I am often asked what the best workout is, and my answer is usually “Whatever one you will actually DO,” because even if you have a masterfully designed program by the best exercise physiology team in the world, if you hate it, dread it, and then never do it, it’s the worst workout because you don’t get results for what you don’t do! If someone’s at the “I’ll do anything” phase, then I generally suggest something with some weight training involved… But then I get the question, especially from women: “does lifting weights bulk you up?”
First of all, no. In order to get really bulky, MOST people have to do a lot of work, and not just in the weight room. I’m talking eating tons and tons of chicken breast – sometimes even out of a ziplock baggy and cold… That’s what I’ve seen body builders do, because you need a massive amount of protein to really get big muscles.
The fact is, muscle burns fat, and it provides a lot of really attractive curves that are not reminiscent of a linebacker. I promise.
If you take a look at my instagram stories (that, along with my Too Fit To Quit facebook group is where I post my accountability), you’ll note that I try to spend a lot of time in the gym. I used to only work out at home, back when I was really active as a Beachbody coach. I have taken a step back from coaching, as I mentioned in my review of ChaLEAN Extreme (which I strongly recommend), and while I am still happy to write blog about fitness, am still really interested in fitness and happy to help my friends and anyone else with suggestions, I personally don’t follow any beachbody programs to the letter anymore. I am still drinking my Shakeology, though!
I have been doing a program that Tommy (my husband, who is a physical therapist that works with athletes at UCLA and is fellowship trained through USC and has an exercise physiology undergraduate degree) and his friend, who is a powerlifter studying to be a PT (physical therapist, not personal trainer), wrote for me, and I have been loving the results. It is five days per week of lifting, mostly pretty heavy. Last week, I deadlifted 185lbs twice, and squatted 150lbs twice! I don’t think anyone would look at me and say I’m bulky!
The reason that I share this is to encourage you, especially if you’re female, to get off the treadmill and pick up something heavy, even if that “something heavy” is you (which means I am encouraging body weight exercises). I’m not saying “don’t ever do cardio,” but I strongly believe (especially with the learning that was part of my nutrition journey) that weights are the best thing you can do! Does lifting weights bulk you up? Only if you try REALLY hard, for most people. There are SOME people who may put on muscle faster than others, but I STILL think that weight training can be right, just possibly with some tweaks!
I also think well-rounded is super important, so I also try to add yoga, foam rolling, an abs workout, and a HIIT workout (High Intensity Interval Training) each week as well. This is where my Beachbody workouts come in – I usually do them for HIIT, Yoga, and Ab workouts, right in my living room (or wherever, if you take advantage of the free trial of their streaming workouts)! Plus, I add in other things that come up for fun. Last weekend, I tried SoulCycle for the first time, and I am no stranger to a nice hike or random other class here or there!
If you ever would like our (I am volunteering my husband as well) help figuring out what workout is best for you, click here to contact me, or reach out on social media!
What are your favorite workouts to do? Do you lift weights?
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