Health & Fit This Trainer Is Debunking the Myth That Lifting Heavy Weights Will Make You "Bulky"
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There's no denying that there's still a camp of firm believers who think lifting heavy makes women "bulky" and "masculine." But celebrity traineris here to call BS on that belief once and for all.
In a recent Instagram post, Bruno shared a video compilation of women he trains (including the likes of Naomi Campbell and Rita Ora) to show howcan empower you to be your strongest self, both inside and out.
"I’ve worked really hard over the years to get women to embrace getting strong, but a lot of them still fear lifting weights because they worry they'll get bulky," he wrote alongside the video. "I truly believe that strength training is life-changing for women because I've seen it over and over again: both in terms of the positive effects it has on their body, but more importantly, how it helps confidence, relationship with food, etc. I hope this video gets women excited to be strong."
What Really Happens When Women Lift Heavy Weights
Ditch the phrase "bulk up" from your vocab, and see — with your own eyes — what happens when women lift heavy weights. These body transformations will make you ditch your fear of "bulking up" once and for all. (And this is just the beginning: here are 18 other ways weight lifting will change your life.)View this post on InstagramA post shared by Nichole (@pickle.b) on May 5, 2015 at 6:47am PDTIt Gives You Confidence"I've been doing CrossFit for just over two years now, and I have never felt more confident or as capable as I do now thanks to lifting.
A post shared by Ben Bruno (@benbrunotraining) on Dec 10, 2019 at 9:00am PST
The video highlights several familiar faces, including, who's seen doing , and . Even makes an appearance in Bruno's video: She's seen doing Bulgarian while holding her full-grown German shepherd-Chow mix.
Bruno says he shared this video to debunk the myth that weight lifting will make your body look "bulky." But another factor that often holds people back from picking up heavy weights is the concern that weight lifting won't help them reach their weight-loss goals, the trainer explains. (Related:)
What Really Happens When Women Lift Heavy Weights
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"A lot of people approach workouts with the goal of weight loss," he tells Shape. "What they actually want, however, is fat loss, and strength training is the best way to achieve that and create that muscle tone and definition a lot of women want."
A post shared by Ben Bruno (@benbrunotraining) on Nov 12, 2019 at 11:01am PST
If you're worried about not burning enough calories, Bruno says that upping the weight you're lifting can elevate your heart rate just as much as running and other traditional cardio-based workouts. "It's important for women who are afraid of lifting heavy to realize that it doubles as cardio," he explains. "You are getting your heart rate up. Anyone who's done, , or rear foot elevated with a challenging weight will tell you it's cardio like crazy."
That isn't to say that cardio doesn't deserve a place in your workout routine. But Bruno believes it should be more of a side dish versus the main course.
If You're Trying to Build Muscle and Not Seeing Results, Follow This Expert's Simple Advice
Whether you've just started lifting weights a month ago or you've been going hard in the gym for years, you've probably heard that in general, you should follow a specific set and rep scheme to help you achieve your goals. For example, if you're focusing on maximal strength, you should do four to six sets of one to five reps with a heavy weight. If you want to build more muscle, the general consensus is that you should lift a moderate amount of weight, performing three to five sets of six to 12 reps. These guidelines are extremely helpful, but if you aren't lifting with intensity, they don't matter much.
A post shared by Ben Bruno (@benbrunotraining) on Oct 30, 2019 at 9:15am PDT
Of course, weight lifting can offer tons of: In addition to helping you reach any weight-loss goals you might have, lifting heavy can also lead to stronger bones, improved flexibility, better heart health, and even help prevent injury. But Bruno says it's even more rewarding to watch his clients transform mentally, not just physically, during their weight lifting sessions.
"While it's incredible to watch my clients' bodies change when they start lifting heavy, it's so cool to watch women feel strong mentally," Bruno tells Shape. "Watching someone go from thinking there's no way they could lift that weight to reaching that goal and sometimes surpassing it, is amazing. I've witnessed firsthand how women start to feel more confident and capable when they choose to lift heavy."
Hilary Duff Quit Cardio For Bodybuilding Workouts And She's 'Never Felt So Lean'
She also hired a "flexible dieting coach."“I was thinking I don’t need to do heavy weights because if I do heavy weights I’ll bulk up,” she tells Women’s Health. “I tend to build muscle fast.
It's all about finding a plan that fits your needs.
Just as you can use weight lifting to train for, Olympic-style weightlifting (like these ), or for a , you can also use it to become fitter, healthier, and more confident. You just need to follow a plan that suits your needs, says Bruno.
For example, for someone whose goal is to become leaner and more toned, the trainer suggests using a challenging weight and doing exercises in the 8-12 rep range.
What defines challenging? Well, that will vary for everyone, says Bruno. But the general goal is for the last few reps to feel pretty hard. "Form is always paramount," he adds. "But the rule of thumb is, once you can complete 8-12 reps with good form, it's time to bump up the weight."
A post shared by Ben Bruno (@benbrunotraining) on Apr 7, 2019 at 9:01am PDT
As for the exercises themselves, Bruno says it's best to train each part of the body quite deliberately.
For instance, when it comes to the, he says he usually focuses on with his clients (think: and variations). For the , horizontal pulling exercises, like and , tend to dominate, he explains. "We do this, in part, because of physique goals, but also for posture, since a lot of women struggle with posture, and pulling exercises can help with that," says Bruno.
Here's Why You Should Do HIIT Before You Lift
Here's Why You Should Do HIIT Before You LiftThe guys reported feeling equally fatigued, explains study author Tony Nuñez, an exercise scientist at Metropolitan State University of Denver. But doing intervals before weights netted higher energy expenditure and greater post-exercise oxygen consumption—which means the workout challenged the body more during and after. By measuring the blood lactate concentration, Nuñez and his team tracked the exercises’ intensities. The segmented exercise, where weights and cardio were mixed together, gave the guys recovery time between the HIIT rounds, so they expended less energy.
A post shared by Ben Bruno (@benbrunotraining) on Sep 14, 2019 at 9:25am PDT
Overall, the best part about including strength training in your workout routine is that it's all about improvement, says Bruno. "Everyone starts at different points, but as long as you show up and are consistent, you'll definitely meet your goals," he shares.
If you're still nervous about grabbing a pair of dumbbells, don't be afraid to get some personalized advice from a trainer who can help you find a strength training program that works for you, says Bruno. Then all you have to do is stick to it—and pretty soon, you'll begin to feel stronger, sexier, and more badass than ever.
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I Stopped Waiting For the Time or Motivation to Exercise, and That Changed Everything .
I love feeling my heart pound in my chest as I struggle to catch my breath during a hard workout, the shaky, tired legs after a long run and sore muscles from lifting heavy weights.
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