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I’m worried about getting too muscly if I lift weights

Don’t be! The chances of you turning into Arnold Schwarzenegger are pretty slim, unless you happen to be a bodybuilder and following an incredibly intense lifting and nutrition programme specifically to get like that! That said, everyone is different so some women may well be pre-disposed to developing larger muscles, but even so, they don’t produce the amount of testosterone to build man-sized bulk.

Why should I add in weights?

We should all include some weight lifting in our workout routines and here are some reasons:

  • Lose body fat: having lean muscle mass helps us burn more calories throughout our normal daily life as our metabolism is fired up

  • Women develop muscle definition and strength without the size and by that I don’t mean muscles that pop out, but ones that looked toned and don’t wobble!

  • It decreases your risk of osteoporosis: weight bearing exercises strengthen the bones too and increase density, making them less prone to breaks

  • Increases strength of ligaments and tendons in the process, which help us prevent injury

  • It can help with posture and reduce back pain: a strong core and glutes for example can help with lower back pains and working the upper back can help with bringing shoulders back and helping you stand taller

  • Your body starts losing muscle mass after you hit 30 years of age. And when that happens, your skin becomes looser, so lifting weights counteracts that sag

What’s not to love!?

So what’s recommended?

Ok so by weights, I don’t mean puny little dumbbells. You need to challenge the muscles, so look for ones you can obviously still lift, but where doing those last few lifts are hard work.

In terms of how frequent you should be doing it – the recommendation is 2-3 times per week and doing 8-10 exercises each time for 8-12 reps. Make sure you’re covering all muscle groups and try to do compound movers, where you’re working a few muscles in one exercise (squat and press) rather than something like a bicep curl that just works the arms.

How to lift weights

Check out this article for sensible advice and some exercises for you to do:

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