Ladies...Lift Heavy, Look Heavenly by Stuart MacEwan
Ladies, it's been said before but it needs repeating. Lifting heavy will not make you bulky; it won't make you look like a man. However, if you've never dead lifted, squatted or done heavy pull-ups, you may need some reassurance and coaxing.
What heavy lifting will do for you is refine your muscles and make them sleek. Lifting weights causes muscles to strain against resistance, challenging them to become denser and shapelier. The repeated process of breaking muscles down and feeding/resting them causes your body's fat-burning/muscle-shaping hormones to boost, speeding your metabolism and burning fat at a much faster rate than cardio or body-weight circuits. A faster metabolism will gradually tighten your skin fascia to reveal the shapely muscle that you have been working to hard to create. So, lift heavy, sculpt muscle, burn fat faster than ever... it's a proven formula.
When you start to challenge your body with heavy iron, you will need to be patient for the first 2 months. For about 8 weeks, your muscles will be adapting to a new kind of lifting they have never experienced before. When your body first goes through the rigors of a good booty building/sculpting heavy squat program, your thighs and glutes will become swollen with water as a normal and expected result of inflammation. The water held in your newly developing thigh muscles will initially make your thighs look more bulky, but only because the skin fat around your thighs hasn't had the time to shrink and thin yet. The skin fat will take a few months to respond to your newly boosted metabolism, so be patient! After a few weeks, your muscles will stop becoming so inflamed, the water retention will become minimal, your muscles will have a much more toned and shapely appearance that shows though your thinner, tighter skin.
You don’t have to ditch your other favorite exercises just to lift heavy though. A good exercise program will include some heavy exercises, combined with lighter/faster conditioning moves and bodyweight movements. I’ve attached a sample workout that demonstrates how to mix in your heavy movements along with conditioning exercises that raise your heart rate and tax your little supportive muscles. Notice that the big heavy lifts start the exercise series and the program is finished by faster/lighter movements that challenge your heart and balance.