I started hitting the gym about 2 months ago, and have slowly, over the past 6 weeks or so, started to brave the "weights" side of the gym.
I do at least an hour of INTENSE cardio every single day and strength training 3 days per week. I am in the middle of weight loss, have lost from SW: 186 to CW: 150.5, GW:125. (I'm 5'2" and probably medium build - meaning I have lots of underlying muscle underneath a soft, sugary coating (ick - lol)
The thing is...I HATE lifting little weights a bunch of times. I'd much rather lift a heavier weight less times. I don't really mind if I get biggish muscles, having lost 35.5 pounds, I have some extra skin to tighten up and tone.
But everything I'm reading says for women to do smaller weights more times. Is this always true? What is the REASON women are supposed to do smaller weights? I mean, I am never going to be huge and pumped up...don't have the right hormones. lol.
So, I guess I'm asking what the real reason is for women not lifting heavy weights and is it ok for me to go ahead and do so...
(If this is a revisit of an old topic, as I'm sure it probably is, please forgive me. I'm new to CC and only have a limited amount of time to sit around on the computer and search the archives. Sorry.)
There is no good reason for women to use smaller weights, and plenty of reasons for us to use the heavy ones.
So yes, use heavy weights (as long as your form is good - you shouldn't lift more than you are able to). Some good programs that many of us have done and liked are Starting Strength and New Rules of Lifting for Women.
I'll just leave this here: Toning is a bad word and only bad people use it. (Director's Cut)
Lift heavy. Not only is it good for you, and faster..but you'll be able to move the furniture around your house without asking a dude to help you :P
You won't get big
Lift heavy, unless you have hours to waste doing 2lb bicep curls. Also, if the things you are reading include magazines like Women's Health or Shape, may I submit the following alternative website for your reading pleasure: http://www.stumptuous.com/
look into New Rules of Lifting for Women or Female Body Breakthrough for great beginner weight lifting programs for lifting heavy.
^ All of the above. I second (third?) the recos on New Rules of Lifting for Women.
I have pretty much the same stats as you -- a bit above 5'1", SW 175, CW 155. My GW was 125, but I'm willing to have it be around 135 if it's muscle and not fat. I've mostly stopped doing cardio, and although I haven't lost any additional weight since September, I've lost inches. I honestly think that if I get back on track with eating cleaner I'd be losing more of the "soft sugary coating" but as it is, I'm eating more calories than I used to yet I'm not gaining weight.
I lift heavy with few reps about once or twice a week. It keeps my muscles nice and strong plus takes such little time. With gardening and biking, and now pilates, too, I get in good muscle workouts then. (I'm also 17, so my muscles don't need quite as much work to be maintained)
Lifting light does nothing. It's just a waste of time, I think. Gotta keep the muscles strong so you can be strong, sexy, and keep the bones strong too :)