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lemonlimepepsi's avatar

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Okay, so Instead of just doing cardio at the gym, I started lifting weights (just simple things like dunnbells for my arms), but I feel so weak. I can barely bench the bar. Now I dont want to be one of thoes mega built females, but Im joining the service soon so I want to be strong, and toned. Any advice, or tips?
Grave Trade's avatar

Combative Punching Bag

bodybuilding.com is where I get a lot of my information. They have plans, tips, and nutrition advice for both men and women. One piece of advice is don't stop. Starting is the hardest part, start off light and in no time you will be easily doing double what you started at. Congratulations to your start towards a healthier life.
Workout your whole body and not just only the arms. You won't get ultra buff unless you eat way above your maintenance levels, workout too hard for hours and years on end, and/or use steroids. Girls don't get bulky by accident.

Lift the almost heaviest thing you can that can allow around 8-12 reps for about 3 sets. Increase load every 2-3 weeks to imrprove strength.

Google and Youtube workouts for proper forms and exercises.
Here is everything you need to know. Anything knowledge you seek outside of this guide is unnecessary for a beginner, or even an intermediate trainee. However, if it interests you, feel free to seek said knowledge, as I do not discourage such curiosity.
Lift big and eat big. Trust me men struggle to get big and bulky. Females have an even harder time.
Adolph Rayner's avatar

Dapper Hunter

To begin with, those mega built females you see have been training for really long. Let's say about 4yrs or more. It takes quite a while to build muscle so don't expect yourself to get 'bulky' any time soon.
Should I go so far as to say the really bulky women (especially those with deep voices) are usually either using or have used steroids.

Secondly, there is no such thing as 'toning'. If you want your muscles to be stronger, you lift weights. If you want them to be firmer, you remove the layer of fat between them and your skin by doing cardio (or you can still lift weights because that burns calories, just eat less calories overall but more protein)

If your primary focus is building strength then you should find a workout that focuses on that. You develop strength when you exercise with a load that you can use for exactly 6-8 reps.

I would suggest you start light and work your way up.


What you could do, for example, you said you can barely bench the bar so work on benching the empty bar until you can do 3 sets of 6-8 reps with good form (that means no bouncing the bar off your chest, nice controlled movement etc)

When you can do that, add on a 2.5lb plate on either side of the bar next workout and try for the same 3 sets of 6-8 reps.
If that's too easy, add more weight. Try to add weight in increments of 2.5 or 5lbs per workout.

If you want, you can also substitute pressing the empty bar with pushups to build up your strength.

Edit: if you're a beginner, try to stick to the basic compound movements: Bench press (or pushups), squat, deadlift, military press, Barbell rows, pullups
Zuska Darling's avatar

Dapper Ladykiller

I am also a female weight lifter, and trust me, you really won't get 'bulky' unless you're down to less than 15% body fat (hard for a girl! Most of us are around 20-25)

Judging your own body fat..

I haven't been lifting long (less than a year), but I'm up to 80lbs bench and 175lbs deadlifts, so I feel like I'm on my way to 'strong'. I'm still curvy and feminine, though!

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