lady lifters

Gemma Atkinson Wants Women to Get in the Weight Room

The "Devil's Pass" actress and model discusses why lifting weights isn't just for men.

Jul 2, 2014 | 05:04 PM

Some people think that the weight room is just for guys, but Gemma Atkinson wants her fans to know that lifting weights is great for ladies, too.

In a recent post on WhoSay, the actress and model talked about her time in the gym, the concept of being "skinny fat," and how women shouldn't be worried about getting too bulky from lifting weights.

"When it comes to ladies lifting and the fear of us getting too ripped or bulky, we don't have the hormonal balance in favour for it. Testosterone is the main hormone for muscle mass and men have this in abundance but us ladies have very, very little," Gemma wrote on the post.

Read Gemma's full post about weight lifting here.

Gemma Atkinson
Gemma Atkinson - So today I thought I would write about woman lifting weights... There seems to be this huge fear that us ladies have about looking like men and bulking up if we lift weights. In fact, when I first started training at Ultimate Performance last summer the first thing I said to my trainer Olly in our induction was, "don't make me look like a dude!" I had always trained since high school, I used to run for Manchester Girls athletics team so I was always down at the track in my spare time running. It took a back seat when I joined Hollyoaks due to filming hours but I still went to the gym when I could and I did regular cardio classes. I even went jogging or bike riding some mornings and I managed to keep my weight down,  So in my mind I was slim so therefor I was healthy... Right? Or Wrong?... Well, a bit of both really.
Despite relatively good cardio health I was becoming what people now refer to as "skinny fat" this is where a person appears visibly slim but if you were to touch them or see them without clothing they would be flabby.  People who have little lean muscle tissue tend to be skinny fat and yes, our body is primarily down to genetics and some people will find it harder to gain muscle mass then others but being skinny fat is not healthy and shouldn't be desired. People with these body types are at just as high risk for the health effects associated with those being over weight.
When it comes to ladies lifting and the fear of us getting too ripped or bulky, we don't have the hormonal balance in favour for it. Testosterone is the main hormone for muscle mass and men have this in abundance but us ladies have very, very little. Probably that of a 9yr old boy! So by simply only lifting weights 3 to 4 times a week it is not possible to get big. Of course some woman who choose to spend hours & hours per day in the gym lifting heavy with excess supplementation & other things thrown in the mix will bulk. But I'm talking about 3 to 4 weight sessions of around 45 - 60 mins each a week combined with 1 or 2 cardio sessions a week. That is the type of training I do with my trainer. In fact at the moment I do metabolic style weight based sessions working in a superset fashion upper to lower body. My Full body is worked over a 2 day period and then on the third day i do HIIT & core work. When I was first introduced to this type of training the fear set in of "I'm going to get massive and grow facial hair!" :/
but in actual fact I can tell you I have reaped the benefits beyond belief! I have lost body fat, (from 18.5% to 11.2%) because as your lean muscle mass increases so does your resting metabolism meaning you burn more calories throughout the day. I have developed definition in my arms, back, stomach, legs not to mention reduced my risk of osteoporosis through increasing my bone density. I've become physically stronger so carrying shopping bags is no longer painful ;)  and best of all, I've become more confident and happier then I have ever been. So, I'm telling all of you ladies to try lifting weights!!! Do some research or speak to a trainer who you thoroughly believe has your best interests at heart. When it comes to my training & diet I trust Olly 100% as he knows my strengths / weaknesses / intolerances ect... You are putting your health in there hands so it has to be right. I started weight training with Olly At Ultimate Performance properly last summer and I've never looked back. My adapted cardio still plays a big part in training, but it isn't solely all I do training wise anymore.

So today I thought I would write about woman lifting weights... There seems to be this huge fear that us ladies have about looking like men and bulking up if w…

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With one look at Gemma's photos, we're ready to pick up the weights for ourselves.

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