The Bulky Myth

Christopher Ybanez | 25 Apr 2017

“I don’t want to get bulky like those bodybuilder and CrossFit chicks!”

This is the apex reason I hear from women about why they do not want to strength train. It is a myth, I tell you!

Jacked and Tan

True, there are some (but few) women who are predisposed to putting on muscle simply because of their genetic blueprint that has been influenced by their movement personality; therefore, I am not here to tell you it is impossible, but rather that is incredibly unlikely that you will fall into the mesomorph somatotype: the individual who can easily put on muscle due to his or her hormone and muscle fiber type profile.

Women within this body type have higher levels of testosterone and thus carry larger amounts of estrogen. Together, this a powerful catalyst in the muscle building formula. However, since most women carry upwards of 15 times less testosterone than men, it is super unlikely they are going to get jacked and tan!

Cardio Is Not King

The scale-obsessed female society is the antithesis to weight training, yet this could not be further from truth when aesthetics is being measured. Cardio has been deemed the all mighty weight-loss king but, in reality, weight training is the torch that fires through fat because of the metabolic and hormonal encouragement it has on the female physiology. This effect is inspired by the baseline of calories your body is capable of burning each day because of the energy expensive tissue you build called muscle. Sure, you may not see that scale move south as quickly as you like, but rest assured those favorite jeans will become looser because you are getting smaller!

Cardio teaches the body to become efficient at burning fat but, when coupled with an energy-restricting diet (and the two usually go hand in hand), it will throw a bomb loaded with metabolic damage that is the nightmare of overtraining.

A well-architected weight training program twirled with intermittent bouts of specialized cardio is the brilliant blueprint behind that fit’tasticly lean physique women go all-out for.

Try It for Yourself

The following is a sample weight training sesh that incorporates compound and isolation movements wrapped up with specialized cardio that pack a synergistic punch in shedding fat and exposing a strong and lean physique:

1. AMRAP with as much intensity as possible to be completed within 30 minutes. Each exercise has a corresponding rep scheme that is associated with the weight chosen. Also, all must be performed with solid form, so rest during the sets when needed. Safety first!

Exercise Rep Scheme Weight
Goblet
Squat
8 heavy
KB or DB Overhead Press 20 light
DB
Standing Curl
20 light
Floor KB Press with Glute Bridge 12 moderate
KB
Deadlift
8 heavy

2. 8 rounds of HIIT
Max intensity: 30 seconds
Lowest intensity: 60 seconds

3. 18 minutes of steady-state cardio. Using a rate of perceived exertion scale, you should be at a 5.

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Christopher Ybanez

About the author: Christopher Ybanez

In 2010, I attended a PTA Global CPT program at Allied Healthcare Professions and this experience has served as the framework for who I am as a professional and person. The "kaizen" principle they teach has always resonated in me and is what drives me to always strive to be the number one option for my client and team. After I graduated from the program, I ended up working with Jake Duhon at Movefree for a year; it was here where I became a trainer. I was offered a position at the College of Healthcare Professions, as the Lead NASM Instructor, to teach a 720 hour curriculum. It was during these 8 months I realized that I was meant to teach, more than I was meant to train. I believed if I could help trainers become the best version of themselves they would, in turn, do the same for every client they worked with; this compound effect was powerful beyond what I could do alone. I was recruited by 24hour Fitness in August of 2013 as an Assistant Fitness Manager at the Compaq club in Houston, Texas. I transferred out of this club in January of 2014 to reconstruct the Rice Village Super Sport fitness team and had an amazing 17 month experience! As a team of 17 trainers, we accomplished a record setting growth of 140.8% in 12 months, which took our club from $720k to $1.1 million in trainer fitness revenue. We continued to thrive as a team in 2015; however, in July I was asked to take over the Woodlands Super Sport, which reigns as the number fitness team in the 24hour Fitness family. The reason I was approached was the club lost a major training contract due to the oil recession that resulted in over $120k of lost revenue from March to July. In August, I took over as the Fitness Manager and within 3 months we recovered the monthly loss of $30k. My first 30 days were spent identifying the breakdowns in the business that would push us through that metaphorical glass ceiling that capped our growth. The quickest return was to implement a system that identified the performance architecture of our business. We have to be fanatics about continuing education: exercise science, communication, and business management. But, like most trainers, my team was only dialed into one, exercise science. Through my experience it is the behavior and business sciences that ultimately feed into the 78% trainer attrition per year.

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