Monday, February 27, 2012

Metabolic Conditioning: Get Fit the Hard Easy Way.

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.  ~Plato

If you've have been sitting up in your seat and paying attention to anything I have said lately you know that running like a hamster on a hamster wheel is not something I tolerate.  I would never recommend a client, a friend, or a family member waste their time on some "cardio" machine.  If the health of your heart is your top concern go for a walk. If you want to get into the best shape of your life you need to step outside of the gym and do the "hard" work.  

Metabolic Conditioning training will help you get leaner, stronger, faster, and more awesome one session at a time.  This type of training also helps develop a stronger heart, lungs, and works all of the large muscles in the body.  Training with the intensity the conditioning exercises requires will increase your caloric expenditure while using the anaerobic system in your body.  This causes calories to be burned for hours after the training has been finished. Yes doing some boring long slow steady cardio session will ultimately burn more calories then shorter higher intensity exercise, DURING the workout, but the most important part occurs after.  

It has been shown that Metabolic Conditioning yields close to nine times greater fat loss then normal steady state cardio.  Although it is very effective you need to stay on top of diet.  Proper nutrition is extremely important to the success of any program.  With that said, here are my favorite forms of Metabolic Conditioning:

1.) Hill Sprints

This is fairly simple to understand.  Find a hill that has a nice slope to it with some decent distance and run it.  

Start off with around 8-10 trips 40-60 yards and build from there.  
Stand at the bottom and run to the top. 
Walk down
Rest for 1 minute

2.)  Prowler Pushes

Again very easy to understand.  The Prowler is one of the greatest inventions in the fitness industry.  Everyone who has ever pushed the Prowler has a love/hate relationship with it.
They love it because it is so effective for fat loss and also helps build muscle.
They hate it because it is a Prowler.  Push one and you'll understand.

To start add 90lbs to the Prowler
Do 6- 40 yard sprints
Rest 1 minute between pushes.

If your gym doesn't have a Prowler.  Find a new one. 

3.) Sled Sprints

Sled Sprints are an excellent tool to increase fat loss, speed, and lower body power.  Very similar to the design of the Prowler, the sled holds weight plates and is pulled across the surface with a harness.  Some brands have the harness wrap around the waist and some under the arms.  
Start with 2-4 60 to 100 meter sprints
Rest 1 minute
Most people say to use between 6-10% of body weight for the resistance.

This can be done anywhere and the sleds are cheap. 

4.) Battle Ropes

Battle Ropes are highly effective in increasing strength and stamina. Battle Ropes work the arms, shoulders, chest, and the core muscles.  Pick up the ropes and go ape shit and burn a ton of calories.

8- 30 Second All Out Blasts
Rest 30 seconds between sets.

5.)  Strongman Training

There are several awesome Strongman Training exercises out there that can be used as great tools to get the job of burning fat done.

1- You have the Tire Flip.
30 seconds Flip 30 Seconds Rest
2- Farmer Walks
30 seconds Walk 30 Second Rest
3- Keg Carry
As Far As Possible. 30 Second Rest
4- Sledgehammer Slams
Need a Tire
30 second Slams 30 Second Rest
5- Sandbag Circuits
4-5 exercises- 10 Reps each- As Many Sets As Possible in 20 minutes.

Bottom line, get off the treadmill.  These exercises are extremely hard and should not be taken lightly.  They will make and break you.  Throwing up is a possibility, but the results they create speak for themselves.  Always make sure to do a quality warm-up with static stretching and dynamic exercises.  All of the exercises listed above can be done by anyone, whether you are 8 years old or 90 years old.  Make sure you have doctor's consent and if you implement these sessions 3-4 times a week into your routine, body fat will run. If you ever plan on coming to train with Activate Fitness you WILL experience the awesome power of these exercises, and YOU WILL become strong and lean. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Doing More with Less, By Being a Man or Woman. By Matt Carlson

