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Seriously, you don’t have to look like a man

It is a common misconception that if a woman lifts weights she will end up looking like a man. How? Will she grow an Adam's apple? Will her voice deepen? Will she grow a pair? Most definitely not.

Still, I hear it all the time: “If I train with you, I don't want to lift heavy. I'll look like a man.”

Unfortunately, there are many misinformed people (men included) who believe this is possible. They assume that lifting heavy means a female will almost immediately transform into a “man” or, at the very least, their view of a typical female bodybuilder.

This ridiculous myth has been around for ages. Let's talk about why it's untrue.

First, a quick, simple science lesson.

Women do not possess nearly the same amount of (free) testosterone in their bodies as men. Without this hormone, it is near impossible for them to naturally grow muscle at the same rate as men. Nor is it possible for them to grow hair (especially facial), for their voices to deepen or develop any similar male characteristic.

Diet also plays a huge role in muscle growth. The average female is smaller than a male, and will eat less. Fewer calories means slower muscle growth. In order for both men and women to grow muscle tissue they must eat accordingly, more than the daily requirement of calories.

But look at those bodybuilders, you say? Those females are elite athletes. They put in years — I mean years — of training to get even a fraction of the same muscle growth as their male counterpart. Elite athletes train intensely, frequently and undoubtedly eat according to their goals. There are few women who, compared to other females, are genetically predisposed to put on muscle very easily and quickly; some without the help of any heavy lifting or dieting. If you are one of these women you would know.

To be fair, incorporating weightlifting or any fitness activity can result in the loss of fatty tissue in your breasts ... after all it is just fat. However, it does not result in a complete loss — unless you were an A cup to begin with like me LOL. This is awesome news for women looking for that non-surgical breast reduction, although not a guarantee. In any event, having small breasts or “no breasts” doesn't make a female male or manly. Sounds silly right? The same can be applied to the simple correlation that heavy lifting/muscle definition equals manly.

A little comic relief: if manly means to have a certain physique and amount of “bulk” muscles does this not imply that men without this physique and amount of muscle look like women?

Dre is a retired track and field athlete who is now a personal trainer, aerobic and yoga instructor and fitness “addict” with more than 20 years' experience. She specialises in nutrition, weight and sprint training, operating out of HindsSight Fitness and Wellness at the Berkeley Cultural Centre. Contact her on: absbydre@gmail.com or 599-0412. Find her on both Facebook and Instagram under @Absbydre

Weight of her mind: Dre Hinds believes in science rather than myth when it comes to training

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Published January 17, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated January 17, 2018 at 7:46 am)

Seriously, you don’t have to look like a man

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