Strength training will make me look too ‘bulky’
Many women are afraid to lift weights because they are afraid of looking too masculine, and by that, they generally mean gaining a significant amount of muscle mass. It’s actually quite challenging for women to bulk up from strength training, as they naturally don’t have as much testosterone as men. Strength training is actually the most effective way to tone up, lose fat and create that sleek body contour. Women who carry a lot of muscle have likely worked very hard for it and adjusted their diet over a significant amount of time.
Exercise Is The Best Way To Lose Weight
Close, but not quite. The food we fuel our bodies with is what’s going to make up 80 per cent of our results. No matter how many burpees we do, if we’re still eating the wrong foods our bodies aren’t going to change.
It’s best to eat after your workout so our stomach isn’t trying to digest food. When we eat a big meal, our stomach needs blood to help it digest; just like our muscles need it when we workout. If you start working out after a big meal, our tummies will stop digesting. This will often make you feel sick, especially when those burpees come around!
In order to get the best results, eat 30 - 45 minutes after your workout to get the most out of the meal. After the workout is when your body needs those nutrients to start recovery. Eat proteins to give your muscles the amino acids needed to repair. Complex carbs to build up glycogen used as energy during a workout. Vegetables to get your vitamins, minerals and fibre in and healthy fats to nourish the body.
You Should Avoid Skincare Before Exercising
There are two camps on this one. Many advise entering a workout with completely bare, cleansed skin which I'm ALL for. This not only allows your skin to breath while sweating, but it also removes any makeup or dirt that could clog your pores and cause sweat spots. There are times however when your skin may need that extra care and protection to stay healthy, for example, if your gym goes hard on the air-conditioning or if you go out running in cold harsh conditions, you may need a light layer of moisturisation to save you from dry skin. If this sounds familiar, try to use skincare products free from pesticides, bleaching, colouring and fragrances to avoid irritation or clogging. A natural oil such as Rosehip Oil is perfect as it's super lightweight.
Go Hard Or Go Home
Hold it right there buddy. In some cases, with the pressure to ‘do it all' and always work out, people can start to be prone to injury, not able to give it their all and suffer low mood. Overtraining can result in burnout, doing more damage than good. Plan your exercise schedule for the week and be sure to make room for a couple of rest days. Getting adequate sleep and staying hydrated is essential for recovery so make them a priority to keep you in good health.
Here’s a rough guide on how to approach your workout schedule:
Monday- muscle strength (eg. A barre class or pilates)
Tuesday- high intensity/muscle strength (eg. A HIIT class)
Wednesday- high intensity (eg. Boxing)
Thursday- rest day/stretch (eg. relaxed walk with a stretch)
Friday- muscle strength (eg. Barre)
Saturday- high intensity (eg. Boot Camp)
Sunday- rest/stretch/ low intensity (eg. A yoga class or gentle walk)
Strength Training Can Cause Joint Issues
On the contrary, weight-bearing exercises like squats and lunges help to build strength in your legs and hips. With stronger muscles, your joints will be more stable. You will only hurt your joints if you do not practise proper technique so make sure to check your form before you carry on with your workout.
Lizzie Bland is the founder and a trainer at Lean Bean Fitness & Lean Bean Retreats. Follow her here.