No, it will not make you manly.

Posted: August 30, 2009 in training
Tags: ,

It’s difficult enough as is to convince ladies to start lifting weights. It’s even more difficult to get them to pick up weights that will have any effect on their physique. Women tend to gravitate towards the colored little dumbbells: 3, 5, 8 lbs, and if they’re feeling really strong, oooooh, 10 lbs!!! They fear that once the weights they lift creep into the double digits, they’ll get all she-hulkish and manly.

Trust me. It won't happen if you don't want it to.

Trust me. It won't happen if you don't want it to.

Think about this: how many lbs does the average woman’s bag weigh? Not the teeny glittery purses, ok! Bags like, say, for school or work? Definitely more than 3 lbs. Does anyone ever get “toned” by carrying her bag around? Hell no.

Another case in point: what about moms with kids? They carry their babies around, and babies definitely increase in weight. If light weights were enough to make a girl “toned,” it would be a lot less difficult to lose baby weight, and we’d have helluva a lot more fit new moms walking about. But that just isn’t the case, isn’t it? And in the same vein, once the kids get older and begin weighing more, the moms should start getting all bulky and macho. But that just doesn’t happen!

Her bag weighs more than the purple dumbbells.

Her bag weighs more than the purple dumbbells.

In our culture, it’s typical that women be thought of as fragile, delicate flowers, incapable of strength development. When I first told some of my more traditional relatives that I was lifting heavy weights, they were so worried about me. “Baka lumaki ka nyan!” was the common sentiment. A couple of years and a few dress sizes smaller later, I really don’t hear that much about it anymore. Thank goodness.

A lot of women also don’t want to start lifting weights because they believe that once you stop, you’ll get fat(ter). First of all, when you begin an exercise program, you shouldn’t be thinking about the day you can stop it. It’s a lifetime commitment. If you want to keep the fat off for the rest of your life, you’re going to have to work at it. Cheer up. Don’t be so sad. That’s really just the way it is. At least I’m telling you the truth.

Second, muscle cannot turn into fat just because you stop lifting weights. When muscle isn’t being stimulated, it atrophies. It gets smaller. So the magical muscle-transmutating-into-fat myth? It’s definitely not true. When you see people who get fat after stopping working out, it’s because of what they eat. They probably eat just as much as they did when they worked out, despite the decrease in their activity. So their muscle is not turning into fat, they’re just producing more fat because of their eating habits. So no, lifting weights won’t turn you into the she-hulk, and stopping lifting will not turn you into the blob. Don’t be afraid to pick up the weights, and don’t just stick to the cute ones.

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