Lifting: Why It Works and How to Get Started

By Genevieve Cunningham

I used to be one of those who jumped from fitness plan to fitness plan. When something new came out, I was quick to give it a try. New cardio? Sign me up! New diet plan? I’ll try it. But even with all of the newest, latest, greatest plans on the market, I was never quite happy with my appearance. Enter weights.

Once I finally gave in and tried lifting, I never looked back. As a female, I thought that weights would make me big and bulky. I’m happy to report that I was very wrong. Weights did more for changing my body than almost anything that I had tried in the past 10 years. If you’re still leery of trying weights, check out why it really works and how you can get started.

Why It Works

  • Muscle Burns Fat - Muscle requires more energy than fat. This means that the fuel (food) you put in your body will be used up more quickly if you have more muscle. It’s a little more complicated than that, but those are the basics. The more muscle, the more energy you use, and the more calories you burn on a daily basis.

  • Muscle Weighs More Than Fat - You’ve probably heard this before, but this is only partly true. The truth is that a pound of fat and a pound of muscle both weight a pound. So, why the confusion? The real deal is that a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. So, you could essentially weigh the same but feel and look smaller.

  • Weights Sculpt Your Muscles - We all want to look good in a swimsuit, and the real way to do that is with muscle definition. You’re only going to get true definition with weights. This happens when your muscle grow bigger and your fat grows smaller. Weights literally tear your muscles, and then with rest they build back up again just a little bigger than before. With a solid weight routine and diet plan, you’ll have more definition than you know what to do with.

  • They’ll Work With Your Body - If you’re not meant to be super muscled up, you won’t be without a lot of help. Women don’t have the testosterone needed to be big and bulky. If you want major muscle, supplements will help you achieve that. But for the normal person, weights will define your muscle without making you look like the Hulk.

How to Get Started

  • Ask a Professional - This is always a good tip. Find a trainer and seek the advice of someone who knows more than you.

  • Start Small - If you overdo it, you’re only going to injure yourself and then give up. Don’t be afraid to start with those tiny little hand weights and only add weight when you are physically ready.

  • Be Open Minded - For some, hand weights are all they want or need. They’re not for people looking to get big, but instead to slightly tone what they have. For others, it’s free weights that do the trick. For me, it’s kettlebells. Don’t be afraid to try different kinds of weights and see what works best for you.

Lifting weights can be intimidating, but it’s incredibly beneficial. Don’t be afraid to give it a go! With some persistence and patience, weights might help you gain the best body of your life.

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