Lately I’ve been sharing some stories of how I train, how it works for me and how it can work for you too. I am by no means directing this at any one group in particular; although I’m aware it will most likely resonate with guys in terms of getting lean and putting on muscular size. However, what I’m saying is: this is for everyone.
Girls– do you want to drop body fat and get a better shape but not get ‘bulky’?
I’ve heard this many many times as a trainer. Well guess what- you do need to increase lean muscle mass, but the risk of you getting ‘bulky’ or massive is slim to non-existent. Guys that are big in muscular size and definition don’t just get like that by mistake, they work hard at it and eat a lot, girls even more so. There are a few genetic freaks out there, but for the general female population ‘getting bulky’ is a long long way off. Getting strong and healthy means putting on muscle, and getting killer legs, a flat stomach and actually having a butt!
This is bulky… (and a nice perm might I add)
So then, how is this training advice directed at you? Because strong is sexy!
I know we all have different tastes, and that’s cool, but if you look at the best looking females around, they are fit. Proper fit; strong, lean, have muscular definition (without being bulky…) as well as being able to bust out some hill sprints and perhaps a fast 3km run if the situation calls for it.
NOT just capable of looking good under clothes, until they get into a bikini and all of a sudden another ‘skinny fat’ person appears.
This term refers to people, guys as well, who appear to be skinny, but actually still have a high body fat percentage, and very little muscular definition or shape. Isn’t shape, curves and lines what first attracts us to someone’s physical appearance? Not the floppy thighs and shapeless butt and arms of the ‘skinny fat’ person.
Have a look at the complete lack of muscle and shape on this skinny female. A high body fat percentage is a certainty here:
Again, at this point I am obviously only talking for myself, but then again I’ve been training people for close to 8 years now (and as a straight guy been attracted to females for close to 30!) and in that time I’ve heard so many girls say- “I want to lose weight, tone my bum, thighs, stomach and arms” and guys say basically the same- “I want to lose weight, put on some muscle and get ripped”.
Talk to any good trainer, I bet you they have heard these to the point that they immediately decide in their minds, upon hearing such an aspiration, “A diet clean up, weights and hard work it is for you my friend”!
Who wants to look good naked? Does this resonate with anyone (everyone)?
So guys– have a look through my previous posts and take on board some of my tips and protocols. Set some goals, train hard, always with correct technique, eat clean and at the right time and amounts and watch yourself get lean, strong and in shape- ripped!
Girls-it’s time to forget the soft ‘go for a nice walk’ attitude, put an end to your ‘power walk with my bestie’ and do some proper training. Running for 10km a few times a week may eventually lead to you dropping weight, and getting aerobically fit, but it won’t see you gain any sort of tightness and muscular shape in your legs, butt, stomach or arms. If you want this kind of body, if you want a smooth, flat stomach, perky ass, and killer legs then you have to put away the kilometres and repetitive classes (and knee problems) and start lifting some weights. Challenge your muscles to grow and develop, burn body fat and most importantly change your hormonal profile for the better.
I think we all know that the girls that look the best have definition, shape and no floppy cellulite. Is that right? Well I can bet you anything they lift weights. They get under a bar and work hard. Yes they may hit the road and do some running, but it is in conjunction with and has to complement proper resistance training.
Here is London 2012 Olympic Heptathlon Gold Medalist Jessica Ennis. She is one sexy chick- lean and with great shape. (Ok so she has visible abs- but that’s how you get gold medals.)If you want to get a sexy body that approaches something remotely similar to this then rest assured- this sexy chick is strong as hell!
It’s the same for the guys you’re attracted to. Extreme cases here, but who looks better, Skinny or strong?
Size 0 (that term doesn’t even make sense to me) models are so thin and floppy it’s disgusting. Wouldn’t they look better with some shape to their legs, a butt and some strength? I’ll answer that for you- yes!
What about plus size models? Yes it’s a better picture of ‘real’ women, but too much plus is unhealthy, just like the skinny fats. What the media portray for most things is absolute bollocks, and it’s no different here.
Girls- do you pay attention to this rubbish? Or do you find strong, fit, lean and health to be sexy?
To have the kind of body most girls want requires hard work, a proper training and nutrition ethic and strength development. Of course it goes without saying that it’s the same for guys. It’s the finer points like loading parameters that we alter depending on the exact goals desired.
I am lucky enough to work in a team with some great trainers, and I know that some of the boys are beasts. I don’t mean that literally, like Teenwolf, but are strong, fit and ripped. They can train the house down and look the part. However, some of the girls I work with could put most blokes to shame. Yet these girls aren’t huge ‘bulky’ freaks. They’re not training 3 times a day and eating ‘the baby food diet’. These girls eat well, train hard and are strong. And guess what- they look good.They are fit and attractive.
