How many ladies out there are afraid to lift weights? Is it because you feel like you’ll get bulky or look like a man? As a certified personal trainer this has to be the biggest myth and misconception I experience with my female clients.
It is all about testosterone:
Testosterone is the main hormone used in muscle building. The average man has 8 to 10 times the amount of testosterone a female has (1). This being said it is physiologically impossible gain as much muscle as a male being a female. If you still doubt science however just ask the guy who’s trying to bulk up daily in the gym plugging away at the weights and see the frustration he’s going through. It’s very hard for him to put on muscle and he has ten times the amount of testosterone you as a female.
How the myth most likely started:
In the world of competitive bodybuilding you will see huge amazon like women. They lift weights and look like She-hulk. When you put it together it would make sense to assume it’s due to weight lifting. These women I’m referring to even average gym going males looks small compared them in muscle size. How is this possible if men have 10 times more testosterone then a female? It’s a little secret known as steroids. When taking steroids depending on the dosage your testosterone levels can increase 1000% if not more. A steroid user has much higher testosterone levels than the average male or female.
The other issue is bodybuilding magazines market women badly. Turn the pages of everybody bodybuilding magazine you’ll see ads promoting supplements that will make you look like a professional bodybuilder the ads claim. The guy in the ad generally has huge muscles, ripped, angry and with veins popping out everywhere. He’ll probably be holding some heavy weights also. This is how ads appeal to sell supplements to guys. The ads with females sadly aren’t designed much differently. They market the ads with the females in the same way minus the angry part. Even thin girls will be very lean with veins popping out. What people fail to realize is these people in the ads have insanely low body fat and the ads often use Photoshop to bring out certain details they want to be more noticed like the over sized veins for example or freakishly ripped abs and etc.
With the use of high dosage of steroids in bodybuilding and supplement company’s horrible ad campaigns marketing towards females the same way they market towards guys is it any wonder how this horrible myth got started?
A real view of a girl who lifts weights with no gimmicks:
I will show you two pictures of one of my clients named Genine . One is a before and after pic where she went from 166lbs down to 123lbs. She did this with mostly weight lifting and a healthy diet. In the other picture Genine is squatting 170lbs. So not only is she lifting weights but she is lifting extremely heavy weights. Clearly she doesn’t look like She-hulk in fact you would never expect her to be as strong as she is just from looking at her.
For all you girls out there busting your butts on the treadmill 2 hours a day and not getting the results you would like, I suggest looking at your diet first and if that is ok try weightlifting. Please start off with lightweights and learn the exercises then move up to heavier weights as you get stronger. I bet you the results will come.
- (1) “Testosterone Production and how it Affects Men and Women.” Pharmacy RX Solutions. Retrieved February 13, 2013, From http://www.pharmacyrxsolutions.com/Testosterone.cfm