“Dear 50% of Fun and Fit: Will weight training make me too bulky? I don’t want to lift weights if it makes me have huge muscles. I want to be slimmer.”
- Miss Informed, MythConception, TX
Aaaaarggggh, excuse me while I beat my head against a wall (which burns 150 kcals per hour, by the way). This is what we in the industry call a Big Fat Myth (myth: an unfounded or false notion. Thank you Merriam-Webster.com).
For some reason, many women still believe that lifting weights will somehow make them “hyage.” You can only get hyage if you participate in bodybuilding, which is a competitive event. For that you’d need a specific training regimen and a very small bikini. I don’t think this is your intent so let’s talk about what some weight training can do for you.
[box type="note"]Although this may sound like you’ve just moved to Opposite-Land, you can actually lose weight by lifting weight. How? You burn 8-10 kcals a minute lifting weights. That’s kind of cool by itself, but there’s more. (trumpets here please) After you are done weight training, you get a present delivered by DHL (Definite Hot Looker). That gift is called a metabolic spike. It lasts for about an hour and means that you’ll zap an additional 25% (approx.) of the kcals you just burned during the workout.[/box]
Here’s the low-down with higher math. Let’s say you are lifting enough weight to burn 10 kcals per minute (okay, it’s really just an easier number to use than 8), and you train for 30 minutes, hard. That works out to….(need to get out toes as I ran out of fingers)…300 kcals. By this calculation, you will then wave your magic metabolic spike in a non-threatening manner after you leave the gym and sit at the red light texting (illegally, you bad girl), and gain an additional burn rate of 75 kcals. So, you little worker-outer-weight-lifter-bee, you just tossed 375 kcals out the window (along with that cell phone…oops).
Then there is the fact that it takes more energy to sustain muscle than it does fat, you little metabolic heater, you! So if you are a super-snacker, with no plans to change those bad-girl eating habits, at least you’ll veg easier, knowing that your increased muscle mass is burning extra kcals at a higher rate than before you touched the weights (by “touched” I don’t mean the way Gene Wilder touched his food in “Young Frankenstein.” Also notice how I snuck in the word “veg” so you’ll suddenly have a desire to eat veggies? But that bit of nagging is for another day.
So, dear Miss, get up, grab some weights, and get going with the pumpity-pump.
Dear Readers: Are you afraid of weight training? What myths have you fallen for?