Let’s get this out of the way….women I am talking to you…unless you’re shooting up some serious steroids and following that up with monster lifts, you are not going to look like a man. It takes more than lifting pink dumbbells that are lighter than a milk carton. Getting big requires serious work, serious dedication, and most importantly, having that as your goal. It is never accidental. Now that is out of the way, let’s talk about your muscles.
The meat on your bones is very important. Its contractions and extensions move your skeleton, keep your skeleton safe and sturdy as you go through the motions of life.
Therefore, healthy, strong muscles equals healthy strong movements equals enjoyment of life. Too simple? Let me break it down further.
My daughter broke her leg while skiing the Christmas before last. She took it like a champ, and had a pink cast on it for six weeks (a four year old did not need more). When the cast was removed the leg that had been broken was visibly smaller than the other one, if they were drumsticks on a table, that one would surely be left in the serving dish.
Consequently, she could not walk with a normal gait for the next few weeks. It was easier for her to walk with that foot facing away from the center line in order to distribute the weight differently on the foot and reduce knee extension which she was afraid of.
Putting pressure on the foot daily strengthened it, and without noticing, she was back to jumping and running normally, there is no visible difference between the legs now, the muscles have grown back and can bear the weight.
You come and see me, and tell me you want to tone…but not build muscle…if there ever was an incongruent statement that should be it, because you see, toning IS building muscle by definition…You cannot have muscle tone if you do not have muscle.
When you begin training, you begin to change from the inside out. Resistance training begins to strengthen you, your bones become stronger, and your muscles thicken (grow) – Just like diamonds that need pressure to form, so does you body, you have to get uncomfortable for this to happen.
Do not take this to mean no pain no gain, there is a limit. You do not need to be crawling after each and every workout, you may not even experience soreness, but during the workout, you will have to feel the exertion, otherwise, there is no workout going on. Making sure you are exercising correctly is important. A lot of injuries are a result of repeated motions that are not done correctly.
You also have to manage your expectations…Muscle unfortunately does not form as easily as fat does. It takes body builders years (if done naturally) to build award winning physiques, muscle formation is not a one stop shop, it needs a maintenance dose as well, which is where habits come into play. Building habits that promote muscle health are better in the long run.
So, unless you’re shooting up some serious and probably illegal sh**, get over your fear….lifting heavy will get you toned, and nothing more, because you need to work that hard to get those curves, period.