Will you get big from weightlifting/powerlifting? A topic with many myths… Define big first? Lean and cut happens through diet, as a female lifting alone will not get you there. Will you gain muscle, of course! With that said, I have debated on sharing this story since Sunday, but I think it has to be shared.
Many of you know that I recently started competing in Powerlifting (not sure why I even waited this long…) And many of you know I have always been a huge advocate of all forms of weightlifting and eating clean to fuel your body with purpose. More times than I would like, I still hear – I don’t want to do that because it will make me look big. When I hear this, I cringe. Not because I hate hearing it (well I do), but because the truth hasn’t been shared enough.
So here goes my story….. In preparation for my upcoming meet, I decided that I wasn’t going to cut weight because I feel my best at my current weight and the strength loss I would take to get to a lower weight isn’t worth it to me at this point. As a strength athlete, strength preservation is important to success. If you can cut and still optimize your strength it may be worth it. Instead, I made it my goal to maintain while slightly learning out (we all have body composition goals). We all know that in order to do this there is work involved. I lift 5-6x per week depending on the cycle of training and I count my macros (High Fat Days: 50% fat, 30% protein, 20% carbohydrates, High Carb Days: 50% Carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat) on a regular basis. I enjoy doing this, but that doesn’t mean its not hard. I have my own battles with getting it all right and balanced. Yes, this is more than the general population so its not a one size fits all deal. An appropriate program plan that fits you is needed – don’t do what I do just because (read my previous blog here: “You Should Do Everything I do… Right?”
This past Sunday, we took a trip to the outlets to get some shopping done. After 3 months of consistently tracking and progressing through my program (this past month hitting PR’s and lifting the heaviest I have in forever), without making it a priority, I managed to lose an entire pant size. Yes, I now wear a size I didn’t even wear in high school. Was this my goal? No – my goal was lean out right? Well between the combination of fueling my body correctly and participation in a sound lifting program, I did just that. I leaned out, maintained my body weight of 126, and dropped a pant size! Never in my life I have even thought about putting on 00. In my mind a 00 is someone who has super skinny frame. I’m far from super skinny, but my waist and quads are two different things! I am currently the strongest and leanest I have ever been. So the take away here is, while training programs aren’t one size fits all, weightlifting/powerlifting and proper fuel don’t make you big! They make you strong, lean, confident, full of energy. They give you the ability to burn more fat, eat more food (the right food), enjoy life a little more and reach goals you thought were impossible.
Do I lift heavy all the time – no my training loads vary based on my weekly progression goals ranging from Dynamic Effort to Maximal Effort, but I will never go back to cardio for body composition goals. Weightlifting allows progress to happen faster and 9/10 people want faster results.
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