I felt compelled to write this post as I am still hearing so many females say that lifting weights will make someone manly? They avoid any kind of weight training as they don't want to look bulky, and are scared to put on muscle in case they look too 'hench'. I'm here to set the record straight for any of you that may have had these thoughts.
Firstly, I want to stress that having muscles is not the definition of looking 'manly', and I don't actually agree with the statement. Some men choose not to have muscle mass, some can not put on muscle mass, and therefore it is no different to stating that having boobs makes you womanly. It doesn't. We are a man or a woman without any of these defined features. I am however using the statement as an example of what I hear often!
To put on a lot of muscle mass, yes you have to lift weights. It is however the way in which we lift the weights that define what happens to the body. Factors such as, rep range, weight used, rest time, tempo etc will have the overall factor in how your body looks from the exercises that you are doing. You won't just pick up a weight and suddenly sprout a bicep. Another thing to note is how long it takes to put on size! I've been lifting heavy, to put on size for over 5 years.. and i am not big at all! I'm a size 4, with a 24" waist, 11.5" bicep/tricep measurement, and I weigh 48kg currently! So it really does take a hell of a lot to look the way people think they will after one weights session!
To put on significant size you will be needing to train directly for hypertrophy and using a rep range of between 8-10. You'll need to be eating ALOT and you will be pushing to failure each set.
If you simply want to get a more defined body, not put too much muscle mass on but still look like you hit the gym, then you want to aim for about 12 reps. This is what plenty of females are targeting in the gym. Its great for fat loss also and if you keep your rest times low (about 30 seconds) then this can make you sweat tons!
What I can tell you.. is no matter what your goal, whether it is fat loss, definition of muscles, or gaining muscle mass... lifting weights is the way forward. Cardio is great, but you have to keep your body guessing and you will get to your goal quicker by incorporating resistance training into your gym sessions.
Train for your goal, don't be frightened to lift heavy. I promise you that you will not suddenly turn into the hulk, and if the hulk is the goal that you are after... then work hard and train in a set way to achieve that look! You can sculpt your body to exactly how you want it by being smart, using science and knowing what you need to do for your goal!
If you have no idea where to start give me a message, I can help as much as possible and I can also point you to the direction of my personalised training plans!