I have been working out at least twice a week since I was 22. In my early twenties, I stuck to cardio, light weight training and yoga poses. Personally, I like the look of a long, lean body type. I always thought that lifting weights would give me a bulky and muscular body type – boy was I wrong.
Many women have a misconception that lifting weights will make you bulky and I too was one of them. It wasn’t until about 2 years ago, I had gained 15 lbs and my regular diet and workout regime wasn’t working! I’d lose a few pounds, only to step on the scale after a weekend of partying to see I’ve gained it all back.
I then started seeing a trainer once a week. I’d often express my concerns of lifting heavy weights and bulking up and they promised me that I wouldn’t get bulky. So I let go of my fears and just LISTENED. My trainers made me focus my workouts by major muscle groups – Chest Day, Back Day & Legs Day – weight training for about 30 minutes, followed by approximately 15 minutes of cardio. Weight training is definitely more important and effective at weight loss/body transformation than cardio.
In about 6 months, with a proper fitness regime combined with healthy eating, I was not only able to shed the weight but I feel I’m in the best shape of my life! I’m stronger, my waist has never been smaller, yet I was able to maintain the curves I had grown to love with my weight gain. Now, I can also cheat on the weekends and when I step on the scale, I don’t gain any weight!
You see, the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be. Maintaining/building your metabolism as you age is very important. So when working out, don’t focus on the scale and your weight, rather focus on inches and muscle mass. You will NOT bulk up, rather you will get more toned. Also, no amount of crunches will make your stomach flatter. You need to workout your entire body and shed total body fat. When working out your major muscle groups, they are ALL engaging your core and as a result you’re passively working out on your core at all times.
I now think, had I only known this when I was in my early 20s when your body moulds much faster, my body fat percentage would be much lower, my metabolism much higher and heck, I might’ve even had a 6 pack!
On a final note, just because I wish I knew this in my early 20s, it doesn’t mean it’s too late to start working out the RIGHT way now.