Can weightlifting make me look bulky?

Can weightlifting make me look bulky?

It’s a question asked more times than a child probing are we there yet on a 10 hour car ride. Many women believe that using heavy weights will immediately transform you into a female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Is this belief true? Can women really bulk up with a 30-pound dumbbell?

The answer in short, it is possible for women to get bulky, but highly improbable. Less than 1/10 of one percent of women can achieve such results. In fact, it would require long-term, consistent training and a big nutrition push to see results. One would have to be genetically gifted to get “bulky.”

Since few women actually get bulky from lifting heavy, who do so many of us think we do? 

First reason: Self Perception. No offense ladies, we have terrible self-perception. When a person feels their guns are getting swole, they start to look at their arms differently.

Second reason: Eating More. I can eat this cookie, I went to the gym today, sound familiar? Some women deliberately eat more because they think they need it to support their training.

Third Reason: Fluid Retention. In the early stages of training, you get a lot of inflammation and the muscles draw in glycogen and water. The fluid retention and inflammatory process is what causes the stiffness and soreness, same as what happens if you sprain your ankle and it swells up. So, women will train for a couple of weeks and swear they have ‘bulked up’ — and perhaps they have, but it’s not muscle. And that means it’s not permanent.

In a recent Huffington Post article on the subject of light weightlifting verses heavy weightlifting, several published studies suggest that is doesn’t really matter whether you go heavy or light. You’ll pretty much get similar results either way if you’re trying to build muscular strength – as long as you lift until you are fatigued or to muscle failure.

A study of 164 women, highlighted in US News Health found that weight training helped keep fat at bay better than cardio did. This is because you muscles are responsible for your metabolism. The more muscles you have the higher your metabolism and the more energy you’re going to have.

All in all, if you are looking to become lean and strong start adding more weight training into your work out. Additionally, diet plays a huge role in shedding the fat to display those new muscles of yours!

Want more information? Contact Just Fitness 4 U Dallas to get a consultation with our certified personal trainers. Click here to find a location near you.

How To Enjoy Your Gym Membership & Get Ripped

How To Enjoy Your Gym Membership & Get Ripped

Across the country, there are about 58 million people who sign up for a gym membership. After all, it is one of the best ways to stay fit and satisfied with your physical shape.

If you have just signed up for a gym membership or you are planning to join a fitness class or go one-on-one with a trainer, here are a few tips on how to enjoy your membership, make new friends, and meet your fitness objectives.

Call Yourself a Rookie but Don’t Make Rookie Mistakes

Every new member should learn to tread lightly on his or her first month at a new gym so you don’t make rookie mistakes. This is important as you get used to the environment, get to know the people behind the counters and equipment, and blend in. A rookie is someone who is new to a scene and invariably tends to make mistakes so here’s a list of how to avoid rookie makes in the first month at the gym:

  • Ask and don’t stop asking questions if you’re unsure about something, especially about how to use the equipment and facilities. Keep in mind that if you were a member in another gym, the equipment may look familiar but may have different operating mechanisms.
  • If there is a membership orientation, attend it.
  • If you like working out with music, make sure you have earphones or ear buds that can contain the volume well.
  • Wear the proper attire. Cotton is now considered outdated since it does not wick sweat well. Instead, wear something that dries quickly and does not drip. It’ll make you more comfortable but also not leave lots of sweat behind for others (and also, wipe down machines when you’re done!)
  • Keep your mobile phone quiet and take calls outside the workout area so you don’t disrupt the workout of other members. Nothing is worse than someone loudly talking on the treadmill and distracting people doing a serious workout.

Follow the Fitness Trainers’ Lead

Most fitness centers and gyms will ask you about your fitness goals. These goals will be relayed to the trainers and fitness professionals so they can help you attain your goals so take their lead. There’s nothing wrong with a healthy discussion about your program, but do give them the respect they deserve.

