Exercise! Love it or hate it, let's motivate each other to just DO IT!

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Old 11-04-2001, 08:35 AM   #1  
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Question Weightlifting for Females...Good or Bad?


I've been very busy this past year, with deaths, illnesses, etc., and have really not done my part to help my health. I am looking to tone up, versus lose weight, per say; however, I want something different than the walker I have.

I was speaking to someone about exercise, and they basically told me the best thing for me would be weightlifting. When I hear weightlifting, I think of the competitions my father was in, which consisted of men with bulging muscles and greasy oil.

Is this something that would really help to tone my body, even my abs? I have tried crunches, and they just seem to help me maintain my look. I have a other small devices for the abs, but I am told that they will only help me maintain a toned body.

Any assistance is appreciated,

April Marie
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Old 11-04-2001, 01:50 PM   #2  
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All the things I have read say that women will not get large and bulky because they don't have testosterone. Additionally, weightlifting helps prevent osteoporosis and increases your metabolism. Trying to lose weight without weight lifting may increase the likelihood that you will lose lean muscle mass in addition to fat. I am not a doctor, these are just the things I have read. I suggest you go to:


for more information.

Good luck!
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Old 11-04-2001, 05:52 PM   #3  
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Default Thank You....


Thank you so much for the information; I'll check out the link.

April Marie
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Old 11-05-2001, 06:22 AM   #4  
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April Marie-Go to the Body for Life thread, and you will see lots of women lifting weights!!
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Old 11-05-2001, 12:40 PM   #5  
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Default Women & Muscle : Realities and Myths

If you need some basic information on developing a basic weight lifting program, get the "Body For Life" by Mr Phillips. It has a great section of basic weight training exercises for the agerage person. It provides great pictures / desrciptions and is one of the best "how to get started lifting weights" books I have come across. I do not suggest following the nutrition advice he gives (because if you are posting here on this board, you are already following WW which is a much easier to maintain for in the long term).

And you definately will not develop huge muscles. Here's an article that addresses your concern:

Despite an overwhelming amount of information and evidence to the contrary, many women are still afraid that strength training will give them big muscles. Worrying about this makes as much sense as worry about becoming too happy, healthy, beautiful and rich. The female body just isnít programmed to grow manly muscles. Genetics, hormones, body fat, and body type all prevent that. Even if you want to grow big muscles, youíll soon discover that without dangerous steroids itís virtually impossible.


Womenís muscles get leaner, not bigger, with an average increase in size of a quarter to half inch, even after years of training. Although women can get stronger indefinitely, muscles respond by getting denser, not bigger. Many women notice their waists, hips, thighs and buttocks get smaller as they get stronger. Shoulders may appear a bit larger and squarer (sometimes merely the result of improved posture) and arms may get more defined as less fat hangs off the underarm.

But stronger muscles weigh more. Because muscle weighs more than fat, some women notice that training makes them gain weight (and this is a though psychological barrier to break). A body-fat test is a more accurate measure of progress than a scale.

* Women with 15-20 percent body fat may notice an immediate weight gain after a few weeks of training.

* Women with a 20-30 percent body fat may maintain a steady weight for a while but notice their waistlines shrinking.

* Women with more than 30 percent body fat may experience an immediate weight loss.

Also remember: Lean muscles look bigger. AS body fat drops to between 15 and 20 percent, muscles start to peek out from under the protective glaze of body fat.

Some women still get bigger than theyíd like, especially if they have an endomorphic or mesomorphic body type. A body-fat test can confirm if this size increase is muscle or fat.

* To shrink muscle, simply ease up on training for a while.

* To shrink fat, strength train more intensely, two or three days a week. Make cardio workouts longer and moderate (45-60 minutes) or more vigorous for 30 minutes so you expend more total calories.


For a woman to succeed at building big muscles, without the help of anabolic steroids, she literally has to be a genetic freak. The chances of this happening are about one in a million.

* Most women have short muscles and long tendons. This makes it very tough to build large, curvaceous muscles, since too much of the limb is made of flat connective tissue. Very few mortals have long, full muscles and short tendons.

* Women donít have enough testosterone. Although womenís bodies natural produce this male growth-inspiring hormone (just as menís bodies produce female hormones), men have about 100 times more of it. Some women produce more testosterone than others. But thatís still not enough to give women a natural anabolic edge.

* Women have more body fat. Most women have between 20 and 30 percent body fat. Fat hides muscle. It also means that women possess a smaller ratio of lean muscle to fat, so less muscle mass is available for use (although women are as strong as men when compared, according to this percentage of lean muscle).


When you strength train, you create microscopic tears in muscle fibers, which take at least two days to heal. Thatís why you shouldnít train the same muscles two days in a row.

If you train too hard, you may need to take four or five days off (if muscles are very sore, gentle limbering moves and stretches can ease your pain). A good rule of thumb is to wait until soreness goes away before doing another intense workout. If your workouts arenít that hard and you donít get sore, you can come back sooner (or you might want to reevaluate your workouts and increase the intensity if appropriate).

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends strength training the whole body every other day, three times a week.


How long you rest between sets is usually based on how hard youíre working. The traditional belief about rest time is:

* 15 to 20 reps of light weight (muscle endurance), rest for 20 to 30 seconds;
* 8 to 12 reps of moderate weight (for building strength and size), rest for 30 seconds to a minute;
* 1 to 6 reps of heavy weight (for building strength and power), rest for up to 5 minutes.


Progress is cyclical, not linear. Nobody can maintain high energy all the time and no one keeps getting stronger indefinitely. Strength curves, like learning curves, follow a natural rhythm. Sometimes we grow in spurts and learn quickly, other times we just have to process the information, rest and adapt.

Hereís how to tap the power of rest:

* If youíre making gradual strength gains over a long period of time, then youíre getting enough rest. Keep it up.
* If youíre stuck on a strength plateau, try building in an extra day or two of rest and increase the weight, at least for 8 reps.
* If youíre in a growth spurt, making big strength gains, donít assume itíll last forever. Pull back before you hit a burnout. Donít go for more than three weeks of all-out intensity without taking at least a week or two of rest.

Last edited by gsc4; 11-05-2001 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 11-14-2001, 08:48 AM   #6  
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If you want to see what women can look like after eating healthy, doing aerobics and weight lifting, check out these sites.
At this site, click on the "library and pics" button on the left. Then click on "Transformations" . There are great inspirations there. And the women look great!
Another site is at www.bodyforlife.com
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Old 11-15-2001, 02:44 PM   #7  
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Talking Thanks....


Thank you all for your input. I've started lifting a bit and feel better already. I'm going to incorporate some weight lifting into my routine.

Thanks for the information; I really appreciate it.

April Marie
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