Is it true that if you lift weights you will get bulky? Have you heard this before? Maybe you have even said it yourself.
This is a common statement I hear from many who do cardio to lose some weight but don’t want to lift heavy weights or weight train at all because of the fear of bulking up.
First let’s look at how strength training works. You lift weights to build muscle, correct. So, why is building muscle important?
1) It helps you build stronger bones which will benefit you as you age. Slowing down diseases such as osteoporosis.
2) It increases your metabolism. Muscle needs energy to survive, therefore you are burning more calories at rest during the day. If you have more muscle your resting metabolism will be higher and your body will be composed of more muscle and therefore less fat.
Many fear that they will become big and bulky like a body builder but this is far from the truth. Body builders are that way because they train to be like that usually lifting weights multiple times per day 6 days a week. This is like me telling you to run for 20 minutes 3 x /week as part of your fitness program and you thinking that you will look like a Kenyan marathoner if you start doing this.
Not true! These are the extremes.
Don’t get me wrong I love the feeling and benefits of a good cardio workout. But if I had to choose one for long term benefits I would choose strength training because you can still get a cardio effect with strength and conditioning workouts. You will maintain and build some muscle.
Your body is in an anabolic (building) state during strength training. Cardio puts your body in a catabolic (breaking down) state. So too much cardio will lead to muscle loss. This is why we love our fusion classes, because you can do strength training in conjunction with cardio in order to maintain muscle mass while getting your cardio workout in.
For those who do plenty of cardio and want to maintain muscle mass, I recommend doing a few compound strength training exercises prior to a cardio workout to get your body in an anabolic (building) state. Try some heavy squats, bench press or deadlifts before your cardio workout.
Nutrition is also a huge factor when it comes to building muscle. 99% of us do not eat the amount of protein and supplements a bodybuilder does. So we are not eating to get “huge”. We eat normal portions and maybe use a protein supplement once a day. This is good for maintaining and building some muscle and keeping you in a healthy shape.
So don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights. It will help you more than you think!
If you want to know how to get started with weight lifting or combing your cardio routine with some strength, book your FREE RAM Intro!