Every once in awhile on your walk through life you stumble upon a person wiser then yourself, more experienced, and intellectually more brilliant with words.  It's what you chose to do with the meeting that can have an ever lasting effect on your outlook on life, and even direction.  This happened to me one day when I met Matt Carlson on the 5/3/1 Fan Page on Facebook.  The 5/3/1 Fan Page on Facebook has a view brilliant minds and a bunch of younger men and women looking to learn how to become awesome, inside and outside of the gym.  One of those brilliant minds is absolutely Matt and whenever he answers a question or posts a topic people sit up and pay attention.  Matt wrote the following document and I felt it was just a good read, very informative, and right to the point that I had to share it with whoever reads my blogs.  

I’ve seen a lot a questions lately on the 531 page about “doing more” and then the inevitable this hurts and that hurts tirade that follows.  I understand the want to do more mentality and the feverish desire to ALWAYS be training.  But most know that isn’t reality. I don’t care what the X-fitters and other Zumba trainers tell you.  You need balance, proper programming and recovery.  You also need to be wary of always being in perpetual deload.  So what the hell?  How can one find the right balance between being a machine or being a side lined mouth breathing wall leaner? 

I use myself as a guinea pig quite often when it comes to training.  I’m mildly experienced and educated as well as I know my limitations.  I’m also a patient man.  Patience took decades for me to accept.  I’ve said it a million times that patience is a lost art and those who don't find it are doomed to wander the streets of mediocrity. If you take nothing else from this article take that last sentence.  I have been very patient these past few months in finding the right amount of movements to add to my 531 Full Body Template.  I needed to keep hold of the spirit of the program without taking anything away from it.  If my main lifts suffered I understood and made small changes.  That way I new what worked and what didn’t.  With my age, 37, and my future career as a firefighter, being injury free and both cardiovascular strong and Strong are equally important.

I grew up in a military family.  I was one of the only members of my very large extended family who didn’t join the service.  I highly admire the mental and physical strength my family and friends have.  So I used them in mind as well as some ideas I picked up from my friend Harry Selkow.  I made myself some guidelines to follow in my quest for badassery:

-No matter what “stage” of training I’m in I should always be able to run 1-2 miles.  ALWAYS!
-Give my body time to adapt
-I will do some sort of conditioning 5 days a week
-I will get stronger
-Make my Viking Ancestors Proud

I have a few others but those are private. The following is what I do every day (5 days a week) before lifting or running:

Jumping Jacks x 50 reps
Push-ups - Regular x 40 Reps
Mountain Climbers x 25 Reps
Burpees  x 25
Flutterkicks x 25
Dive Bombers (Hindu Push ups) x 10
Leg Lifts x 25
Lunges x 20
Bicycle x 25
Band Pull -a- Parts x 25
Dips x 10 - 15
Running x 2 miles ( I run 2-3 times a week )

This is nothing ground breaking. You do all the movements one after the other with no rest.  Do this before running if not lifting that day or before the lifting; the workout should only take 6 -10 minutes tops.  You will be gassed at first but... So.  These are calisthenics.  If this wipes you out before you lift then you have work to do. This should be a primer so to speak before training. Your lifts will not suffer as you are not going to failure on any one of these movements.  As soon as the reps start to burn move to the next movement.  DO NOT GO PAST THE ADVISED REPS. There is a method to this.  You are building up your weekly volume slowly.  If one of the movements you only get 8 reps?  So.  Move on. With the 531 it’s the main lifts that matter.  Keep to that philosophy and the warrior horns should begin to blow.  This “pre workout” is only meant to build up your work capacity without taking anything away.  Also on lifting days save the running for after the lifts.  I usually do the prowler or some of my conditioning circuits inspired by the CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) involving the prowler, sled and farmers walks afterwards.  But feel free to continue with what ever you are doing.

