Women are often afraid that if they include weight training in their exercise routine they will become big and bulky and end up looking more like a man than a woman. This is a myth however. A little weight training goes a long way with toning muscles. Cardio will only get you so far.
While cardio exercise is a great way of burning the fat, adding a little strength training to your workouts will earn you extra calories every day. You’ll even be burning extra calories while you’re sleeping or sitting on the couch watching your favorite television show.
You don’t have to go to the gym and start grunting and straining like some men do when they are trying to bench press hundreds of pounds, but some weight training should be included in your routine if you wish to have tight and sculpted muscles instead of just a skinny body. The only way you will end up looking like a man is if you take performance enhancers such as steroids.
How much you should lift depends on what you want for a result. Two to five pound dumbbells are a good place to start if you aren’t sure what your goals are. Use this size if you are throwing high-repetition weight training in to build endurance. If you already have the endurance, try to bump the weight levels up to pick up something heavier. If you feel like you still don’t have enough weight to be challenged, go up another pound or two. Make sure that you aren’t lifting more than you can handle at first; build up to it.
Alternating between high-rep low-weight days and low-rep high-weight days is a great way to switch things up so that your body doesn’t get complacent. This will keep the muscles guessing so that you don’t adapt to the same routine over and over. Do these moves for a great total body workout (45 second rest between reps):
1. Weighted walking lunges (6-8 per rep, three sets)
2. Standing Bicep Curls (6-8 reps per arm)
3. Leg press
4. Over Head Press
5. Bent Over Barbell Row
6. Dead Lift