Change Up

Once you start getting bored with your routine, change it up. Join classes or request a new program. The repetitive exercise syndrome is one of the reasons many members tend to lag on their fitness goals.

In addition, repeating the same routine puts you at risk for injuries as you become less conscious and alert of your actions and more robotic.

Finally, enjoy socializing with other members but do try to keep it professional especially as a new member. Adopt a wait-and-see to find out who among the members you will most likely get along with and not end up in the middle of a dispute among cliques.

 

 

We would love to know: how have you enjoyed your membership at Just Fitness 4 U Dallas?

Fitness Myths You Should Junk

Fitness Myths You Should Junk

Myths are a topic taught to children in school – think Greek mythology.

But there are other types of myths beyond the extraordinary ones you learn growing up, the type of everyday myths that, as it turns out, are really just misconceptions or misunderstandings that continue to be passed on.

In fitness, there are no ancient Greek stories or curses to debunk, there are just hyped-up ideas on health and fitness that probably started as a joke or marketing gimmick and are now considered by many as truth.

Here are a few of the most common and strangest myths on fitness that you should never consider as even slightly true.

Myth #1 Training on a problem area only benefits that problem area

The only way you can trim only your abdominal fat or only take away fat in your upper arms is through surgical procedures like liposuction. Training doesn’t work like that – it’s better. When you train, you can focus on specific drills but in almost all cases, the entire body will benefit. This is because scientifically, the body draws fat from different areas at varying rates which would depend on your genetic make-up.

Just think about it, have you ever seen a man with a six pack but with fatty thighs and arms? Do you have friends who are able to work only on their thighs and not on the arms? The beauty of working out in the gym is that you are able to work on all parts of your mind and body. The process may be slow but it will definitely get you to a fitter shape.

Myth #2 Muscle gain becomes impossible after age 40

Aging has its downside but muscle gain is not one of it. However, there are people over 40 who struggle with muscle gain even after months in the gym. The fault lies not with the program but may have something to do with physical deficiencies like lack of hormones or a potential osteoporosis condition. There are quick diagnostic tests that can be done to find out if you have deficiencies like a saliva test. The other possible cause could be the fact that it is only at age 40 that you have started any kind of fitness program, thus you should consider yourself a babe in training – and this means the end results may take some time before they are visible.

Myth #3 Yoga is better than going to the gym

Actually, yoga and exercise is a good combination but yoga alone, which is based on the spiritual disciplines of Buddhism and Hinduism, aims to transform and control spirit and body. In fact, it was only in the 1980s that yoga started trending as a form of physical exercise even though it was never meant to be used as a fitness program. People do manage to lose weight, but getting ripped is not usually a benefit. This is because you don’t really burn calories the way you would with a fitness program.

There are many, many other myths that should be rejected as false. If you enroll in a gym membership, you will come to know what these are and voluntarily reject them on your own as you see the effects of a true honest (and fun) fitness program.

Fitness Classes are Key

Fitness Classes are Key

Whether you have been working out consistently for many years or want to start a new physical exercise routine, fitness classes are a great way to mix up your routine or get excited about starting some new habits.

If you have never been in a fitness class and all you have seen is what is featured on movies and television shows – let me dispel some rumors.

First, you will not have a ‘Richard Simmons-like’ instructor who is decked out in bright colored gear making awkward facial expressions. People won’t stare at you if you do a move wrong or talk about you if you are out of shape. You aren’t required to do the entire class at the speed of the instructor – you can go at your own pace and stop when you need. You are allowed to ask questions and alter movements to fit your experience level or fitness level. The classes aren’t filled with professional body builders and models – so, unless you are a professional body builder or model (that’s cool, too) you will be surrounded by people just like you!

With all those out of the way, let’s look at what fitness classes are and why you should seriously consider them.

First, there are many different types of fitness classes. There are dance-style classes such as Zumba and Hip Hop, which do not require you to be a good dancer. These can be very fun and can maybe improve your dance skills, even if just a little. There are also cycling and spin classes that take place on a bicycle, which is mounted into a stand that allow you to pedal in place. Also, there are classes such as yoga, Pilates and Bodypump that use different types of exercise techniques to achieve results in flexibility, strength and quickness.