As for my 531 full body template?  I’ve moved things around a bit involving ideas from Jim’s other templates.  The reason is that squatting three days a week started to piss my shoulder off.  I’ve been doing the Full Body Template for a year and absolutely, by far think it’s the best one to follow.  Nothing makes me feel more athletic and brutally inhuman then this. It fit my philosophy of simple and to the point.  Which really urked me when I felt I might need to move on from it due to the shoulder.  I did move on but it only lasted a week before I got pissed.  I don’t like the upper/lower split.  Nothing bores me more then looking at my notebook and seeing just upper body.  So I played around with stuff and I settled on this:

Squat 40,50, 60% (box jumps between warmups) * I’m also following the phases in the 2nd edition*
Bench 531
Chins 5 set AMRP
Barbell Straight Arm Pull overs 3x10

Power Clean to Press 531 (Fucking Awesome, my press has begun to take off again)
Dead lift 531
Dips superset with Chins or inverted rows 3x amrp
Curls 3x?

Day 3
Squat 531 (box jumps between warmups)
Close Grip Bench (Sets and Reps from the Simplest Assistance Template from the 2nd edition)
Rows 3x a bunch
Upright rows 3 x a bunch

There you have it.  As I’ve said my main lifts are still moving.  My shoulder seems to have worked it’s self out with the daily body weight movements and squatting twice instead of three times a week.  Oh and since I know some will wonder, and want to know of any body composition changes occurred, I did take a measurement of the gut and body weight before the first cycle.  Mind you this is with no changes to my feedings.  My wife even made homemade dark chocolate cupcakes and I ate them everyday.  I drank beer on the weekends as well as enjoyed some wings and pizza.  90% of my diet is eating the way one is supposed to.  When you do this you can enjoy time with friends and family and not be concerned with what you are eating.  You should be enjoying your life and company.  After the first cycle I dropped 3.5 pounds and lost an inch and a half around the gut. And to make Harry laugh, I’m more “California toned now.”  I know it’s more now but I haven’t checked. I’m not interested in losing weight or as Jim puts it "being a diet/cardio queen". But I was pleased with the inch and a half loss in 4 weeks.  But this wasn’t the reason I did this.  My goals are simple.  To be a machine.  The rest was just a by product of diligently kicking the throat of lame.

Matt Carlson is a Corrective Exercise Specialist, EMT certified and has been training since he was a wee little viking. He enjoys long walks in the Arizona desert and poking dead things with a stick. When not hanging with his wife and kids, training, helping clients or playing music he can be found helping out on the 531 fan page on the Facy pages (FB).

For more information on 5/3/1 visit
To join the Awesome Group at the 5/3/1 FaceBook Fan Page visit

North of Vag—this is more than a style of lifting or training. It's a way of life. This has taken off and become a rallying cry for people frustrated with the emasculation of society. This emasculation has made its way into the lifting world, and I will fight like hell to get it out. There are now people writing, talking, teaching, instructing, and coaching strength that have none. There are people who have marginalized strength training, trivialized squatting and deadlifting, and somehow convinced others that strength isn't important. Why? Because they aren't strong. They don't have the desire to be strong. They don't have the discipline to put a heavy bar on their backs or the guts to pull something heavy. - Jim Wendler

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Frequently Asked Fitness Questions- A no bullshit look into the truth.

If the United States of America's monetary deficit went down a dollar every time a fitness question was asked we would finally have a balanced budget.  Don't get me wrong, asking questions is the most important part of the learning process, but time and time again the same questions are asked. These repeatedly asked questions keep being brought up because one, people do not listen, and two because everyone has a different answer.  If you want science backed answers you will not find that here.  I'm going to cut through the meat of the question and give you the most sincere and truthfully backed answer I can come up with.  After reading this hopefully you have found your answers so you can finally start living your life.

Let's cut right to the chase:

1.) How often should I workout?

