As important as Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT) is for body fat loss and muscle tone, too many women are apprehensive to include it in their exercise routine. We are going to address a few of the most common misconceptions associated with MRT that we hear when we prescribe it that cause this apprehension;
“I don’t want to ‘lift weights’ because I don’t want bulky muscles”
This is the most common concern most women have about resistance training. The truth is, women don’t produce enough testosterone to add significant amounts of muscle quickly or easily. If bulky muscles are your goal, you would have to do a whole lot more than just 2-3 MRT sessions per week. Muscle mass takes years and years of hard work to build, and many female bodybuilders choose to enhance themselves chemically because they have such a hard time gaining significant amounts of muscle.
If you start to feel ‘bulky’ after starting resistance training, it’s almost always excess body fat this is making your feel like this, not increased muscle mass. You will most likely be feeling hungrier due to the improvements in your metabolism, which can lead to more eating. To avoid gaining that extra body fat, it is imperative that you stick to the healthy eating principles outlined in this manual. That way, you will gain some nice muscle tone and boost your metabolism, without increasing your body fat levels and feeling ‘bulky’
“Lifting light weights will give me toned muscles”
The weight that you lift should be relative to the amount of repetitions you are performing. Whether you are a footballer trying to increase your strength and power, or a cyclist trying to improve your endurance, you must select a weight that will create muscular fatigue within the most appropriate repetition range for your goals. As mentioned above, if weight loss is your objective, fatigue should be experienced between 15-20 repetitions. Your weights will be considered ‘light’ relative to the footballer who ultimately wants to fatigue between 1-6 reps as you’re having to perform the movement more times. Remember, if you are not lifting a weight that is challenging for you, there will be no reason for your body to adapt and you will not see the muscle tone results you desire.
“I only want to do abdominal exercises so that I can lose body fat around my stomach”
Trying to lose body fat in one particular area, also known as ‘spot reduction’, is not possible using natural methods. You will never attain a ‘flat’ stomach just by performing abdominal exercises. The reason for this is simple; a muscle does not own the fat that surrounds it. Sit-ups, for example, will definitely strengthen your abdominal muscles, but sit-ups alone will not get rid of the layer of fat that is covering the muscles. As we have mentioned throughout this manual, to lose fat anywhere on your body you need to create a calorie deficit by ultimately reducing your calories that you eat and increasing the calories that you burn. You may notice that you lose fat in some areas more quickly than in others. This is simply due to a genetic selective pattern, where your body decides where it wants to break down the fat from, rather than a particular type of exercise. It may decide to take it from your big toe first and there is nothing you can do about it!