What “Lifting Weights” Actually Means


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woman doing crossfit snatch

Kiana Quinonez, Contributing Writer

Often, when you explain power-lifting to people, they think you’re trying to become a bodybuilder – I was one of those people. The first thing I told my friend when she asked me to start power-lifting was that I didn’t want to be buff, but so far that hasn’t been the case.

If you’re wondering what the difference between the two is, it’s in the names. Bodybuilders lift weights to try to build muscle mass, power-lifters lift weights to build strength. I am among the strength builders.

Of course, you can see more here as there is nothing wrong with bodybuilding or women who choose to body build. The problem arises when people push their view on what a women should look like into the world of body building, then suddenly a woman cannot lift anything heavier than five pounds without being looked at as a She Hulk.
Lift on bodybuilding women and lift on power-lifting women.

Many will be surprised to find that lifting weights is a good exercise. Not only am I building muscle, but I am becoming healthier. I am an unfortunate asthmatic and cardio is not my best friend. Years of basketball taught me that and let’s just say I’m not excited to return to those days, so lifting was the way to go.
Harmful misconceptions about lifting carry on into the power-lifting world as well. Many don’t think women should lift like men.

For starters, I’m not sure what it means to “lift like a man.” Lifting weights is lifting weights. There is no special way to do it if you’re a guy and there is no special way to do it if you’re a girl. If you’re worried about the way you’ll look when you lift then train differently, don’t “train like a girl,” because that doesn’t exist.

Many reps+ lighter weights= lean muscle.
Less reps + Heavier weights = big muscle.

If you’re confused as to what you want, follow this evil formula. If you don’t care do what you want. Do not think though that just because you lift heavy weights you will all of a sudden bulk up. You will see differences though.

In my experience (Less reps + heavier weights), I have undoubtedly built stronger leg and arm muscle, but I don’t need to cut the arms out of my shirts or buy bigger pants all of a sudden. In fact, I’ve slimmed down.

Lifting weights has done more for me than following the entire “Insanity” workout regimen has, and frankly I prefer it more. I’m slimmer, stronger and more excited about working out. Of course, everyone is different but that doesn’t mean lifting does not deserve a try.

To this day my mom asks me how my “body building thing” is going, and to her credit she doesn’t quite understand the difference. No matter what people think you’re doing or should be doing, lifting weights is a good alternative to the regular cardio circuit. If you lift then decide you want to body build, then body build. Who cares what other people think?