Saturday, June 6, 2009

The fitness myth that females will bulk

Ladies, are you afraid of getting "bulky" by working out with weights? Does the notion of bench pressing conjure up images of a 240 lb. Arnold Schwarzenegger grunting away in the gym? Well, this article is aimed at you! No longer do you need to fear turning into an American Gladiator just by picking up a set of dumbbells. The plain and simple fact is, the female body is not genetically programed to build a massive amount of muscle, and certainly not without trying to. One of the most important parts of gaining muscle mass is the hormone Testosterone, enough of which is not present in most women to get "bulky." Men, in general, have much higher Testosterone levels than women (the ovaries produce roughly 1/15th the amount produces by the testes), which is why they are able to pack on a bit more muscle mass. Additionally, the human body needs a surplus of calories to add mass. Simply put, to get big, one would need to eat more. So, logically, if a female takes in a maintenance level (or deficit level) of calories for their body's needs, there is no need to fear the dreaded "bulk." This does not, however, mean that women cannot add some muscle and gain increased strength, it simply means that you will NOT wake up one day with 20" arms and cannonballs for shoulders. So, you may ask, what are the benefits of working out with weights? Well, by adding that bit of muscle to your frame, you will increase your basal metabolic rate (how many calories your body burns at rest), which leads, with proper nutrition, to a reduction in body fat. Lifting weights will also boost your metabolism for up to 36 hours after you finish your workout, as your body burns calories to repair the damage done to its muscle tissue. And, best of all, lifting weights will help you get stronger, making every task of your daily life easier! Why ask a stock boy at the grocery store to load the dog food into your cart, when you can just get it yourself and be on your way? These factors should be enough to convince you to stop fearing the dumbbell rack, and go lift some weights today! If you do not know how to do so safely and effectively, ask a trainer for their help. We are there to help you meet your goals in a safe, efficient way.Finally, while on the subject of "bulking up," a brief note about protein. There is a common misconception that drinking a protein shake after your workout will somehow cause your arms to balloon up to Hulk like proportions, and make your legs the size of tree trunks. Take it from someone who has spent the last 3 years trying to add mass to his frame, it is not as simple as drinking a shake! A protein shake (or dietary protein, for that matter) is used by the body to repair muscle tissue that has been put under stress during exertion. This will help your body recover from the workout, leaving you less sore, and ready for the next one. Protein is not something to fear, but something to embrace! Make sure to get some sort of protein (preferably a fast-digesting source, like a whey protein drink such as Lean Dessert) into your body within 30 minutes of finishing your weight training to maximize your recovery.

No comments:

Post a Comment