Fitness trainer Vinay Sangwan busts the myth that weight lifting reduces a woman’s femininity by bulking her up.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard a woman say, “I don’t lift weights because I don’t want to look hard and manly,” I probably would be a rich guy. I have no clue how this myth arose, but I know it’s time to destroy it.

Let me begin by telling you that lifting weights does not lead to a weight gain of hundreds of kilos. It does not make a woman look like a man. It does not reduce her femininity. The truth is that unless a woman lifts weights with an intention different from toning, she won’t be challenging her muscles.

Quick facts to clear misconceptions about women and weight lifting

#1 Lifting weights does not necessarily lead to the physique of bodybuilders

I have seen women use light weights with high reps to ‘tone’ their arms, for fear that their bodies may turn bulky with shredded muscles like a male or female bodybuilder. This is a baseless fear. Women can and should do the types of weight lifting workouts they fear the most.

Women who lift weights can never look like a bodybuilder unless they use large amounts of anabolic steroids, and train, eat and sleep like a professional. So don’t get fooled by images of women bodybuilders that suggest it’s possible for women to bulk up easily. Most people don’t realize how much preparation and planning it takes to build the body.

#2 Testosterone levels affect muscle development

Testosterone is the magic ingredient that allows men to develop well-defined muscles, and prevents women from getting that same type of masculine body. While both men and women produce testosterone, men just produce way more than women. That’s why men are the ones who become big and bulky more easily.

#3 Positive results of weight lifting for women can take several months to attain

The results of weight lifting depend upon many factors. These include initial fitness level, workout experience, injuries and inherent metabolism. Most women approach weight lifting to get lean and shed body fat.

They won’t be disappointed if they stick to a routine. Lifting heavy weights involves working against a high degree of resistance. This creates tiny muscular tears throughout the body, sending the system into overdrive. Repairing the tiny tears expends a greater number of calories, post-workout. Overall, the calorie burn will increase.

So, ladies, push yourself harder and take the weight up to the next level – that’s when you will see muscle definition and form improve!