This is just a small sample of fitness classes offered through gyms or local community centers. There are so many styles of fitness classes to fit a wide range of interests and preferences. Not to mention, if you don’t like a class, you don’t have to attend and can try something else. Maybe you will find two or three classes that you like to attend on a monthly or weekly basis? Additionally, group classes are usually included in your gym fees, which means there is no excuse about an extra charge to participate.

One of the biggest bonuses about fitness classes versus individual workout routines in the team atmosphere and accountability they provide. After a while, you may find that there are a core group of people attending the class daily or weekly, which helps to develop new friendships and people who have similar goals for fitness and wellness as you. They can encourage you to keep working hard for your goals and you can do the same for them.

 

Why else do you think fitness classes are a good option for exercise?

Why Personal Training?

Why Personal Training?

Have you just started working out or have you been working out for a while and feel like you’re in a rut? Do you benefit having someone encourage you and give you a set routine for achieving your goals? Either way – consider personal training.

One of the main benefits of personal training is accountability. If you have set appointments with your trainer throughout the week, you feel more motivation to be there and be on time. You have someone to call you if you don’t come and call you out when you aren’t giving your best. While some people aren’t responsive to this kind of motivation, a personal trainer can go on your journey with you day in and day out and celebrate with your successes and motivate you with positivity during your setbacks.

There is more than just accountability, there are also other benefits according to Deb Aikey’s article “Is it better to use a personal trainer or not?”: “improvement to self-esteem and self-image, consistency, safety, supervision and a feeling of success and a friend in your corner,” are just a few.

In addition, just like you work in a specific field, personal trainers are certified in lifting, cardio and nutrition. They have studied this area immensely and have experience training people of all sizes and physical activity levels. They can listen to your goals and tailor a workout routine and nutrition plan that will help you to reach your goals. They can keep track of your progress and make changes as needed.

Speaking of nutrition: “A personal trainer can also help clients lower their blood pressure and cholesterol with exercise and encouragement when it comes to eating healthier.” Even if you don’t have experience with healthy eating or currently have very unhealthy eating habits, a personal trainer can find ways to ease you into a routine by making small changes a little bit at a time. Don’t worry, they won’t yell at you for eating your favorite treat, unless you ask for it.

Sometimes, a person’s biggest inhibition towards personal training is the cost. “For clients who don’t have the funds or the time for such a commitment, she [Deb Aikey] says that even working with a personal trainer once per week, and doing assigned “homework” on one’s own, can help clients achieve goals.”

 

What are the other benefits you see for using a personal trainer?

 

Need a personal trainer? Click here to find a Just Fitness 4 U Dallas near you

Lift Weights, Lose Weight

Lift Weights, Lose Weight

The newest statistics indicate that 75% of men, 67% of women, and one-third of the teens in the U.S. are either overweight or obese, it’s time to revisit one of the easiest entries to exercise with the best return on investment: strength training.

Strength training has many forms. From weight room workouts, to studio strength workouts, to ballet barre and yoga classes, if your muscles are burning within a minute (or less) they will get stronger.

Your ability to burn energy, i.e. calories, depends largely on the amount of muscle you have in relationship to your weight. If you have a higher percentage of muscle per pound of bodyweight your body will be a better furnace. Muscle consumes significantly more calories per day per pound than fat (6.5 calories per pound per hour compared to 1.2 for fat), which in turn facilitates fat loss.

Throughout life, we lose muscle mass largely from lack of physical challenges that force us to be strong. Since carrying our water from the well, growing our food, and chopping wood for the fireplace are not on the to-do list, if you want to have a strong, lean body, fight back by lifting weights. It is hands down the quickest way to reshape the body, restore lost muscle mass, and stoke your metabolic furnace.

