The answer to this is no!
Weight training is designed to use the force of gravity, in the form of weighted equipment, to resist against the force that muscles generate. There are various types of weight training and you can use a wide variety of equipment.
When people think of weight training, it is most likely that a picture of a bodybuilder will pop into their head. Whilst we all know bodybuilders work hard in the gym lifting weights, we also have to appreciate that they have strict training programmes they perform, plus have a precise diet which helps them to build muscle mass. For women especially, we do not naturally have enough testosterone production to make us massive so do not panic!
If you want to tone up and even lose weight, weight training plays an important role in this. It is known that improved muscle mass can help boost your resting metabolic rate1 (which is basically the amount of calories you use when resting).
This means by increasing your muscle mass you can actually burn more calories when you are not doing anything.
Another interesting factor that I come across is people believe that muscle weighs more than fat, and are worried if they weight train they will get heavy. The weight of 1lb is the same whether it is fat or muscle. The only difference is the amount of space it will take up in your body and the health implications it can have on you. Muscle is a lot denser than fat so takes up less space within the body. Because of the density if you were to measure the same proportions of muscle and fat, muscle would weigh more due to this fact2
So now that we have cleared these points up it should make it easier to see that by lifting weights you will not get massive. By decreasing your body fat levels and increasing your muscle mass you will gain health benefits including:
• Improvement in body shape
• Improved strength
• Increased resting metabolic rate
• Protection form injury
• Improved posture
Increased body-fat above the acceptable range is linked with adverse health problems including: type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure etc3 acceptable body fat percentage for women should be between 25-31% and for men 18-25%4
So do not be afraid of lifting weights. For more information please get in touch with Gemma Fitness and we can help you to include this into your training routine!
1. Zurio F, Larson K, Bogardus C, Ravussin S. Skeletal muscle metabolism is a major determinant of resting energy expenditure. J Clin Invest.
2. Mcardle W, Katch F, Katch V. Exercise Physiology: Nutrition, Energy and Human Performance. Philladelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012.
3. NIH. Assessing your weight and health risk. U.S Department of Health & Human Services; 2012 [Acessed 24.06.2014] http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/risk.htm
4. BMI Calculator. Body Fat Chart; 2012 [Acessed 26.04.2014] http://www.bmi-calculator.net/body-fat-calculator/body-fat-chart.php