Here’s some pictures of my girlfriend NN training. Note: she is using load, not 1kg dumbbells like any ‘celebrity training shot’!
I may be biased but it’s safe to say this girl is healthy, strong and sexy. 3 reps nailed here easy! This is strong!
Now it’s not all about looks, of course. There is much more to this.
Resistance training and high intensity interval training will increase the strength of your whole body: muscles, bones, connective tissue, respiratory and circulatory systems. And it’s not all physical, there is so much stuff going on in the body that is affected by this. Remember the hormones, most chicks and their guys know about these… But your hormonal profile will be dramatically improved with resistance training, which can lead to a number of physical benefits, but also emotional, psychological and mental. Alertness, energy and concentration as well as a sense of being powerful, in control and efficient are all benefits I’m sure every female could appreciate.
Let me dispel some myths
“If I train in the weights room I’m going to get stared at by all the guys”.
This is a major issue for many girls and I can understand the weights room can be a very intimidating place. But let me assure you most guys in the weights room are just like you and focusing on their own workout and trying to figure out what they’re doing. They’re trying to get results and have probably got some insecurities too.
Besides, if a guy is staring, well perhaps he’s impressed, thinking “awesome, it’s good to see a chick training properly”, that’s definitely what I think.
“I shouldn’t be training in the weights room because I don’t know what I am doing”.
I felt just like this when I went to the Sydney Fish Market for the first time. Trust me, I was nervous. So, I asked someone, did my research and attacked it with confidence. So, when it comes to the gym, do some research of your own, find out what to do or even better find a good trainer and use their services. Yes it costs money, but what is health, a sexy body and increased confidence worth to you? Value yourself and invest in yourself. A top quality trainer is worth their weight in information on what to do. They should instil confidence in you getting into the weights room so you know what it is you’re doing and how to do it, so each time you hit the gym you can nail it and walk away happy and confident in what you just achieved! Never be afraid to ask too many questions, especially if you’re paying for their services.
“It’s impossible to get space with all the guys working out”
Often the weights room can look really busy, but you just need to know what to look out for. Usual etiquette would suggest that if a towel or drink bottle is on a piece of equipment or bench then that is being used by someone and it is to be left alone until such a time that they are done with it. If this is the case just ask politely how many sets they have left, you may even be able to ‘work in’ with them. Everyone’s a winner. If you find free equipment, remember that you have every right to be there too so be confident with what you’re doing (see paragraph above) and own your space until you are ready to move on.
“Pump and the other classes get me sweating and my muscles working”
This may be true, but pump style classes do not constitute proper and effective resistance training. Sure, they work your muscles using resistance, but the resistance has to be so light that a thousand reps can be completed. This invariably leads to shortened muscles, decreased mobility around key joints from so many partial (and usually terrible) reps, massive muscular imbalances and weaknesses which all repeatedly lead to long term injury. Not only this but I see the same people walk in and out of classes time and time again and guess what- their bodies don’t change. Apart from the new strapping tape the physio has applied that is. If you purely want to exercise for fun and to enjoy it with friends, then by all means, fill your boots. Find me someone who only does classes and has achieved the results they truly want, free of injury, and I’ll be suitably impressed.
Lastly on this issue, here’s something to contemplate:
For every girl tentatively training in the weights room afraid of the guys judging them, I bet there are 5 guys thinking the exact same thing. Everyone’s just trying to do their thing.
Here goes NN again, this is a strong girl, and of course sexy, athletic and with all the right curves. I have a prejudice of course, but look how she moves and does this heavy weight with ease and great form, and she is a world away from being ‘bulky’.
Can you do this?
So girls, what are you waiting for? Not quite sure what to do? Dreading getting bulky..?? Well I’m going to give you some more specific advice about how to train and why. But at this stage there is no reason, if you’re at a capable level, that you can’t follow the advice I’ve already given this year. If you want to drop dress sizes, get into those jeans you’ve had in the wardrobe for a few years and look good naked then you need to address your diet and start lifting weights and get strong.
Click on the ‘Extra bits’ page at the top for my Get Ripped and Lean Workout. Take it with you to the gym and get into it!
Once again, I welcome any feedback on this or any post. What girls out there agree with me? Do you want to be ‘skinny’ or do you want to have a hot butt and defined legs? What guys think this kind of female- strong, with curves and some athletic shape, without being big- is sexy, not shapeless, floppy models.?
And one final thought for the guys to ponder: when a weight feels tough or the workout seems too hard, just remember- out there somewhere there is a strong chick warming up with your max…
Please comment below, or get onto my facebook page and discuss:
And… that’s my rant. All the best with your training!
