Stereotypically, some women feel that adding any sort of heavy weight or strength training to their workout regimen will make them bigger and bulkier. That is simply not the case, so A Magazine researched and examined the facts about this common misconception.

When lifting, a common myth among women is that the heavier the weight, the bulkier the results. Women lifting will result in shaping the body, not making it bigger.

“Strength training has gotten a bad rep over the years, especially in the eyes of women,” says Mitchell Thompson, a KSU alumna who owns My Muscle Mission (M3), a website and fitness company dedicated to helping individuals reach their fitness goals.

By Candace Sanders

“People tend to associate weightlifting with getting bulky, and they associate running with being lean and athletic looking,” Thompson said. “The issue here is perception, and this style of thinking is flawed because most uninformed individuals have no idea what it takes to look like the picture in their heads.”

When lifting and strength training, women will see more toned results because your muscles work harder to burn more fat. Since muscle is denser than fat, the more fat burned will give you a more toned look. Women also have more estrogen and less testosterone in them, which is what generally makes men get the more “buff” look that some women are hesitant about.

Lauren Thompson, wife of Mitchell Thompson and Co-Owner of M3, says she will never go back to cardio.

“I’ve never felt sexier, more confident, or more feminine than when I lift weights and started seeing the results of it,” she said. “I was never really into cardio because I didn’t see the results like I see from lifting.”

Take it from Victoria’s Secret bombshell Candice Swanepoel, who admits that she wasn’t born into her sick body like people think; she works for it.

“I do a lot of resistance training, weights, yoga and Pilates,” Swanepoel told Allure Magazine. “I eat what I usually eat, maybe even a little bit more, because I’m tired from working out, but I eat clean.”

Speaking of eating, the most important aspect of your fitness journey is what you put into your body. According to most fitness gurus, 20 percent of your body’s appearance will come from working out, and the other 80 percent of it comes from nutrition.

“Nutrition is everything when it comes to fitness and bodybuilding, so it’s not a bad idea to read up on nutrition related to what your body needs and what it does not need” Thompson said.

However, if you do want to still add cardio to your workout, do so in small increments.

“The best thing for girls, in my opinion, is to mix lifting weights with a small amount of cardio,” Thompson said. “When you incorporate those with a good diet, you can look better than any marathon runner. And on the plus side, it’s so much easier than running your ass off – literally and figuratively.”

Next time you hit up the gym, step off the elliptical and add some weights and lifting to your workout plan to get that toned physique you’ve always wanted.

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