Everyday. I consider walking to be a big part of training and there is absolutely nothing wrong with walking everyday.  A lot of fitness professionals feel like walking is not enough to be considered "working out".  To an extent I agree, but the benefits of walking far out weigh the cons of being a lazy asshole.  Now you can't just plan your entire training routine and program to be walking, you won't do anything for the composition of your body which is nearly everyone's goal. Walking will help you live longer and help you become healthier but if you want to change the way you look you need to incorporate strength training AT LEAST 3 times a week.  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  If you are a newbie to strength training the M, W, F template is your best bet.  Do not worry about the bodybuilder splits that have 6 days lined up dedicated to one body part at a time.  With 3 days weight training, walking everyday, and a good diet you're on the road to lean.

2.) How do I tone up?

A good diet, increased exercise output, rest, and consistency.  You can't spot reduce fat.  Do not just do abs in hopes of "toning up" that area, not going to happen.  Sorry.  When you say you want to "tone up" you mean you want to see more muscle definition.  Burn fat.

3.)  How many meals should I eat per day or how often should I eat?

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.  It doesn't matter.  You will not "stoke the metabolism" by eating more often then not.  You will not die if you NEVER eat breakfast again.  You will not lose muscle mass if you fail to eat every three hours.  If you want to eat once per day at 10 O'clock at night, knock your socks off.

4.)  Will my fat turn into muscle?

No. If you are training to burn fat it is very hard to build muscle.  The fat cells will be utilized by your body and be fed to your muscles as a source of energy but fat doesn't magically turn into muscle.  Does a dog turn into a cat if you forget to feed it?

5.) What machines should I use at the gym?

The hand dryer maybe inside the bathroom?  I don't know.  Ask a wimp.

6.) What level should my heart rate be at?

Who cares?  Plan your exercises and do them with the highest level of intensity you can and go home and rest.  Don't worry if you're not sweating that hardly means anything.  There is no "zone" you want to reach and stay sustained at.  Just train, train smart, train hard, and recover.

7.) How can you afford to eat healthy all the time?

Think of it as the most important investment you can make.  If you're sick you don't work.  If you don't work you don't get paid.  Are you going to compromise the later years of your life because you can't afford an apple or a nice piece of meat?  Come on man! When you're 80 years old and you have nine million illnesses and dysfunctions because your nutrition was complete shit when you were a younger person, ask yourself if it was wise to not give a fuck about your health by eating cardboard boxed food every meal.

8.) What supplements should I take? I think I am going to buy XYZ fat burner.

Supplements are called supplements because they supplement something missing from your diet.  Most people who actually need supplements have a deficiency somewhere in their diet.  I would buy a Multi-Vitamin, Fish Oil, and some Protein Powder and that's it.  There is no need for a fat burner, for some Testosterone Booster, or anything else for that matter,  Keep it simple and use your nutrition as the best supplement you can buy.

9.) How do I get my arms tighter? How do I get bigger arms?

See number 2.  If you have excess bodyfat your body will burn it from wherever, whenever.  If it decides to keep it under your arms until the last few pounds there is nothing you can do about it.  It's your genetics and everyone is different.

For the men, if you want bigger arms just keep lifting heavy.  Adding an exercise or three to your "arm" routine doesn't matter.  Your arms will not grow larger or out of proportion with the rest of your body.  It is smart like that.  Do not skimp your routine away from your back or chest in hopes more arm work will lead to bigger Guns.  Also never neglect your triceps.  Hit them heavy, they make up 2/3's of your arm.

10.) How long until I see results?

Now get your pen and paper and make your plan.  Cut through the bullshit, stick to the basics, train hard, and go live your life.  This isn't something hard that requires 24/7 attention.  Put in the effort and be consistent about it, and let the awesomeness going on inside your body do the work.  Good luck and hey, seriously.. I care.  I'm rooting for you.  Just please stop listening to the lies.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Secret to Losing Weight

The secret is to stop calling it losing weight and refer to it as Burning Fat!  You do not want to lose weight.  When you think you weigh too much or are too fat you say you need to lose weight, but what you want to do by dieting and increasing your exercise is to burn fat.  Losing weight can include muscle mass, water, and bone density, which is what you don't want.

