If you want to "tone-up," get a bigger, tighter butt, or lose fat AND keep it off, you need to be lifting weights to some degree.
Time to stop messing around and get serious. I am not certain where the notion that lifting weights is going to make women bulky came about, but please, Please, PLEASE, get that out of your heads. That idea is entirely unfounded in science, and the fact that it is so prevalently accepted is astounding.
The real fact is, none of the aforementioned, bolded things can be accomplished well without lifting weights in some capacity. You may sit there and think, "well I don't want to lift weights, and my friend Helga didn't lift weights, she only did body weight exercises and got great results..." That is STILL lifting weights, and that is a good thing.
Everyone needs to start somewhere that is within their ability level and that they are comfortable with. For most people that would be performing body weight exercises which is simply manipulating the weight of your body, that you are already accustomed to, in different ways against the force of gravity.
Once you have surpassed many of the challenges body weight exercise can impose, you simply begin to add further resistance and difficulty with different bands, cables, machines, free weights, plyometrics, tempo, rest, etc.
In regards to toning up: what that actually translates to is having your muscles show more. We can tone-up in two ways separately, or combine them both to get the best results.
One of those ways being losing body fat, and If you've ever said or heard someone say "I don't have any abs," you/they are lying. EVERYONE HAS ABS. If we didn't, there would be a whole host of simple activities we could not conduct in our daily lives. It really comes down to how much fat is covering them. If we reduce our body fat percentage enough, we will definitely see ab definition. Ohhh yeahhh!!!
The other component of this two-part equation would be the size of the muscles. If we didn't lose any body fat, but made our abs bigger (termed muscle hypertrophy), we would still be able to see some definition at some point, because those muscles are going to be more shapely and stick out! Obviously if we just combine both of those components we can maximize our outcome and "tone-up" super effectively.
I briefly mentioned hypertrophy above, which is just increasing the size of the muscles. More specifically it is increasing the size/circumference of individual muscle fibers within the muscle belly. This can only be done by putting the body under additional stress above the norm, so in other words lifting weights.
If we aren't overloading the body, it doesn't have to work hard to adapt to the new stresses and change itself to become stronger. It really is as straightforward as that. Therefore, we often need to change the stress or make it more difficult to continue progressing.
This is how you get a great butt!
Jogging a couple times a week is great, but at a certain point it isn't really going to help you with your big booty goals unless you vary it and/or combine it with other strategies and implementations with that specific purpose in mind.
Lastly, many people struggle with losing weight and keeping it off. Specifically for women and relating to lifting weights, this could be where you are missing part of the equation. If you have lost weight but have the darnedest time keeping it off, then it might be time to rethink your strategy.
By Increasing muscle size and density, you are going to be actively combatting unwanted weight gain by doing nothing more than just sitting around, because bigger more active muscles are going to burn more calories.
In addition to this glorious news, going in and breaking down the muscles through weightlifting activities is going to require your body to rebuild them above their previously normal functioning capacity. For you, this means higher caloric expenditure above anything basic cardio can accomplish. Let's turn that bod into a calorie burning furnace!
What are the positive effects of lifting weights for women?
Lifting weights isn't a panacea for health and fitness ailments and struggles in and of itself, but its damn near close. As opposed to some of the limited benefits offered by things like performing 45 mins of mundane cardio 5-7 times a week, however, it certainly offers a wider array of extensive positive outcomes. Though I could spend all day on each of these specifically, the numerous benefits of weightlifting include:
To me, if a women knows what she is doing in the gym, there is no better thing, and any woman that has that level of experience should feel like an absolute boss.
Not even in the sense of jaw-dropping, straight-up gawking physical attractiveness. I'm talking about intangibles like just being confident enough to go and own a space that is considered to be traditionally dominated my male machismo.
It's tough, because guys don't always make it an easy scene for women to get started with weightlifting, and I think that may be because there is a false perception of "territory" in the gym from all parties.
Guys are expected to frequent the weights with their cutoffs and excessive grunting, and girls are expected to utilize everything else with their lack of sweat and body odor, designer clothing, and always perfect hair and make-up.
Hopefully, the stigma of women lifting weights can shift, even if only slightly, to be a more inclusive, realistic, and - hopefully I've proven to you at this point - productive option for you. That inclusivity will allow more people access to the things that can better serve them in reaching their goals.
Ladies, bulking-up is no easy task.
If it was, every guy you know and see would be gigantic, because honestly what guy wouldn't like to look good? Men naturally have the hormones and the physiology to better support muscular development compared to females, and it is STILL difficult for them.
Think about it, guys have all this extra testosterone coursing through their veins from age 14 to (hopefully at least) 40. This is a huge determinant in a person's propensity for muscular/physical development. Females do have some testosterone, but not nearly in the amounts present in healthy males.
Even with that very basic fundamental difference, there are other congenital and sex-specific factors that give males the advantage in this arena, like the higher prevalence of certain fast-twitch muscle fibers that tend to be able to grow more in size and density as opposed to the slow-twitch fibers more prevalent in females.
That's not all, without taking diet into consideration, the likelihood of ballooning up into a muscled she-ape just from doing some free weight exercises is nigh impossible.
What you may not know is that for females to put on large amounts of muscle (think female body builder status) it is incomprehensibly difficult to do naturally without a very strict diet and workout regimen. The misconception I have found that women may have about lifting weights is that it will unequivocally make them look like a female body builder who is actually using androgenic steroids.
This slightly frustrates me, because it is so polarized. There is certainly more of a spectrum than "lift and automatically be huge" or "don't lift and stay the same as you are now." This is far from the case. Females are not "built" to put on huge amounts of muscle.
Yeah, you certainly can achieve that if you fully dedicate your time, effort, willpower and money to it, but it requires a special person and admirable character to actually be able to achieve their level of prowess; and whether you appreciate their aesthetics or not, it is truly an art.
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