@SportySleek Debunks The Myth That Lifting Makes You Bulky

I have always been an athlete; an athlete who works hard and trains her body to perform to the best of her ability. However, slowly but surely throughout college, I got distracted, my focus changed and I temporarily lost my inner athlete and drive for fitness.

About one and a half years ago, I reignited the fire in my health and fitness pursuits through two programs, Beachbody and BBG. Both of these programs offer a mixture of workouts, but are primarily focused on the cardio and plyometric exercises. If I wanted to be fit again, I assumed cardio was going to be the “best bang for my buck.”

Boy, was I wrong.

After about nine months of switching back and forth between these programs, I was not getting the results I’d hoped for and I felt extremely discouraged. My body seemed to be plateauing.

But I wasn’t ready to give up just yet, and I was eager to try something new. That’s when I found Paola, @paosfitworld, and befriended her on Instagram.

After a few short months, I got to know Paola while learning about her own fitness journey as a certified personal trainer and how she was actually about to release her own guide — the Strong and Sexy Body Method. Paola told me her goal through this 12-week workout plan was to help tone and shape my muscles with fast results while boosting my strength, endurance and flexibility, and controlling my weight by reducing body fat without “going on a diet.”

Like many other girls, I had concerns that lifting weights would make me jacked and not give me the body I wanted, but she constantly reminded me that trying her guide will give me an opportunity to prove to myself, and many other women, that lifting weights will not make you bulky.

So with only a little hesitation, I took her up on the offer to give the guide a try — and I haven’t turned back since.

heck yes it is🙌🏼 isn’t it funny when on this journey of getting physically and mentally stronger our perspectives of pretty has changed? i used to want to be the thinnest (almost see through) chick in the room with no muscle, no curves and a bit of be pretty. but now my focus has shifted, my version of beauty is smart, strong, and sexy. when trying on clothes my outlook on my body has changed. now i want to see my strong arms in a sleeveless shirt, i want to be able to see those booty gains when i wear a tight skirt or body con dress, and to top it off i now have started feeling confident, strong and sexy when standing naked in front of a mirror. being beautiful and pretty isn’t just about looks but it’s also about the feeling of confidence while radiating that inner attitude, with your words, actions and behavior. yes our outer beauty gets attention, but our inner beauty is how we feel and let that outer beauty radiate✨ #beauty #lifestyle #selflove #gymfreak #happiness #fitnesslife #healthyhabits #doit #strongnotskinny #fitnesslifestyle #healthyhabits #shine #glam #love

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This was one of the times I truly focused on lifting heavy and less on plyometric exercises. It tested my abilities to strengthen specific muscles while challenging myself to try new exercises. I completed 12 weeks of her guide.

Now on the third week of my second round, I think I am finally ready to admit it — I love to lift.

This experience uncovered a newfound love for lifting and I learned to embrace the gains. By lifting heavy, I found myself gaining strength, weight and confidence.

There are many girls out there who still have this notion that lifting weights will make you more masculine and cause you to bulk up, when in reality it’s no where near the truth. I can definitely tell you from my experience that I didn’t get bulky or jacked, I became toned and lean. The strength I obtained by performing heavy weight exercises helped me find confidence not only inside the gym, but outside in everyday life.

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I’ve always known how strong I am, but this experience truly pushed my body’s boundaries. It tested my limits while setting the bar higher every single day!

Looking to make the switch to lifting weights as a woman? Remind yourself that heavy weights are your friend. Doing the same exercises with the same 3 to 10-pound dumbbells will only get you so far.

How do you know when you should make the switch to heavier weights? When you no longer find yourself sore after the workouts, it’s time to test your strength. This doesn’t mean you go from 5-pound dumb bell’s to 25 pounds. It means it is time to use some trial and error, typically a 2-to 5-pound increase to maximize your intensity. Depending on how you feel after the workout is how you can adjust accordingly.

You won’t know until you try. Although trying new things can be very intimidating, the worst thing that happens is you go back to your original plan or you try another approach. But the beauty of having a choice is this is your journey, which means you need to find what works best for you.

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