So from here on out I will discuss the secret of Burning Fat!

Well, there isn't any secret. End of blog post.

Have a great day!!

No I'm not serious, well.. actually I am right but I'm not serious about ending it there.  You see, there is no secret to burning fat.  Your body needs to burn more calories (use more energy) then is consumed.  Food is energy and do not EVER forget it.  If you are always tired and always feel like complete shit, check your diet, you might not be consuming the right energy or too much useless energy.

In order for the body to start burning fat you need to look through your daily diet and see what it is that you are consuming too much of.  The human body will gain fat when the amount of energy consumed out weighs the energy the body is using to function.  By looking at your daily diet intake you will find some surprises to what might be causing you to become fat.  Clean that shit up and be on the road to recovery.  So now if too much food and not enough energy output is making us fat the answer to burning that fat is simple and right in front of your face.

Get your diet in order.  Start weighing and measuring your foods and cut out all of the processed packaged garbage you're eating.  Your body will have a much easier time getting and staying lean when you eat the right types of food.  Do not be afraid of fruits or fats, they are good for you.  Increase your protein intake and make sure you eat vegetables.  If you hate vegetables eat more fruit instead, and if you hate both do everyone a favor and knock yourself out.

 I am going to make this easy for everyone to understand and steer clear of scientific mumbo jumbo.  Here are five things you need to burn fat.  Number five on the list is just as important as number one and so forth. If you want to burn fat and really truly deep down inside you want it, it'll be easy.  If you don't want it, you'll never make progress.  Find yourself and find out why AND IF you really want it.

1.) Eat the right foods. Sure you can burn fat while eating ice cream but if you can't measure your food or weigh it, stick to the basics.

2.) Increase your exercise output and increase it the right way.  No more long sessions on a machine.  No more lifting weights that go up and down with the help of a cable.  Pick up a barbell, a sandbag, some dumbbells and lift weight.  

3.) Focus on your conditioning.  The word cardio is now dead to the fitness industry unless you are speaking about the health of your heart.  Start doing conditioning drills.  Join a REAL gym like Hackettstown Barbell that has a Prowler, a Tire, Sandbags, and Kettlebells.  Start sprinting. <-- sprinting is a whole other topic I will be focusing on in the near future.  Sprinting is one of the best tools to use to get in amazing shape in less time.  See below....

4.) Rest.  Take at least two days during the week and do nothing.  If you have restless legs and an itch to do something- go for a walk. Sleep.  Sleep. And Sleep some more. Quit staying up until 11 or 12 at night and go hit the sack earlier.  You'll feel so much better when you get enough rest.  Make it priority.

5.) Mindset.  No more feeling sorry for yourself.  Nobody else is feeling sorry for you, why should you?  Use the power of your mind, make the commitment and continue on telling yourself you can do this.  Find out WHY you want it and make it a priority to think about it.  Cut out all negative emotions about your body and cut out all poor ass excuses for why you don't workout and get moving.  

Use the power of the internet to help you on your journey.  There are thousands of websites out there that can help you figure out the correct amounts of food you should be consuming.  Do not make this complicated and quit believing it to be torture.  Starving yourself to lose a pound is torture.  A correct diet will leave you satisfied and energized.  There is no need to skip a meal or cut your portions to childish sizes.  The more good energy the body has the more good energy you will feel, and this will help you begin to love your workouts.  That's another thing-- how or why do people think exercise is torture?  It's because most people believe you need to bust your ass on a treadmill for an hour to make progress.  Pick up the weights and change your mindset about exercise.  Do it for your future...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Is fat the future?

Back when I was a kid everyday was spent outside.  It did not matter if it was 100 degrees or if it was in the negatives, we were outside.  Spending all of our time on our bikes riding through the woods or in the backyard playing football until we got yelled at.  Everyday.