To read the how to plan to getting lean, sexy and healthy, click here
Awesome insight Mike! Agree with it all – weights room intimidates me unless with a PT, classes are dull and full of too many ppl just there to show off their new sportswear, skinny fat is not en trend!! Give me weights and a challenge any day!! And so I’m laying myself one now – to dead lift what NN did above by end of winter!
Nice! Good challenge! Better get training and working on that form then. heavy dead lifts are one of the toughest and most demanding lifts. All the best!
Best Blog Mike.
First of all, NN great form on the deadlift! Good weight.
The weight room intimidate me at first for 5 reasons:
1. My age, what the hell am I doing in here at my age.
2. So noisy, all the huffing, puffing and dropping of weights
3. At my local gym, they are big big burly boys
4. I am a girl
5. Don’t know what I am doing
However I got use to it and love it in there. I am 90% of the time the only girl in there. Most of the boys are great! They just do there thing and I do mine, although I think we all look at each other sideways through the mirrors. I just like to see what they are doing, what weight they are using and I know they do the same to me. On occassions I have shared equipment with them, when the gym is busy. Nice to have a spotter occassionally.
When I get into the gym after a few weeks of missing in action, I am surprised at how many people and trainers ask me where have you been? Are you still dead lifting? what is your 1RM max? What routine are you doing today?
Give me a barbell and some weights and I am one happy girl!
Great points Rose!
Everyone is just doing their thing and working out. Attack it with confidence and own your space. If you really want to train and get results then you need get crack into it.
Respect to the females out there who dominate the weights room!
Hi Mike – great post – I can’t seem to find the Basic Guide to Resistance Training… am I too eager, has it not gone up yet?
Yep it’s in the bits and pieces menu at the top. It’s the Primal pattern movement series summary. You should be able to download it by clicking on it.
All the best!
Kia ora, I’m loving this week’s blog! I have a huge ‘fear/dread/issue’ of the ‘weights area’… mainly because it’s male dominated and because I don’t feel like I’ve had a work out if I only do weights….after running, rowing, xtrainer or spin I ‘feel’ like I’ve worked out, but with weights I don’t feel like I’ve made a difference so I tend to not bother…… but your words of inspiration and your knowledge have made me feel a bit braver and maybe I need to change what I’m doing… SO, at my next gym session, I will attempt to do some weights (as well as something active, will that be okay??).
I’m also loving your adoring words about Nards, very cute! Nards, I’m soooooo impressed at the size of the weights you’re lifting, holy jeepers, amazing!!
Thanks again MC xxx
Good work Mez, that’s it. Just crack on!
Of course you can do some high intensity cardio, but leave it until the end and push yourself with the weights. Make sure the weight is heavy enough that after 10-12 reps is very hard to do, almost failure. Keep your rest short, about 1 minute and pair a lower body exercise with an upper body e.g. squat and pull (see movement pattern document). Do 4 rounds/sets of each and move on to a bend and push.
See how you feel after that!
All the best!
Liking the different direction of the blog, great video as well. Particular exercise targeting a specific muscle shape (focusing on correct form) rotating with the healthy feeds is something I’d always open. Easy to read and delivered to my door step. Much easier than having to search the net.
Good stuff bro.
Always trying to make it easy for the punters!
NN is hot! And form beyond awesome. Great post Mike.
Cheers Muz! Both true, killing that dead lift. Plenty of room for more weight there.
Well I have to say a few years ago, when I started weight training, I was afraid too. All the girls were in the cardio sessions and it just seemed that it was the way it is supposed to be. But something was wrong, the girls who weight trained had the best butts I’ve ever seen, and the cardio queens didn’t. So I hired a personal trainer (yes, it is expensive, but it is totally worth it) so that he could guide me through my first months of strength training, showing me the right way to perform exercises. After a few months (it stayed with him because I actually started to like the training, and I also saw outstanding results) I already knew what to do in the weight section and I started doing my own training.
Like everything else, the toughest part is to get started, once you’re there, everything is easier. I highly recommend girls to find someone (a trainer or a friend) that will help you get through your first months of lifting weight, and don’t be afraid, what Mike says is totally true, you won’t get bulky, you will look greeeaaat!!!!
Great to hear some more testimonials from chicks on training hard and lifting weights!
Very true, it’s getting starting that is the hard part, after you’ve maintained some consistency and you see the results you’ve always wanted then not lifting is the hard part!
Looking AND feeling great are staples in most peoples goals, so the first two things to do are address your nutrition and start lifting!
All the best with your continued training.
GIRLS- listen to Natalia!
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