actually increases it. This helps to reduce your chances of hip fracture in the future, osteoporosis, which is becoming more and more prevalent. Also women who weight train tend to be more flexible and have stronger ligaments and tendons that prevent them from injury. What’s not to love about that?
Benefits of Lifting Weights Spills over to Other Areas of Your Life
Lifting weight is empowering. When you set a weight goal and then achieve it, something you didn’t think possible a few weeks before, you gain big time, and more than just muscle. You gain confidence. Confidence that you can push past limits you couldn’t do before. How’s that for a gain? And this newfound confidence will spill over into other areas of your life, just watch.
But besides that, lifting weights is totally useful. Whether you are holding your favorite niece, carrying a bag of groceries, or packing up an overloaded backpack for your next trip abroad you’re using your muscle. And the more muscle you have the easier and more enjoyable these activities will be. Plus having more muscle will prevent you from potential injury, like a strained back or pulled muscle.
Now I’d like to hear from you – Do you lift weights? What are your perceptions as a women about weight training? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
So who’s ready to go pump some iron? I know I am.
See you in the weights section soon,