Hey y’all! Hope everyone is having a great week. I have been talking to a bunch of people, females mostly, about weight lifting vs body weight exercise. Most women have the mentality that lifting weights will make you bulky and masculine. Unless you are eating as much protein as a man and actually lifting to be in a competition, this isn’t true. Women and men are built differently. The male hormone testosterone is what causes the bulking of their muscles. Women do not have enough of this hormone (unless taken) to have this effect. Some people still prefer to use solely body weight and that is fine, they will just have different results. Resistance is resistance to your muscles, it’s all about your end goal and what type of exerciser you identify with.
Body weight exercises will increase your muscle mass and surely make you stronger. The only downfall to it is that you will eventually plateau in muscle mass but you can continue to increase your endurance. Some examples of these types of exercises are air squats, planks, push-ups, lunges and stretching and yoga. The more you do your exercises with only body weight you will notice you can do them much faster and become less winded when you do them at a fast pace. You can always change things up by learning how to do different, more complicated versions of your exercises, increasing your skills. This will help when if and when you start using weights in your workouts. Some people can’t use weights and that is ok, because like I said body weight is still going to benefit you, so don’t get discouraged if you can’t or just aren’t into lifting weights. You will still see change!
Lifting weights has become all the rage (my guess is the whole CrossFit breakthrough and people realizing that you need to exercise to stay healthy – as if it’s a new concept). I see more and more people striving to lift heavier weights and challenging themselves. But still only 20% of females are up to the challenge. It’s all about that preconceived misconception of “looking manly.” Adding weight, and resistance, will increase your metabolism and help you lose weight and “tone” your body (which is the goal of most women). Lifting weights will increase your strength, and if you are a visual person, seeing that increased weight is the proof you need. Lifting weights is all about challenging yourself and your strength. It’s amazing what your body can do when you push it.
Your body is a “machine” and you need to know how to properly use it before you challenge yourself with weights. So my suggestion to anyone new to working out is start with body weight and once you are comfortable and have mastered how your body works – add weight. This is also a good idea for anyone recovering from an injury or starting back up after some long length of time off. You have to take care of yourself.
The takeaway here is all about the type of exercise you enjoy and your end goal. Do what you are comfortable with but also challenge yourself. Whether it is body weight or lifting weights, just keep your workouts going!
-Peace Love & TruFit