Kind of an oxymoron isn't it?
(ps. An oxymoron is 2 words that mean the opposite used together-for instance 'pretty ugly' or 'stinkin' awesome'.)
Anyway....the point is...it's time to start putting some weight on! On your barbell that is. You girls that are out there with a little 5 pounder on the ends of your barbell, it's time for graduation. I promise you--you can handle a little more weight. I think we all get a little too comfy and cozy with our weights sometimes and forget that the goal is to keep moving forward. I'm not saying us women need to be lifting 50 pound barbells, but 20 or 30 is actually very doable--and you'd be surprised at how strong you really are. I remember when I made the jump from 7 1/2 pounds on either side of my barbell to 10's. It wasn't even noticable. So the next time I jumped up to 12 1/2 pounds on either side and wow! I could still do just as many reps as always! Granted, I am SHOT at the end of the set, but still, look at how much harder I worked! People have been commenting on the definition and cut-ness of my arms, shoulders and back here recently and I really attribute this new more-defined look to going up on my weights. Even at home with P90X, I have begun to increase my weights and I am now using Matt's 20 lb. dumbells for several of the exercises. A few (like lawn mowers and congdon locomotive) I think I could even go up to 25's for.
I think that some of us have a little pride in this area and don't want to have to stop before everyone else does. So, to be safe, we grab a lighter weight. But the best case scenario (for ultimate results) is to grab a weight that pushes you to your limit. Ultimately you should NOT be able to (or barely able to) finish the last rep.
You may be saying right now--but I don't want to bulk up. Well, it's like this ladies-you don't have enough testosterone in your body to bulk up like a guy. We are just not built like men and we won't end up looking like one (unless we take some kind of crazy supplements). There are times when more reps at a lighter weight is good---but I'm more of the belief that 15 reps at your highest weight is BEST. If I can do more than 15 without crying for mercy---then it's time to go heavier.
By the way---you do remember that MUSCLE BURNS FAT right? The more of it you have, the more efficiently your metabolism is going to work for you--AND--the more effective your cardio sessions are going to be--THE MORE WEIGHT YOU'RE GONNA TAKE OFF!
Over the years, women have neglected weight training in their fitness and many have attributed weights as a "man's work out" but it's not. Girls, we have to sculpt and tone our bodies if we want to have curves in the RIGHT places. Skinny does NOT equal fit. But a girl who balances her cardio with weight training will have the healthiest, fittest possible body she can have! How many of you will graduate with me? Let's all agree to take it to the next level and see what happens!
Okay--I searched all over the web for a picture of a girl weight-lifting a barbell. I found plenty--but they all cost money to download. So....I ran up stairs, stuck my camera on auto and snapped few of myself. They aren't professonal (like Demi's) THAT's for SURE...but hey...it's redneck photography at it's best! ha ha