Strong vs skinny. Fit girls unite!
I’ve read several articles in the past few weeks about being fit and strong vs. skinny. The truth is, I used to dream about being skinny. But really, skinny was just a term. Ultimately, even though I said and dreamt “skinny,” I wanted to be fit, active and healthy. Well, I can now say without question that I am fit, active, healthy and strong. I celebrate strong. And you should, too.
Many women fear that if they lift heavy weights or do strength training on an ongoing basis, they will develop “man muscles.” I used to be one of those women. That was until I learned from my trainers and reading the research that strength training indeed helps burn stored body fat and build lean tone muscle. It is the quickest and most effective path to a leaner, stronger and healthier body.
This article from Women’s Running Magazine is on point. I love the title, “Strength Training: Strong is the New Skinny,” and the lead, “Consider this a PSA: No matter how much weight you lift, you will never look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ever.” That pretty much says it all. You can read the full article here. As it states, studies show that lifting substantial weight just twice a week will lower your body fat by an amazing three percent.
In this blog post by Jillfit Physiques and Metabolic Effect, titled: “Why it’s time to throw out your light weights,” trainer Jill says: “Ok, I am going to let you in on a little secret: bulking up does happen, BUT it’s not what you think it is. Essentially, when people bulk up, they are add lean muscle UNDERNEATH layers of fat and not solving the fat-burning part of the equation. Adding muscle itself is beneficial. In fact, muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so it is extremely advantageous to exchange fat for muscle. Building muscle + burning fat = smaller, leaner and more defined.”
Jill goes on to say, “Women who successfully build muscle and burn fat end up smaller overall, shed inches, and do not bulk up. Their body fat percentages go down and their amount of lean muscle mass increases.”
Guess what ladies, I am in this camp. I believe wholeheartedly that’s how I managed to not only lose 200+ pounds but achieve at 14.5% body fat at my lowest, and maintain a body fat percentage in the 16-18% range.
Again, research is great and can be convincing if you have access to it. Personal testimony can for some be event more powerful. I am all about continuing to build muscle and tone. I do not have “man muscles” but I feel strong and lean for the first time in my life and it feels totally awesome! And I am getting stronger every day. Any questions?