Fitness for Females: Why Pumping Iron Won’t Make you the Hulk

In a world with endless weight loss tips, copious amounts of pre-workout energy boosters, and conflicting advice rampant, what is a girl to do? How is it possible to obtain a healthy, toned body without getting the big bulging muscles of a man? The answer, though quite simple, is clouded by myths and the lack of knowledge. With a more in-depth knowledge of your body and a little weight training, and you will be able to punch the doubts away. Good news for girls: weightlifting will not give you muscles that will rip your favorite cap-sleeved shirt and you can thank your hormones for that. Although women do produce testosterone, which is the primary muscle-building hormone that is produced in the body, it is generated in a significantly lower dose than in males. You might actually go down a size in leggings, as lifting weights causes muscle to replace fat, and since lean body mass burns more calories, your metabolism will actually speed up.  Generally women should do more repetitions with less weights.” It is important to be aware of your body type prior to beginning weight training, as different exercises are more effective on certain types. The three base structures of body types are as follows: Ectomorph- An ectomorph is generally thin, with a small frame and a delicate bone structure. For an ectomorph, gaining weight is not easy and your metabolism is fast. A workout for an ectomorph should be short and intense bursts focusing on specific muscle groups at a time. An example of this type of workout would be a day focused on legs such as doing leg press, squats, and calf raises in addition to about 10 minutes on the Stairmaster. The next day, focus on arm, back and upper body exercises using free weights and machines or even doing yard work- a shovel does wonders for both your garden and your muscles! Mesomorph- A mesomorph has a more athletic build, with more defined muscles and a rectangular shaped body. This body type responds well to weight training with quick results. Mesomorphs require a small amount of cardio in addition to a regular weight routine. A mesomorph might play basketball for 30 minutes and then lift a couple of sets on each weight machine. Another good workout for a mesomorph would be a 15-minute jog in addition to a full body weight workout video. Endomorph- These people are generally short, with a softer and rounder body. Endomorphs have a slower metabolism and find it easy to gain muscle and fat. It is important to always train a combination of cardio workouts, such as running, swimming, and biking, as well as weight training. A perfect workout for an endomorph would be a 45-minute hike in addition to a couple exercises with free weights, which are small, hand-held weights that are not attached to a machine. The next day, switch it up by swimming a mile and then doing a couple sets of push-ups and lunges. Now that you know the workout best suited for your build, change up your routine to fit your body. Say bye-bye to the old routine, and do those squats with the confidence of an arsenal of fitness knowledge.   Photo Credit: Laura Asbury

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Tags: Alaina Finklemeier × female × fitness × × strength × weights × workouts

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