"Lifting for me, as a woman, makes me feel superhuman"
Entering the weights section at the gym can be daunting. Whether you’re a beginner or regular gym-goer, walking into an area full of sweaty men is not usually ideal. However, that feeling of intimidation is nothing in the face of the results you can achieve from heavy weight lifting.
Many women are guilty of restricting their training to cardio and body-weight exercises.
However, this only limits progression. Weight lifting is now the key for unlocking major results for Asian women just like you!
DESIblitz clears up the myths some women have about heavy weight lifting.
Will Heavy Weight Lifting make me Bulky?
Before delving into the specific benefits of heavy lifting, it is important to rubbish a common myth. Heavy weight lifting will not make you bulky. Exercise physiologist Dr Jason Karp says:
“If women want more definition, they should lift heavier since they cannot get bigger muscles because of low testosterone levels.”
So, thank your genetics ladies! Heavy lifting won’t turn you into Hrithik Roshan with his 6-pack abs. Instead, you’ll get the toned physique you’ve been dreaming of.
Does Heavy Weight Lifting help Fat Loss?
Heavy weight lifting is not just for muscle production, but also fat reduction. It is well-known for improving body composition.
Research by Bersheim and Bahr (2003) discovered that heavy resistance training maintained Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) to a longer degree than cardio and circuit weight training.
In simpler terms, metabolic rate was highest after heavy lifting. This allows fat burn to continue after exercise. So, killing yourself on the cardio machines is not as necessary as you think.
Why is Heavy Lifting so Beneficial?
Still not convinced that lifting heavy can take your training to the next level?
Well, gym expert and personal trainer, Maroun Lari, 28, further explains why women need to get friendly with the weights:
“Heavy lifting can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. It’s great for toning and defining your body, which is what women want to achieve a lot of the time.”
Mentioning other benefits, he also touches on its ability to “improve posture and strengthen muscles so that you can excel at other exercises”.
He discusses how to incorporate it into your workouts, explaining:
“It truly depends on your personal goals. If you’re looking to get really defined then 3 times a week, isolating different muscle groups, would be a great start.”
Weight Lifting Tips for Beginners
Understanding that many beginners will struggle to make that all-important start, Maroun emphasises the importance of seeking a plan that is “personally relevant to your age, health issues and fitness goals”.
He highlights their ability to assist your training, as they provide a definitive way to perform exercises. For example, the weight used and the number of sets and reps you do.
Talking in further detail about how you should lift weights, he states that: “A lot of the time, you will perform exercises until failure.”
This involves doing enough reps to cause muscle fatigue. However, he does clarify that: “Your body responds differently to other people. So, it is really important to stay away from generalised plans.”
How can Women Prevent Themselves from Getting Too Muscular?
Answering a question that occupies a lot of women’s minds, Maroun maintains the idea that women do not become bulky as a result of weight lifting. He says it’s vital that women understand that their muscles will grow but that diet has a “big role to play” in determining how muscular they will become.
Speaking of professional athletes and bodybuilders, he reminds us that they train to become muscular and so “will be eating according to this specific weight goal.” If you are attempting to lose weight, Maroun suggests introducing a “calorie-deficit” into your diet.
A calorie-deficit implies reducing the number of calories you consume compared to the amount you burn. So that more calories are being burnt than eaten overall.
This diet will also consist of eating nutritious foods and increasing protein to assist muscle development and recovery. Protein can be found in a range of foods such as meats and certain vegetables, but can also be taken in the form of a whey protein shake.
So why not give it a try? Make the step into heavy weight lifting that will take your physique to new heights. You will not only look good but also feel good, and here are some British Asian women who agree:
Racheal Kripal, 22, says: “Lifting for me, as a woman, makes me feel superhuman. It makes me feel strong, powerful and allows me to feel confident in the strength of my body.
“It allows me to discover the depths of my mental and physical capabilities and most importantly makes me feel like a badass!”
Sindy Sivanesan, 27, says:
“Weight training has helped me push past that plateau I was stuck at in my weight loss journey. For me, it’s about the mental relief I get. Seeing myself get stronger is a feeling I can’t even put into words! I wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for the world.”
However, remember to be cautious. In an attempt to increase weight, it can be easy to push yourself over your limit. Be sure that you use weights safely and under supervision. If you have any concerns, gym staff are always on hand to help you.
So, is heavy weight lifting going to be in your next workout?