Last week, when one of my students for the cellulite study showed up for her workout with me, she told me that we had to change up the workout. She wanted to go with lighter weights and more reps.
Here friend told her she was getting too big and bulky…that she could see her thighs getting huge, and that my client should go with lighter weights and higher reps.
Interesting. I have been a personal trainer for over 25 years, and yet her friend believes she knows more about exercise than I do.
I told my client that we will not do that. It’s my study and my training program that I want to detail in the book. I told her that even if we did back off on the weight, I will still train her to fatigue and move up in weights at the upper end of whatever rep range we do. In other words, we will still train hard. We will still workout in a way that will stimulate the fast twitch fibers to develop, grow and reshape the body. Remember, the slow twitch fibers do not change shape. It is the fast twitch fibers that do so we want to work them, and I want to demonstrate that in my book.
To assuage her fear about getting big and bulky, I decided to do a “spot-check” on her thighs to see if she did, indeed, get bigger.
Each thigh was down one and one quarter inch. In effect, she was losing inches around her thighs. Moreover, she had lost over 6 pounds of scale weight, and she gained close to 3 pounds of muscle when we took her measurements a few days earlier. In total, she lost about 8 pounds of fat. After just two months of training, she is fitting into clothes that were tight just a couple months ago.
And all of her friends (except the one who made the big thigh comment) are amazed at the changes they see in her body. They all are wondering what she is doing and how she is changing her body so fast.
But this one comment sent her into a tailspin. It almost derailed what we are trying to do.
Even after 25 years as a personal trainer, this is the one myth that is so challenging to break. Women are so afraid of getting bulky they shy away from the exercises that they really need to do to reshape the body and to lose body fat. That is intense strength training. Speaking of which, I have never seen a woman I train get big and bulky. I have women that can do over 500 pounds on the leg press, and they do not get big and bulky. The only thing that prevents them from getting leaner is the diet. Eating too many calories, or more likely too many carbs, is what prevents the fat loss, but even when they gain muscle, the measurements do not go up. They may not shrink, but they do not go up.
So my message to you is this: do not be afraid of training hard. Try to get stronger every workout and let your body shape the way your body is supposed to shape. Believe me, it will be a beautiful body.