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Help! My lovely lady lifters, so confused:(

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Old 01-19-2009, 10:11 AM   #1
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Question Help! My lovely lady lifters, so confused:(

OK, so here it goes. I feel like everything I read contradicts everything else. I am debating on what rep range/wt level to train with. ON one hand I read and am told to go heavy for 6-10 reps and then I had a trainer who said that if i don't want "size" I need to focus on 15-20 reps (especially for the lower body bc I am pear shaped he said heavy lifting will make me bigger, fuller)

Then, there was that lady on Oprah who said women should not lift heavier than 3lbs, which i think is ridiculous but there is another woman, Valerie Waters, who trains and has a website and promotes only high rep weight training d/t women don't want the "look" (fuller, thicker, bulkier) that heavy weight training gives you...

So, I am at a total loss! I am not sure which way to go? I am pear shaped and have stong legs, so I def. don't want to grow but I also thought that women can't get bigger d/t hormones. I do find when I start to train heavy my pants get tight but then I freak out and stop within a week or so and that could be just fluid retention which may eventually pass if I just stick it out.

And, maybe it is all diet!!! I don't know

Any help, experience, insight would be awesome! I really love weight training but I don't want to grow big quads/thicker body overeall or lose femininity.

Thanks ladies!!
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:28 AM   #2
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I am sure that you can't "bulk up" unless you're taking steroids. Female muscles are going to look toned. Bulking up is a common misconception. Wish you the best of luck.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:30 AM   #3
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BTW - I lift 25-40 with my arms depending on which machine I'm on, and I do 40-50 with my legs. I find that my legs are becoming toned and more shapely - Less jiggle! lol... Also I do 30 lbs when I do abdominal. Having more toned and refined muscles will help me burn more calories when I do cardio. Don't fret the short-term weight gain, it'll go away.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:35 AM   #4
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My opinion is that people will say what they think will sell and to their targeted audience. A lot of women are afraid of weights, sadly. They see huge bulking men which they don't know that these men have lots of testosterone and spend hours every day lifting as well as taking supplements to bulk themselves up. Then they see lady lifters who also either are in the rare minority of women that can bulk or more likely, take steroids as well as spending hours lifting every day and have an extremely low body fat.

The truth is a hard one for some women to ingest so those who make money from fitness often avoid the truth and instead tell women what they want to hear which usually means inferior results for those women. If you want to be strong, shapely, burn fat at a higher rate, etc, then lift heavy. Although I tend to like the 8-12 rep range, but really you shouldn't be lifting anything light enough that you could do more than 15 reps with.

Oh and I'm also pear shaped with strong legs. My legs have never grown, only shrunk. As long as your food is in order, you will lose weight and you won't bulk up. If you do 'bulk' up then your intake is the first place to look.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:41 AM   #5
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Do not listen to the garbage about the 3 pound weights! As for the rest, you have to train hard to get any of the bodies you see in magazines. Those women are professional models and they focus their life on bodybuilding. Muscle is going to make you look smaller. The women that look bulky have practically no bodyfat, so you can see the muscle, and they also spend their lives training and working for that body.

Just move forward with the method that works best for you (I think lighter weights and more reps would be good for starters) and just watch your body transform, and you'll know which direction you want to go when you get to the fork in the road.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:54 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies ladies! I am so relieved bc I really enjoy strength training and didn't want to have to train light or only do pilates to get to my goal.

It infuriates me that there is so much mis-information out there! From nutrition to training, it never ends.

I am going to stick it out for at least 6 weeks. That should give ample time for any fluid retention to resolve and for me to start "seeing" results.

I definitly am not going for the look of a starved supermodel. My goal is to be lean, healthy, fit with energy to burn and a roaring metabolism

I am super exited! Anyone else wants to chime in, I am all ears!

Eve
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:03 PM   #7
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Are you also watching what you are eating? that is an important part too. It is a bit easy to eat too many calories, especially when doing intense workouts.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:24 PM   #8
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Oh yes, my diet is spot on. I am trying to recomp my body vs lose weight. I am 125lbs and 55.5 inches. My goal is to drop my body fat and increase my lean mass. I am shooting for about 1800 cals a day with a 40/30/30 split, 10,000 steps a day and 30min of cardio 6 days a week.

I am sure that I have to have the weights bc every past attempt without them only lead to a smaller, "fatter/flabbier" version of myself, that is what always seems to happen when I just do a lot of cardio and cut calories.

Eve
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:42 PM   #9
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Best of luck!
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:30 PM   #10
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Evelove: I just wanted to quickly comment on the tightness you feel the first few weeks of lifting. When we work our muscles to fatigue as is the case with lifting heavy they have a tendency to store extra glycogen in preparation for the next session. For every glycogen molecule that is stored two water molecules are stored as well. This can cause the retention or slight "gain" you may notice in your clothing those first few weeks. This is only a temporary situation and will usually right itself in about four to five weeks. Really. By that time the muscles in your body decide that the work you are asking for it to do is not so awful, that it can handle it. Your muscles will not need to hold onto as much glycogen and water post workout.

Another tip is to be certain that you are eating as soon as possible after your workout and drink lots of water. Stretch. Stretch and Stretch some more during your training as well as after your training. Also be certain that you take at least three of those cardio sessions and do interval training instead of just steady state cardio. Eating clean, interval training, lifting heavy, water, and plenty of sleep/rest will have you realizing your lean body mass goals with the greatest efficiency.

Happy lifting.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:14 PM   #11
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Well, you don't HAVE to lift heavy.
I have weaker joints (elbows and wrists) and I use 3 and 5 lb dumbbells and add tension to the muscle (aka dynamic tension).
If I lift anything over 8 lbs, I get tendonitits.
I'm not going to win any body building competitions, but I'm happy with my muscles

Good luck!
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:13 PM   #12
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I've lifted heavy for about 5 months, since mostly parting ways from my trainer (we still work out together occasionally as friends) who likes to lift a little lighter in the 15-20 rep range. The first change I made to my routine was lifting as heavy as I could until failure, 4-8 reps per set.

Remarkable difference! I've drastically dropped inches and am achieving a very sleek sexy look despite working out like a beast and scaring the men in the weight room.

For the first month of my new routine I did not drop any significant weight, fluctuated up and down. I was patient, the next month went back to normal for loss and the inch loss was very rewarding.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:06 PM   #13
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Look at this thread to see what lifting heavy can accomplish! And scroll down to see them when they're just standing around and not actually lifting. They look so good!

Lift and Chat: May 16 - 31, 2008
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:39 PM   #14
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Here's Tony Gentilcore's blog response to women lifting 3-lb weights

http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/en...t-went-postal/
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:14 PM   #15
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Haha that was a great response. He is absolutely right. If I were to lift only 3 lbs I wouldn't feel anything at all, I know that.
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