Afraid of getting big muscles?

Many women avoid heavy weight training for fear of losing their female forms and end up with a bulky and nonfunctional body. Many stay with running, aerobics, spinning and light strength training, and not everyone are satisfied with the results they get. If you as a woman wants a body shaped like a bodybuilder, it requires very intense, specific, targeted and hard training. Would you prefer to be slender, shapely and strong, you should still not avoid the heavy weights.

Muskelkvinne

© Pavel Losevsky | Dreamstime.com

Muscles – a threat to the female forms?
So what do women want? Slimmer and firmer body, curvy lines, often with increased strength and endurance. But softness and flexibility are high on the list too. Can kettlebells be for women then? Isn’t it just big Russian guys who throws around with these kettlebells?

The textbook says quite clearly that for fat burning, low intensity training for a long time is the most effective. That meaning e.g. jogging or similar where you are at the ‘speak-level’, which is when one is not so out of breath that one can not speak normally. It may well be correct that the percentage of fat burned during such activities is higher, but experience shows that there is much that points in a different direction now. Interval training is popular like never before, and there is much emphasis on heavy weight training for women. And there is very little chance that a woman will develop into a muscle-woman, even if she lifts heavy! Men have a genetic advantage to building large muscles that women do not have, so there is nothing to fear.

The Norwegian magazine iForm (In Shape) has an article in the latest issue (16/2010) about strength training for women, written by Anders Nedergaard. It is clear that strength training is far more efficient than countless runs and hall hours, and that women often choose to light weights for strength training. Dieting and fitness training reduces the amount of fat, while strength training builds muscle that both forms of the body and burn fat! A bonus is that strength training is the workout that strengthens bone mass most.

‘Don’t fear strong’, says a new article on the site athleta.net, a website for women and training. ‘Based on my experience there is still a misconception that lifting weights will work against our weight loss efforts and eventually lead to bulky boyish bodies. ”
In the article there are a few examples of women who have changed the body and functionality substantially, just by heavy resistance training with kettlebells!

©www.athleta.net

Surya and Sara mentioned in the article have been training for several years, and are now at a very high level. A typical training session for them will be moving from 4000 to 5000 kg (24 kg kettlebell x 2 x 100 reps), 4-5 times a week. If this were to lead to bulky muscle bodies, it would be pretty obvious, but the pictures and movies in the article shows something else entirely. Both are slim, well-trained and with beatiful female forms. And they are strong! This should be proof enough that women should lift heavier and do not settle with the lightest weights.

Read the complete article and see the impressive videos at athleta.net here: http://www.athleta.net/chi/2010/10/28/don’t-fear-strong/

Fortunately, you do not need such high doses of training these women to have positive effect. Back to the iForm article, there it is recommended to train 2-3 times a week for the first few months, and then two training sessions a week. By choosing the heavy weights, you give everything and have much larger effects of training. After eight weeks, you should both see and feel significant improvement.

So women; ‘Don’t fear strong!’

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