dumbells, heavy lifting, women's workouts, fitness, weight lossSo here it is. It’s so simple it’s going to sound patronizing, but to look like a woman, you need to train like a man… Okay, so that’s pretty much it folks! I think I’m done for today…

Alright, alright, let me explain. There is no particular workout that should be geared specifically for a woman, because any workout geared at men is a winning workout for women.

But then, I’ve heard it so many times before, the popular “I don’t want to look like a man” statement and it’s usually made by women who think that traditionally “masculine” workouts will pile on the muscles. First of all, it is really hard to build muscle. I wish putting on muscle mass was a super easy thing to do for us ladies, but the truth of the matter is that we don’t produce enough Testosterone to do so. Even working out super hard, 6 days a week, on a traditional “man’s” workout (lifting weights, using compound exercises), for a whole year straight, will not give you a manly physique. You might gain some muscle, but that will only help you look more toned, not muscular.

Though, I actually hate that word, “toned”. It is hard to look “toned” if you don’t have a nice base of muscles under your body fat. Many women think that running on a treadmill for endless hours or being a dedicated Cardio bunny will lose the fat on their bodies and reveal a more “toned” look. The problem with that is they haven’t built up the muscle underneath their body fat, so when they lose the fat from doing all that Cardio, they end up losing curves and looking like skin and bones. The body just looks skinny, not toned, if there is no muscle mass to reveal. Just think about Cardio bunny Gwyneth Paltrow as compared to long time resistance trainer Jessica Biel. You can also bet the Cardio bunny has to restrict way more calories, than the Resistance queen (remember my past blogs about muscle burning more calories even at rest?).

Now I know that many people would probably kill to look like Gwyneth Paltrow, and I am not trying to body bash her in any way, but I just want women to understand that Cardio is not the only way to a body that is feminine and sexy. Besides, extended hours of Cardio is really hard on the body, and can cause your body to produce more hormones to mess up your metabolism (not to mention wreak havoc on your skin). There is no reason that muscle development workouts should be geared at men, since a woman’s body is meant to move, twist, turn, and lift children up and down. Failing to train your body for these movements will only make you more susceptible to injury as you attempt to live your life. If you really think about it, a mother carrying her child is squatting, lunging, lifting, twisting, turning, and picking the child up, all while rotating in multiple directions, as these are the movements we are meant to be performing and so we should be training in that same way.

Basically start doing away with the light little dumbbells and try to work your way up to heavier weights as those little weights probably aren’t going to do anything for you. Remember, most mothers are picking up babies and kids of upwards of 12lbs, so a 4lb dumbbell is just really underestimating you. Think compound movements that require twisting, turning, lunging and lifting of heavy weights. Performing highly beneficial full body and functional exercises can literally decrease the chances of suffering from osteoporosis, increase lean muscle mass, and reduce belly fat—all things beneficial in helping women look lean and lovely… oh and I guess more “toned” too.

To being Positively Strong,

Sunny