Many women are generally afraid of lifting weights as they think they will be putting on big muscles. Despite the fact that this is almost physiologically impossible due to a lack of testosterone. Mens natural ability to create testosterone, along with the huge amount of protein consumed are what really create muscle hypertrophy.
The men that are really big and muscular have got there eating huge amounts of calories to do so. This is a continuous job of taking in protein and making sure enough calories are being consumed.
Women just have to make sure not to go overboard with their calorie intake.
There is also a fear of going outside the comfort zone. It is very easy to keep doing what your used to and think you are doing enough. However, this will not get you the results you are looking for.
Lifting what you find a heavy weight for 8 – 10 reps will put the body into a major calorific deficiency that will have the body burning calories for up to 24 hours. This rep count is important as going over 12 reps really is to many reps and means that the weight you are lifting is far to low.
It will leave it very difficult for you to improve your strength and to tone up. You should aim to keep the reps low and find the weight challenging.
The sets can be between 3 – 5 with a rest period of around 40- 60 seconds. This will give you the lean and toned look rather than the skin and bone look of a cardio junkie.
The heavy weights your lifting should be focused on free weights rather than machine weights. Machine weights are generally in a fixed start which means you have to adjust for them. This will put you out of your normal range of motion. Free weights are lifted entirely by the lifter, who controls the weight through the entire range of motion, with the help of the synergistic muscles.
This means that more of your body is working and that your body is moving in a free range of motion that is comfortable to you. Thus preventing long term injuries and meaning your getting the most out of the exercises.
If you have never lifted weights before then the news is even better. Newbies get greater gains due to the effects of the neuromuscular system and basically getting the muscles firing. The other good news is that studies have shown that most women can gain strength regardless of their starting point or amount of muscle mass.