February 17th, 2012

FITNESS & HEALTH

Fitness: The Truth About Women and Weightlifting

Photo: freecodesource.com

In my six years as a personal trainer, from New York City to San Diego, it seems every woman believes she is cursed with a special affliction that goes something like this: “I just bulk up so quickly!” As a result, she avoids weights over 10 pounds and vastly favors cardio over strength training. What these women perceive as “bulking” is actually the temporary swelling of muscle, allowing increased blood flow to assist in building the lean, dense muscle that increases metabolism and firmness. Females ultimately lack the hormones to significantly increase muscle mass without an extremely specific program designed to do exactly that. Ask any man who has tried to put on 10 lbs of muscle…it won’t happen accidentally. So ladies, before you give up on the weights and hop back on the hamster wheel, try the following for at least 6 weeks:

  • Choose weights that cause you to reach muscle failure between 10 and 20 repetitions. If it is physically possible to complete a 21st repetition, the weight is too light.
  • For every 20 minutes of cardio, shoot for 20 minutes of strength training.
  • Be patient! When the swelling subsides, your legs, arms, and butt will be smaller and firmer than before.

Robbie McMillin (NSCA-CPT) cut his teeth in some of the top gyms and private clubs in Manhattan. Trading in the cobblestone streets of SoHo for the sunny beaches of San Diego, he is now the Director of the wildly popular Barry’s Bootcamp in Hillcrest. His personal fitness philosophy puts an emphasis on simplicity, efficiency, and enjoyment: fitness is the 2% of your life that makes the other 98% exceptional!

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