I hate the elliptical. Literally hate it. The StairMaster is better than the stinking elliptical.
She said what?
Oh yeah girl. I went there. Can’t tell you how many texts from my clients I’ve gotten expressing their loathing of the StairMaster.
To which I stroke their hair (either virtually or in person), tell them it will be okay and that the StairMaster is now our friend.
But back to the elliptical.
Rarely do I get on the elliptical simply because I feel like I’m about to be shot off the back of it because I tend to get overly zealous and my leg start spinning faster than they should.
There is a myth that crazy intense cardio will sculpt your body. While traditional cardio does have its place and is great for heart health, it won’t actually ‘sculpt’ your body.
Traditional cardio can be tough. Running on a treadmill (which I’ve actually come to enjoy believe it or not), elliptical, and other machines.
However, body transformations happen when you are working out doing functional movements, as well as some not so functional movements, while pushing and moving weight. Which, can sometimes be turned into cardio of its own! But that’s another post…
Weights Can Quite Literally Sculpt Your Body
When used properly, weights can sculpt your body and muscles in a way that doing strictly cardio never could.
Think about it this way with me…
If you’re wanting to sculpt your back and make you back stronger with more pronounced muscles, would you go for a run and expect to get back muscles?
Of course not!
There is obviously a time and place for traditional cardio and it is important to your workout. However, when I am training girls that are looking to lose weight, I don’t make them do crazy out of control workouts. The workouts are concise, and they involve moving weight around, all while getting your heart rate up.
If you don’t believe me, how about a couple of stories from 2 of my real life clients?
- There’s a client that I work with that had a lot of weight she wanted to lose. Her name is Darra and she never went on a crazy diet and we incorporated weights into her training right away.Her results were pretty much immediate. She started losing weight quickly and she immediately saw a difference in her body as well as her energy and how her clothing fit. In 9 months, she’s been able to lose 30 pounds, 9 inches, and went from a size xxl shirt to a size medium, and gained confidence she never knew she had.
- Vicki, who has been using my Gym Instant Downloads has been working the plan for just over a month and has lost 3 pounds and lost over three inches in her legs, over three inches in her waist, and over an inch in her arms!
Why am I telling you this? Because weight training works and with the proper plan you will get results. Below is another example that is visual. It’s me. All cardio on the left, weight training and cardio on the right. Believe me yet?
Let’s Talk About Some Weight Training Myths
“Lifting Weights Will Make Me Bulky”
Ah yes. The ever popular “weights will make me bulky argument”.
Here’s the deal. Lifting weights will not make you bulk unless you are PURPOSEFULLY going for that look. It’s really that simple. Remember what I said about traditional cardio and building back muscles?
Exactly. Just cardio will help you drop pounds, but it will not tighten things up like weight training.
If you’re wanting to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. If you want to sculpt your body to look healthy and fit- lift weights. Make ‘em heavy weights while you’re at it.
“Weight Lifting will Make Me Less Flexible”
This one I can sort of see why this has stuck in the normal realm of thinking, but it’s not true. So, let’s walk through this.
When you lift weights, the weights are making your muscles contract which makes them shorter, right? Yep.
Does that mean that the shorter muscle causes inflexibility? Not unless you allow it.
Working on your flexibility while you’re weight training is just as important as working on your flexibility while you’re doing other workout regimens.
You should always have a cool down and a stretch session at the end of your workout. Stretch those muscles back out and your flexibility will be fine.
“Women Should Never Lift Heavy”
Who started this one? Because they need to be smacked.
Girl, don’t listen to anybody telling you that you shouldn’t lift heavy. Work your way up and lift as heavy as you want to!
If you want to work your way up to a body weight deadlift, do it! How about a killer back squat weight? GO FOR IT!
Be smart about it, but girl, lift heavy. Make yourself proud.
Let’s talk about lighter weights really fast though.
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with lighter weights. Lighter weights can be used to help build muscle endurance because you’re able to do more reps.
To build muscle, lift heavier!
Improper use of weights, however can get you a lovely trip to the emergency room
Let’s talk really fast about proper use of weights. If you’re not used to using weights, do not just go to the gym and start throwing around some weights.
You’ve seen those viral videos haven’t you? I know you have. Those viral videos of people doing crazy things on weight machines or trying to lift crazy amounts of weight?
Of course you have.
Don’t be one of those videos. If you are unsure of how to use a machine, ask the staff! Don’t be afraid. Be MORE afraid of possibly hurting yourself if you didn’t ask.
If you’re brand new to weight training, stick with lighter weights until you have mastered form and work your way up!
Seriously, though, ask for help if you need it!
Here’s the deal…
When it has been drilled into your brain for years and years that traditional cardio is how you lose weight, it can be really hard to think otherwise.
Like I said, traditional cardio has its time and place, but if you’re looking to transform your body, you won’t get it done on the elliptical. It can give you a decent workout, but real body transformation won’t come from it.
Having a plan, working your plan, THAT is what will give you results.
Oh, and make sure your plan includes weights ?