But I Don't Want to Bulk Up!

by Matt Elsesser

January 06, 2014 // Category: Fitness Community

DontWantToBulkUp.jpgFar too often I hear similar comments from customers at fitness retail stores, gym members, or even co-workers in our company gym at Life Fitness headquarters: They’re worried about “bulking up.” For some reason, strength training has become synonymous with athletes, meatheads, and people looking to “bulk up.”  This thought is a common misconception.

With that said, I’ll admit there was a stage in my life where I did not have a neck, could squat a Smart Car, and probably pick up an average-sized human being over my head. These were requirements for throwing shot put in college, but not real life. Even so, strength training continues to be an essential part of my workout routine, but it’s not because I’m trying to get bigger.

Effective way to burn fat. Leaving out the strength portion of a workout could be a real missed opportunity.  For instance, weight training is an effective way to reduce body fat. Not bad, right? Get this: strength training also allows the body to increase lean muscle and in turn, burn more calories.

Strength training is also a cardio workout. Adding some muscle and becoming leaner are common fitness goals. But here’s a little secret, strength training is also a cardio workout. You get the best of both worlds! And consider this: It is impossible to spot reduce the fat in certain areas of your body; the location of fat burn is completely uncontrollable. With weight training, you can specifically target the muscles you want to work.

Check out the dual adjustable pulley. From my perspective, there is no better piece of equipment to accomplish these strength goals than a dual adjustable pulley. This system allows unlimited variety in strength workouts from one machine. Systems like Life Fitness’ G7 Gym and Hammer Strength’s HD Elite Dual Adjustable Pulley provide unlimited variety and allow you to use every muscle in your body without the risk of turning into Mr. Universe. High reps and low weights on a machine like the G7 can help accomplish several fitness goals.

Other possibilities. Take a simple bench press; you can use a bench. For more challenge and core work, you can try the same movement on an exercise ball. Once you are comfortable with that and can comfortably do 10 -12 repetitions at a weight, mix it up. Take that same motion, but stand up. Once you have mastered that, stand on one leg and perform the movement.  As you can see, the possibilities are endless!

For those of you afraid of outgrowing your wardrobe, relax. Strength training comes in many forms; bulking up only happens with excessively heavy weights and LOTS of hard work. To burn more calories, reduce fat, and develop sleeker muscles, try some weight training. It’s for everyone, not just athletes…or in my case, former athletes.

 
Matt Elsesser
 

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