So what happened and where did all the children go?  

In the last thirty years childhood obesity has more then tripled in the United States.  The CDC reports that this trend is being caused by a caloric imbalance.  No Shit Sherlock! How much of our money was wasted on endless research to pull that statement out of a hat?  There is a caloric imbalance in our children because they do not do anything. Our children and their parents have been sucked into the lies and corporate brainwashing to the point our parks are empty.  Fast Food companies, Sony and Microsoft are at the forefront of this epidemic and the money they make from their products points to signs that couches will continue to see the majority of people's lives.

This isn't just in America.  A third of kids in Europe are Obese.  

So what does all of this mean for our future?  One of the most obvious facts that we can look at is the cost of health insurance being inflated and astronomical in price.  Obese people are more likely to get sick then people with normal body weight, not a surprise just fact. 70% of the obese child population in the United States has at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.  Then there are bone issues, joint problems, sleep apnea, poor self esteem, and psychological problems.  And those are the immediate effects.  I am sure any knowledgeable person reading this can figure out for themselves what the long term effects are.

Can our nation's defense be in a compromising situation at the moment? In ten years when our Marines need new recruits are there going to be enough acceptable candidates to handle the work load and orders of our military?  Ex-military leaders are already saying our youth is too fat to fight, and they still get fruit juice and hash browns for lunch. 75 percent of young adults are ineligible to become a solider because of lack of education, physical issues, or criminal records.  Great, so most kids are either fat asses, dumb asses, or crooked asses.  

All of these signs points to a dramatic and ongoing evolution of our species.  We have come along way with technology and society has changed to accept the new innovations.  With social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter being free and internet access very affordable our children do not need to go out.  They can chat with their friends online and this seems to be the newest trend and most popular activity among our youth.  A big event in a child's day may be connecting with kids from around the world while they team up to take out the bad guys, all from the comfort of home with a remote control.  Our military uses remote controls more so now then in the past also.  Is that the future of warfare for the United States military?

Fat is our future and the human species is evolving to accept this.  People now want it and they want it yesterday.  Is technology to blame or is it society as a whole?  Where are the parents in all of this?  Do they see their kid getting fatter everyday and sicker by the minute?  Don't they have the power in their household to take away the remote and kick their kid out of the house until dinner time?  Would the youth even know what to do to have fun while outside? With "gym classes" disappearing from our schools every year, fast food companies growing larger, and cooler video games coming out every month the way these kids live their lives will not be changing anytime soon.  Unless action is taken.

The fact is we are sick and we continue to get sicker every day.  Many people despise exercise and hate "eating clean". Convenience is King and anything that requires too much "effort" is left in the dust by Fast Times at Xbox High. Change needs to happen and it is critical for the future of mankind.  Our youth population is going to crowd hospitals and burst health insurance budgets while adding to the pollution of this beautiful planet. Unplug your televisions and buy your kid a bike.  Have them join a niche gym that focuses on turning kids into kick ass athletes. Stop going for a family dinner at a quick fix restaurant more then once a month. Do you want to be responsible for contributing to your child's sickness and lead them on a life towards a certain early death as a result of eating shit and being sedentary? Put in the effort that is required to be healthy and enjoy your newly found positive, exciting, and energetic family. Be active in stopping this vicious and dangerous trend.  It starts at home and you are now in charge. Oh yeah, it's not just the kids!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Weightlifting and Women. Why big muscles are a myth.

Most women I have ever spoken to about training and what their goals are said the words "tone up."  To tone up refers to the body burning fat to make certain areas more firm. When someone wants to "tone up" they need to increase their workload output and cut back on some foods.  Toning up is the body getting rid of it's excess fat and this is a good goal for anyone to have.  Having less body fat will help you lead a healthier and more productive life while feeling a lot better. The body will not "tone up" with exercise alone, especially when you just do some cardio "workout".  You can lift weights for hours everyday while neglecting diet and not "tone up."  Weight training does not tone you up. You also cannot "spot reduce" any area of your body.  If you have fat on your body and your goal is to lose it, you're at whim with your body's genetics and where it comes off first or last is different for everybody.