BUST THE MYTHS

No, ladies, you are not going to bulk up. You just aren’t. Your hormonal balance lacks the amount of testosterone necessary to look like those beefy people you have seen in the gym. They are following a specific nutritional regime, using supplements, and are spending an inordinate amount of time lifting. That is not us. We need this.

We all need it. Research overwhelmingly proves that strength training benefits all age groups.

Another myth: you lose strength as you age. Wrong. Loss of strength is not a function of aging, it is a function of disuse. Especially for women: use it or lose it.

Men, on the other hand, peak in strength in their late 20s. As men age, there is a small decrease in testosterone levels, thus their potential for strength will decrease. Key word here is ‘potential.’ Since most men never trained to their actual potential, most men can be stronger through consistent strength training as they age too. Additionally, because of their hormonal advantage, men generally have an easier time re-capturing lost muscle mass.

GO FOR OVERLOAD

For strength training to be effective, the intensity of the exercise needs to be difficult enough that your muscles fatigue (or be at “failure,” the point when you lose form) in about 30 seconds to one minute. This caveat of strength training is also what makes it so time efficient.

Cardio benefits heart health, but it does not make you strong. And no, it doesn’t count as strength training if you are sore the next day from a cardio workout. When muscles are not used to something, they will get sore. But since cardio is sustainable (the intensity is low enough that it can be done for extended periods of time), it will not reap the benefits of reshaping the body like lifting weights will.

GOT TIME?

Research has proven repeatedly that with minimal time strength training, the body will show results. With just 3 half-hour strength training workouts per week, in 8 weeks participants showed a body composition change on average of an increase of 3 pounds of muscle mass and a loss of 5 pounds of fat. The investment of time for results is highest with strength training.

BREATHLESS?

Good! Cardio does not have exclusive rights to elevating the heart rate. Strength training, when the exercise is challenging, will elevate your heart rate toward and even to breathlessness. You will get out of it what you put into it; greater challenge and effort equals better results.

WHAT ABOUT WEIGHTS?

Lifting weights will make you strong. But your body has plenty of weight to supply ample resistance when used against gravity. The problem with body weight is this: most of us are not strong enough to use our bodies against gravity, which makes weights a necessity. Take pull ups for example; for most of us, not going to happen. Planks are pretty awesome and most people can do a plank for a few seconds to a minute or more. But many of us cannot take that plank, lower our body weight to the floor and push it back up (the classic push up). We can modify a push up by dropping to our knees, effectively lowering the amount of load/weight that we push up. And we can make it even easier with light dumbbells: lie on your back, hold a couple of dumbbells at your chest, and push them up, i.e the chest press. The advantage of the push up (even the modified knee version) over the chest press is the superior activation of deep core muscles to stabilize your body during the push up, giving those important core muscles a work out too. So no, strength training does not mean having to lift dumbbells….YOU can be the weight. But you might need to work up to it.

HOW OFTEN?

Since strength training overloads the muscles to the point of fatigue in a short amount of time, it only needs to be performed every few days; every other day works great! If you add some cardio into your workout week, fat loss results will be further enhanced by the extra calories burned via the extra activity. One of the best investments you can make in the technology world is a pedometer. Pedometers range from simple mechanical models, which cost just a few dollars, to clip-ons, wristbands and watches. Phone apps will count your steps if you carry your phone all day. A good rule of thumb to work up to: aim for 10,000 steps per day.

NEED HELP?

To get results, strength training, lifting weights, and body weight training need to be performed with good technique and form. Injury can be avoided through proper biomechanics. A good trainer will not only keep you safe during the workout by coaching you on form, they will also be able to uncover details in your execution that will help you avoid repetitive stress injuries that could happen down the road. Good form and posture are the foundation to build on. If you need help, our staff of professionals is here to help.

GET STARTED TODAY!

Your future-self is not going to be any more motivated than your today-self. What you are not willing to do today, you are probably not going to be willing to do tomorrow. Start your program now. Many of our classes and group workouts at Just Fitness 4 U have a strength component. See our schedule on-line or on our App. Or drop and do those push-ups right now!

