February 16

Myth: “Lifting heavy weights gives you bulky muscles”

We say: “Lifting weights improves muscle tone, bone density and posture”

What you’ve been told

Lifting heavy weights leads to instant muscle gain and lifting anything heavier thank a couple of kilograms buys you a one-way ticket to bulky muscles and an unsightly physique. Lifting heavy stuff makes the body grow and, as a woman,you certainly don’t want to build any muscle. 


The truth

Heavy is relative to the individual. Your shopping bags weigh more than a couple of kilos, as do your kids.

Has carrying either of these turned you into the incredible Hulk? No, precisely. And doing a few sets of challenging weights a couple of times per week will not see you pack on pounds of muscle either.


Most women who use resistance training as part of a general fitness programme can’t and won’t gain more than a couple of kilos of lean mass (muscle, bone, connective tissue ... you know, all the good stuff), even if they wanted to. It doesn’t happen by accident when you pick up a dumbbell. You have to actually want to do it. 

Lack of calories, typically inconsistent sleep and training volume, together with a less anabolic hormonal environment mean that women find it very difficult to increase muscle size. Anyway, adequate lean mass is hugely beneficial for women as they approach their thirties and beyond. You certainly don’t need muscles in gorilla-like proportions, but you do need enough to maintain good posture, keep you strong and keep your joints stable.


What you can do?

Challenge your body through resistance training a couple of times per week and eat just enough calories from good quality foods daily. Beyond that, run, walk or practice other active hobbies as often as you can.


At Encore we typically recommend two or three full-body strength training sessions
per week for women who have general fitness goals.

We use a combination of heavier and lighter weights depending on the exercise, but we encourage everyone to challenge their body whilst they increase their strength. This is enough to maintain and, in some cases, even add a little bit of muscle, which will improve posture and help you gravitate to their natural shape.

It also leaves time for other activities and hobbies that you might have.

You know, life stuff.

The stuff that makes you happy.


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The Encore approach to non-stop progress

 At Encore, you will find a results-focused fitness environment, designed to constantly move you towards your personal goals.

Our unique blend of intelligently intense small-group sessions, evidence-based exercises and ever-changing programmes trains you as an elite athlete, keeping workouts challenging and exciting.

Our strength and conditioning training programme includes classes that focus on lifting weights, in a closely monitored environment, while other build aerobic capacity.

The Encore team also provides nutritional guidance, sharing a range of information sources and expert advice to complement your fitness programme, and help you reach your goals.

Join us and get fitter, leaner and stronger.


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