I am a 20 year old woman with a larger frame. To be perfectly honest, some of the pictures in the Body-for-LIFE books scare me, because the women look like body builders. I don't want to bulk up AT ALL, since I already have a good amount of muscle and don't need much more in certain places (like quads).
How do I avoid building up too much muscle with the weight routine? Can I switch out any weight days with cardio days, or will that cut my fat loss short?
Armchairs - Most all women lack what it takes to bulk up and that's testosterone. In order to have enough to bulk the typical woman would need to do over 3 hours per day of weight lifting. Swapping your weight training for cardio will absolutely cut fat loss. Remember that muscle takes up 2/3 of the space as fat so it's fat that makes you look bigger, not muscle.
Sounds as if you'd like the lean, toned shape. The key is to get the body fat% down, and tone up the muscles. I wouldn't recommend you cut out any weight training sessions, since the strengthening of the muscles helps burn calories faster. I would add in an extra cardio session on your free days...
Can I do extra cardio on weight training days, so I'm doing some good cardio every day?
Extra cardio will not help. Having more muscle burns more calories. Cardio cuts into muscle. Also, you won't be giving your body enough time to repair itself and will be taking from reserves. Doing the weight workouts properly are in and of themselves a cardio workout. Really... it's testosterone that makes people bulk and unless you are naturally high in it, you simply won't because you lack the hormone chemistry to get bulky.
Jessica is right on! I say that you follow the program as written. If you find you end up bulking up, then re-evaluate at that time. It most likely won't happen. Hang in there, and go for it.
"The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday!"
This is quote from the BFL original book pg 37. Tell me what do you think?
Myth: If women lift weights, they'll get "bulky." Fact: Resistance excercise helps women create lean, toned bodies.
The number of women using free weights in America has more than doubled in the past 10 years, from less than eight million in 1988 to more than 17million in 1997. Almost half the competitors who have succesfully completed my 1999 Transformation Challenge are women - that's up from 5% the first year and 20% the second. And let me tell you, their transformations are spectacular! Very often, they completely change the shape of their bodies.
That's partially because fat takes up 5 times as much space as muscle. This means if you replace the fat on your hips or thighs with the same weight in muscle, your thighs will get smaller.
Women worried about "bulking up" with weights need to understand this. It's your body composition that determines how you look. By replacing fat with muscle, you can make an astounding transformation without feeling weak and unhealthy. Women should actually be concerned about not having enough muscle, rather than too much.
Hope this helps
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