You deserve a lean, strong body. It is within reach with a consistent, sensible, well-organized program of lifting weights and strength training. Reap the benefits and get started today!

Your Training Essentials Kit: Stay Strong with these 7 Movements

Your Training Essentials Kit: Stay Strong with these 7 Movements

Love your weight machines and your routine? It doesn’t take long before your body nods off. Results stall. Sure you can still feel a burn when you do your favorite exercises, but where it counts at the cellular level, your body needs muscular and neural confusion to adapt and get stronger; become more responsive.

In the conventional strength-training world, many exercises are performed seated often with using some kind of pad to brace against. These 2 aids (the seat and the pad) rob the core of its potential to activate and stabilize by using internal, muscular core bracing in response to the overloaded movement. Not to mention that most machines set the joint action to follow a specific line, at a specific angle to the joints, in a specific range of motion. Since life is never going to follow those kinds of rules, once a fundamental strength base is achieved, the next logical step is to ditch the aids.

  • 1. Bodyweight squats
    Are simple patterns that are used in life constantly. Every time you stand up and sit down, you are using a squat pattern.
  • 2. The lunge pattern
    is used when stepping over things (think walking through a forest over tree branches or rocks). Lunges are used when going up stairs, when picking up things from the floor (used with a hinge).
  • 3. Hinge
    A version of the hinge, the deadlift, is a great glute/posterior chain exercise, with the strengthening results running up the chain through the back, and down the chain through the hamstrings and even to the calves. A hinge can be combined with a squat (picking up a laundry basket) or a lunge (picking up a box of books in a staggered stance). The hinge, if done correctly, with the back in neutral and core braced is arguably one of the most important patterns to keep strong.
  • 4. Pushing patterns
    Can easily be trained through the classic push up. Another great variation is to use a resistance band while standing. A standing resistance band press forces the core to activate and stabilize while improving balance. Progress it to standing on one leg and you should feel the core fire up even more.
  • 5. Classic pull up
    Although the classic pull up is too difficult for most people initially, the goal of training should be, at some point, to be able to move your mass. In other words, you need to be able to pull yourself up. We need to work up to being able to move our bodies upwards against gravity.
  • 6. Rotate
    Through time, our cores become non-reactive and sluggish. Rotation is one of the most powerful generators of strength and power and it is essential for good function. Rotation can be improved through standing resistance band exercises, chop exercises, planks with rotation, cable chops and rotations, and all kinds of ball exercises. Additionally, most people do not rotate properly when they walk. Which brings us to our final primal pattern, walking.
  • Your Training Essentials Kit: Stay Strong with these 7 Movements
    7. Walking
    Is fundamentally important, and yet largely overlooked. Those looking for a big calorie burn will run: nothing wrong with that, but it is not the same as the walk pattern. Running is not fast walking. When you walk, unlike running, both feet are in contact with the earth at the same time allowing your trunk to rotate. Try this exercise: walk the line. Go slow and put one foot in front of the other and as you do, pull in your abs a little. You should feel the rotation coming from the core and the exaggeration of the rotation. Whether you run or not, you should be walking.

Final Thoughts

Recommended Goal: be strong enough to MOVE YOU. Your mass, your weight. That means be able to:

  1. Do 1 pull up (at least).
  2. Do 1 perfect military push up (at least)
  3. Each leg should independently be able to lower you all the way down and raise you all the way back up.
  4. Walk 3-5 miles without a problem.

If you can move your own mass in this way, you have a very good start to having awesome functional fitness.

If you need a tune-up in your fitness routine, want the tools to achieve the goals discussed above, or need ideas on how to vary squats, lunges, hinges, pulls, pushes, rotations, and proper walking technique, find your club at pivotalfitness.com or justfitness4udallas.com and call the front desk to make an appointment with one of our certified trainers.