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"I don't want to get too big"

strong skinny


At the start of classes I have clients choose their hand weights. I usually already know who can hold a plank for longer than I can (instantly blacklisted) and who can hold a squat for a whole season of ‘Lost’, yet I still see so many clients choosing the lightest hand weights available! I know you can manage more than that, so why go so low!?

Unfortunately the stereotype associated with women and heavy weights is that of oiled up bodybuilders, chunky limbs and a loss of femininity…it is highly incorrect and such a waste of a great opportunity.

FACT – Women don’t really get big! The body requires Testosterone for muscle growth (hypertrophy) and women have an incredibly low amount of this (10-30 x less than males). There’ll be no hefty muscles in sight, instead lean muscle and reduced body fat.

FACT – Increased muscle mass in the body increases the resting metabolic rate. The more muscle you own the more calories you burn throughout the day. Yes that includes sitting on the sofa and sleeping! For every 1lb of muscle you gain, you burn 35-50 more calories a day (without trying). It seriously adds up.

FACT – Lean muscle takes up less space than fat pound for pound. This means that as you turn fat into muscle your clothes will fit better, the body will slim down and again you will NOT get bigger! 

FACT – There is no dispute that Cardiovascular work burns a large amount of calories however weight training burns more calories in the body in the 24hrs following. Think of the long term benefits!

FACT – Opting for heavier weights in your session can burn twice as many calories as if you pumped half the weight twice as many times!! So 8 reps with 4kg weights burns twice as many calories as 16 reps with the 2kg weights – use your time wisely!!

FACT – Weight training improves bone density and mass which can seriously reduce the risk of osteoporosis as well as injuries! There are also studies suggesting it can help the fight against Diabetes as it increases insulin sensitivity.

FACT – Ever wanted to get a smaller bum so taken up running/cycling, to go and find instead you lose a cup size in your bra? Cardio work won’t target areas whereas weight training can be more specific! Speak to your trainer for help with this. 

So how does this work in class? 

*Don’t let yourself get comfortable.

*Bring a few sets of weights with you in case you want to change during the exercise.

* Listen to your body, if by the end of an exercise you didn’t feel it where you were supposed to, remember next time to use heavier weights or heavier springs. 

*Don’t be embarrassed to rest during exercises, you need to bring the muscle to fatigue, you should aim for the point where you couldn’t eek another rep out. 

It’s no myth; muscle does weigh more than fat. Throw away the scales and use the fit of your clothes as your guide.

                               Strong, not skinny, is sexy!

By Hollie Grant