The average male, full of pride, ego, and testosterone…would rather slip a disc, snap a few ligaments, or risk being crushed to death than be caught in the gym as the puny little runt using baby/girly weights.
The average female, influenced by bone thin Victoria’s Secret Models, magazine cover girls, and instafamous IG models…are terrified that loading a bar too heavy or lifting any dumbbell in excess of 10lbs, will instantly make them bulky and gain massive amounts of weight on their body and on the scale.
Okay I get both sides…not like how old Bruce Jenner gets both sides, but I can see where these common errors of thinking stem from.
Guys – Here are 2 big concepts that you may be able to take away from this post, no matter if you are/think you’re the puny guy OR if you have hit a plateau in lifting the same daym amount of weight EVERY SINGLE gym session.
1.) Take advantage of not having enough strength yet to lift “heavy ass weight.” We all started somewhere, and chances are the bigger guys in the gym grunting are too busy looking at themselves in the mirror to pay attention to how much you have loaded on the bar. Most importantly, you are at an advantage, because you will see greater amount of stimulus from less amount of weight, which = HIGH LEVELS OF EFFICIENCY. It’s like the guy who gets hammered off 2 beers. He’s not a wussy, he is the smartest/richest guy in the bar because he doesn’t have to spend as much money as you when he goes out!
2.) It pains me when people ask me to help them with their program, and I ask how much they’re currently lifting in certain exercises. If they say “135lbs” or “225lbs” for 10 reps, that is the reason why. You need to utilize the principle of progressive overload. Basically, this means that over time you should be slowly increasing the weights you use or in other cases increasing number of reps/sets. DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE “BABY WEIGHTS.” I guarantee you, you will break through plateaus by increasing even by 5lbs total to each exercise you are currently doing.
Girls – A female client recently told me, “a barbell breaks every time a girl doesn’t want to lift because they don’t want to get bulky.” It is actually very difficult for girls to get bulky. The female bodybuilders you see that are just as big as other dudes, actually lift maybe more weight and are in the gym longer than most guys.
The more lean muscle that you have, the higher metabolism you will achieve AND the faster your body will burn fat. If you can do 10 repetitions of an exercise at the weight you are currently doing, and you feel as if you could do a few more, then you are not lifting heavy enough. Again the principle of progressive overload will apply to you too. If your body is used to the same weight loads you ALWAYS use, then there is no stimulus to your muscles.
Biggest example of this is the infamous “30 Day Squat Challenge.” If you’ve never done a body weight squat before in your life, or have never sat down in a chair and stood back up, then maybe this will be extremely effective. However, I know countless girls who did the challenge and their butts did not get bigger at all.
I advise all girls to squat and deadlift, because in terms of effective exercises, it works the posterior chain aka backside from your calves up to your booty. Also, the legs have the most muscles compared to other body parts, so you are doing more work in a shorter amount of time. A simple rule of thumb, if you can do more than 15 reps of a certain exercise, then chances are you’ll need to increase the weight. Don’t be scared! Spend less time running on the treadmill and more time running to the squat rack before some guy takes it and does curls!