When it comes to working out and truly transforming your body, you have to understand this one simple truth:
YOU MUST LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS
Now that we have cleared this up, I want to talk about the biggest mistake women make in the gym…. lifting light weights or, worse, no weight at all. It blows my mind when I see women, usually the same women, at the gym all the time and they look exactly the same. Yes, diet is definitely a factor however, the main reason is because these women come to the gym and do an hour of steady state cardio 5-6 days a week.. and nothing else. Lets take a look at why this is a bad idea.
1) OUR BODES WERE NOT DESIGNED FOR ENDURANCE “STEADY STATE” CARDIO. I know I’m going to get flack from all the runners out there but from a physiological standpoint, our bodies and metabolisms were NOT created to endure such a stress. In fact, the mere act of endurance cardio not only causes an increase in the stress hormone, Cortisol, it breaks down muscle tissue and signals the body to store fat too. Think about the days when our genes evolved, back when we were hunters and gatherers who lived in caves and foraged for food. Did you see cavemen doing 5ks? NO! They were either resting, walking through the forest looking for the next meal or sprinting/fighting for their lives from a savage beast lol. Our genes were designed for high intensity bursts of exercise followed by adequate rest periods…. the antithesis of endurance cardio; anything else is detrimental to our metabolic machines and can cause massive damage if done chronically… Its no surprise hypothyroidism is rampant.
2) MUSCLE IS YOUR METABOLIC MACHINE. If you do not lift heavy, challenging weights you will not increase your muscle, burn fat or look defined. Lifting weights not only increases your muscle tissues, which utilize more fat and burn calories while you rest, it actually creates a cascade of fat burning hormones that tells your body to switch into fat burning physiology. So endurance running = fat storing and weight lifting = fat burning. Just look at the fitness and bikini models who have the bodies you dream about. They lift HEAVY weights and they are tiny. Get rid of the notion that you need to lose weight and start worrying about gaining muscle. The more muscle mass you have, the more you will start to tighten up and shrink in size…. and don’t be shocked if your weight doesn’t go down. I’ve gained 10 lbs and I am in the best shape of my life.
3) YOU MUST MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ADEQUATE MUSCLE TO SUPPORT ANY KIND OF CARDIO. The biggest mistake a lot of people, and uneducated personal trainers make is not taking the body through proper muscular adaptation phases FIRST, before starting any kind of cardio. This is why body builders have a “building” phase where they work at putting on muscle and subsequently switch to a “cutting’ phase where they lean out. Most people cannot accomplish both at the same time, successfully. In order to get the best results from your work outs you need to lift ( heavy) weights first and then once you have the muscle to support it you can add in cardio; preferably HIIT.
Now, I know I am saying to go lift heavy weights but PLEASE make sure to do your research or hire a *knowledgeable* personal trainer who can not only teach you the proper form but can help you decide what exercises are best for your goals. As great as lifting is, you can severely hurt yourself if not done correctly. You tube has tons of videos on proper form so just make sure its from a credible source. Lastly, don’t be intimidated by the weight room, you will eventually figure it all out. You cant expect change if you don’t change what you are doing.