"Weight training? Oh.. I'm not sure about that.  I don't want to have big muscles." This is the number one compliant heard most by trainers all across the world.  Something in society seems to have women believe that having any visible sign of muscle is a bad thing.  "I don't want to look butch or like a dike." (If that offends you get off my website.  I hear it all the time.) The truth is how you look depends a lot on your genetics.  Most women understand this and the next step they take is very critical.

You can have a woman who is around 5'5" and has an athletic body.  She might think she looks too "butch" so the workouts begin.  She wants to lose weight.  She is afraid of building any more muscle on her body so she becomes a "cardio queen."  This is very dangerous for this woman's health.  All cardio and no strength training is a sure fire way to reach your grave earlier then normal.  Do you want to be that 40 year old woman who has massive bone loss and looks extremely sick?  Take Gwyneth Paltrow.  She has worked out most of her adult life doing mainly yoga, cardio workouts, and Pilates.  She is now 37 years old and has the brittle bones of a woman more than twice her age and a very serious nutritional deficiency.  Her "trainers" motto is "No woman should ever lift more then 3 pounds."  Ok.  Have fun with that toothpick.

The point Ladies is you need to be lifting weights right along side of the men inside a gym.  Lifting weights will help your body fight osteoporosis, help you look and feel young (Which is what women want most right?), increase your metabolic rate (Helping you stay fit and much less likely becoming fat), increase your physical strength and capabilities (Yes you will not bitch and moan anymore about how fucking heavy your kid is getting.), and have more stable hormonal levels. And unless you drop below 12-14% body fat, your boobs won't get smaller.

Building big, bulky, and "gross" looking muscles is a lot harder for women to achieve then they think.  look around the gym anytime you go and notice all of the men lifting weights.  They are all there to build huge muscles.  How many of them look huge?  Not a lot right?  If it is so hard (and it is) for men to build big muscles don't you think it will be that hard for women?  It's harder. Why?

Testosterone.  Testosterone is one of the most important hormones the body produces responsible for building muscle.  Males generate a lot more Testosterone then women do and that's why we're the ones with that sack.  The female body is not capable of producing vast amounts of testosterone that help the body generate big muscles as in men.  Simply lifting weights will not make your body grow, but it can and will help you burn fat, get stronger, and become healthier when it is the foundation of your exercise program.

Another reason why women will not build large muscles is because they will not eat like they need to in order for the body to start the muscle building process.  The amount of food consumed on a day by day basis is just as important, if not more, as testosterone.  In order for the body to build muscle two important concepts are needed.  One, the stress and breakdown of muscle fibers (via weight lifting) and two, a caloric surplus.  I do not see the caloric surplus being a problem for women.

So there you have it ladies.  You are very likely not going to become some butch bodybuilder once you hit the weights.  The image of the female bodybuilder you most likely associate your belief with is possible though.  You will need to use some illegal substances and become one with the life of bodybuilding.  It will takes years and years of countless unaltered dedication to achieve that level of muscularity.

Let me ask you this- how long has "toning up" been a goal of yours?  How long have you been spending countless effort inside of a gym on a machine trying to achieve that goal?  If you've been "working out" in a gym for any amount of time while avoiding the free weight section, you have wasted all of that time.  Your body will return to normal once you stop your cardio program and you will stop it.  That is fact.  Your body is not meant to do countless hours of running sessions on a treadmill.  Eventually your body will burn out, your brain will notice this and you will stop going to the gym.  Pick up the weights and avoid this. Also take note of the contestants on The Biggest Loser.  Notice how they also are lifting weights.  Did any of them become huge?

When it's all said and done, does the fear of heavy weights really come down to how you look or is it about the effort that's required?