With Jolene de Vries
Question: My wife thinks she’ll get big and bulky if she starts lifting weights with me. How do I convince her otherwise?
Answer: This comes up all the time, and it’s one of the biggest myths out there. First of all, women simply don’t have the proper hormonal balance to put on large amounts of muscle tissue. Secondly, even if they did have the right physiology, it would take some serious training to do it. Getting bigger muscles requires high-volume workouts (lots of sets and repetitions) and a pretty high intensity level as well. Picking up a few weights here and there isn’t a recipe for building mass—it’s what you do and how you do it that really makes the difference. Remind your wife that weight training programs can always be tailored to specific goals, so if she doesn’t want to put on large amounts of muscle, that’s just fine. Generally speaking, a full-body circuit with higher repetition ranges a few days per week would work well if she’s just looking to tone up or maintain her current level of muscle tissue. If she wants to get an individualized program based on her goals, look for a qualified personal trainer in your area.
Question: I’ve heard some people say dieting just doesn’t work, and that you should focus on exercise if you want to lose weight. Is this true?
Answer: No, this is simply not true. If you’ve ever looked at food labels and compared them to the calorie counters on your exercise equipment, you’ll likely come to some startling conclusions. It is much easier to decrease your calorie intake by 300-500 calories per day than it is to expend that many more calories each day through exercise. Researchers have addressed this issue as well, and it is generally accepted that diet is the more important variable when it comes to weight loss. Exercise is still beneficial however, and actually plays a much more prominent role in weight maintenance. Here’s the bottom line: incorporate both healthy eating and exercise no matter where you are in the weight loss process.
About the author: Jolene de Vries is the Club Owner and Certified Personal Trainer at Anytime Fitness Esterhazy. To submit a question for future articles, please contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org