Question: I have been trying to lose weight for months. I saw a lot of results when I first started but I’m not seeing results like I used to. I have been doing cardio and abs 3-4 times a week. I don’t want to lift weights because I am scared I will get bulky arms. Please help, summer is coming!

–Amanda, Carol Stream, Illinois



Amanda, thank you for the question. Please excuse my honest opinion throughout this article.

Hearing a girl tell me they don’t lift weights because they don’t want to get bulky is like nails on a chalkboard. It makes me want to pull my hair out.

Plain and simple, Strength training with moderate to heavy weights coupled with a good diet will lead to fat burn and that lean look you are looking for.

When a woman asks me what she should do to lose weight or get more “fit”, my first question is about her eating habits. Secondly, I ask her if she has ever strength trained before. This is where I typically get two different answers:

I get those woman who say yes. When we get in-depth on what they are doing, we get to the unfortunate conclusion that makes me want to rip my hair out. They tell me they are using the machines with very light weights and high reps, or are messing around with those 3,5,and 8 pound dumbbells. Ladies, please put those pink dumbbells down and don’t be afraid to lift heavy.

The No’s that I get aren’t any better. As I stated earlier, these are the women that don’t want to touch weights because they are afraid they will get bulky.Ladies, if you’re scared that you’re going to bulk up due to lifting weights you must be eating 5,000 calories a day and injecting yourself with testosterone.

Don’t belive me?
I have experience to back up my words. I have been working with a 46-year-old woman for 36 weeks. She came to me extremely overweight with a list of medications and health issues. Over those 36 weeks I have incorporated minimal cardio at the beginning of our sessions. Following that we hit basic bodyweight movements, strength training, and core exercises for the remainder of our sessions.

Her Result? ‘

She’s down 53 pounds, and some of her medication dosages in half, and is walking around with a lot more confidence than she’s ever had.

Still don’t believe me?

Another personal experience from training clients coming at ya,

One of my clients, an extremely self-motivated aspiring NPC bikini fitness model pushes the pace each and every day. Recently, she squatted 215 pounds. There are some guys I know that can’t even do that and she was doing it as her last set. You think she’s worried about getting bulky? absolutely not, the only thing on her mind is getting lean and shredded up. And I’ll tell you this much, she sure as hell isn’t messing around with those “light” weights. She wants heavy ass weight.

How about you girls (and guys too) that spend countless hours on cardio equipment.

I see it everyday. 30 minutes on the treadmill, 30 minutes on the elliptical, then you go back on the treadmill for another 30 minutes. First off, isn’t that boring, makes me bored just thinking about it? Second of all, are you seeing positive results? Change it up when you’re doing cardio. Sprints, Battle Ropes, Sled Pushes, Sled Drags, Interval Sprints, Jump Rope, are just a couple different variations of cardio off the top of my head. Keep it different and keep the heart rate constantly in different zones. A good diet coupled with moderate to heavy strength training and variations of cardio is a formula for success.

For my readers that still don’t believe me and are being stubborn or ignorant to the fact that strength training is actually beneficial for you, take a look at some benefits of strength training:

Burning calories is a given, but it also makes you look stronger and gives your muscles a leaner, shredded look.
Strength training boosts your metabolism, there is research that proves that the body continues to burn calories up to 36 hours after your strength session.
Muscle burns fat. Need I say more?
One pound of muscle burns 35-75 calories a day. One pound of far burns 8 calories per day. Again, need I say more?
Getting stronger makes your life easier.
Improved performance and confidence.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s going to take relentless motivation and consistency to reach that body of your dreams. Hopefully after reading this article it cleared up some of the misunderstandings there was when it came to lifting weights. If you remember one thing from this article let it be that lifting moderately to heavy weights combined with cardio and a good diet is the recipe for success.