2

votes

Are weights really neccessary?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 31, 2012 at 4:59 AM

I have 100+ lbs to lose, and once I do through low-carb paleo and IF, I plan to focus more on my strength. I'm a female and my goal is to be healthy as well as fit. I don't have a specific weight or jean size in mind, I just want to be in an athletic body fat %. When most of this weight is off I would love to start more jogging, biking, badminton, mixed martial arts (just for fun, nothing serious), baseball, ect. I don't want bigger muscles, but I do want more strength and I don't want my current muscles to sit there like jello without being touched. The thing is, weight lifting seems so unnatural to me. Our ancestors much of the time used their own body for strength and yes they did lift heavy stuff periodically but they never had access to the stuff bodybuilders occupy. Could I have healthy muscles and reasonable strength doing bodyweight routines like push ups, squats, hand stands, ect. or do I HAVE TO get my butt in the gym & pump iron? I've been debating with myself about this topic especially after reading books like convict conditioning and combat conditioning but I believe other opinions are mandatory before a final decision. Help me out please!

Cd77fd01d8be999aa91b8678e262f419

(825)

on August 31, 2012
at 03:31 PM

The kinds of people who are sitting in a chair lifting a weight with one leg, or moving their bicep only up and down, are doing it wrong. :-) Whole body weight exercises like squats and deadlifts are a lot more natural and far more relevant to life - I often pick things up in my daily life, don't know about you!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on August 31, 2012
at 01:34 PM

+1 This is my go-to workout after years of lifting weights in a gym. No more gym fees, either!

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on August 31, 2012
at 11:51 AM

Stronglifts PDF, google that

Medium avatar

(3213)

on August 31, 2012
at 06:03 AM

Definitely not. I would suggest you to lift heavy things at least 3 times a week, it will make you stronger, leaner and sexier ;)

E3474e4efbcc6c1deab28e268ad6eb01

(341)

on August 31, 2012
at 05:42 AM

+1 This is absolutely true. You don't have the testosterone and growth hormones that are needed to get big and bulky. Strength training will just make you lean and athletic.

75707623b414b7cf96be381a0f13a1f7

(10)

on August 31, 2012
at 05:30 AM

but I'm sure they weren't sitting in a chair lifting weights with one leg or just standing there and repeatedly moving their arm up & down while holding a rock.

  • 75707623b414b7cf96be381a0f13a1f7

    asked by

    (10)
  • Views
    3.1K
  • Last Activity
    1280D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

11 Answers

9
E3474e4efbcc6c1deab28e268ad6eb01

on August 31, 2012
at 05:39 AM

Increasing muscle mass will increase your base metabolic rate (BMR) which will cause you to lose more weight. Your BMR is the number of calories it takes to keep you alive, even if you were to sit on the couch all day. These calories are used for digestion, breathing, temperature regulation, and all of your most basic bodily functions. Muscle requires a lot more energy to maintain than fat, so the number of calories your body will burn on a daily basis will go up considerably.

Also, increasing your strength has benefits other than weight loss. Joint pain will go away, you'll have a better range of motion in your limbs, and a resistance to injuries. It's a very important part of being generally fit.

That being said, no one is implying that you go straight over to the squat rack and bust out 5 set of 5 with a couple hundred pounds. It feels unnatural to you because you haven't developed the base strength in your core and stabilizing muscles yet. This can be accomplished with a very basic beginners strength regiment that will most likely involve body weight exercises and flexibility. Not only is that okay, but it's an example of smart training, and will keep you from injuring yourself.

Weight training has an addictive nature to it, so I think you'll find that as your strength increases, so will your desire to challenge and push yourself. Don't ignore strength training, but I recommend going into it slowly, lightly, and take it one step at a time. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Best of luck!

9
Ff1dbd6cecad1e69a8234fb2c2c5c5ed

(1409)

on August 31, 2012
at 05:24 AM

I'd say if you have 100 pounds to lose, you body qualifies as a heavy thing, so bodyweight exercises are perfectly fine.

And btw, more strength translates (at least partly) into bigger muscles. Plus they won't look and feel like jello any more. Please don't be afraid of muscle growth, us females just won't get bulky.

E3474e4efbcc6c1deab28e268ad6eb01

(341)

on August 31, 2012
at 05:42 AM

+1 This is absolutely true. You don't have the testosterone and growth hormones that are needed to get big and bulky. Strength training will just make you lean and athletic.

3
1955b5516a3eaedce732f4ea8bb3fa6c

on August 31, 2012
at 11:56 AM

Check out the Primal Blueprint workout stuff at marksdailyapple.com. If you are not in tip top shape already it is a good place to start, no gym required. He has a free ebook you can get by signing up for the newsletter that just emails you new blog posts when they come up. It is pretty much all bodyweight based and then there are some extra things (can't remember what they are called right now but you'll read about them if you download the ebook) where you lift heavy things other than your body weight when you get stronger from doing the bodyweight stuff, and I think those are weekly. But once you reach the point where the highest level of difficulty of body weight stuff has been reached you'll have to decide if you wanna give your muscles more to work with by doing weights.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on August 31, 2012
at 01:34 PM

+1 This is my go-to workout after years of lifting weights in a gym. No more gym fees, either!

3
2336245491a87ee15d4fb8f8f8283909

(1173)

on August 31, 2012
at 07:00 AM

Nothing is necessary but a lot of things are helpful.

I use a suspension trainer, weighted vest, sandbag, kettlebells, dumbells and other heavy objects, bicycle and running(distane and sprints (on the beach and track)). You definitely don't have to train with weights. You could go outside and lift rocks, chop wood or you could just use your body weight. It doesn't matter...just find something you like to do and do it.

I have everything I need at home. The gym is the last place I want to be.

1
Adb249ff0b1447d86ed308d0265e2b86

on August 31, 2012
at 11:48 AM

If you have a nearby gym I'd do the progressive resistance training from day one. Nothing is more convenient than training on machines with a pin selector. It doesn't have to be natural the point is you can train every inch of your body on a scientific schedule and plot changes in your reps and weights. Funnily enough I was watching a big gorilla at the zoo recently, he didn't do much until he did an awe-inspiring single pull-up on his bars, I thought he was going to rip the equipment down.

It'll be a long time before you can do pull-ups but your gym might have a pull-up machine with assistance plates (or at least a lat pulldown machine) so you can get started straight away.

BTW, you should think about doing some of your ambitions now. I joined a professional MMA gym when I was 30 lbs overweight, it's a mistake planning to do all these activities when you're slim. Down the years we've had people coming in weighing 300 lb and more. As long as you show a bit of toughness and work hard everyone will be happy with you now.

1
Medium avatar

(3213)

on August 31, 2012
at 05:10 AM

Humans have been lifting heavy things for 2.4 million years, if that's unnatural I don't know what is natural. Use common sense to make lifting as organic as possible.

Medium avatar

(3213)

on August 31, 2012
at 06:03 AM

Definitely not. I would suggest you to lift heavy things at least 3 times a week, it will make you stronger, leaner and sexier ;)

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on August 31, 2012
at 11:51 AM

Stronglifts PDF, google that

Cd77fd01d8be999aa91b8678e262f419

(825)

on August 31, 2012
at 03:31 PM

The kinds of people who are sitting in a chair lifting a weight with one leg, or moving their bicep only up and down, are doing it wrong. :-) Whole body weight exercises like squats and deadlifts are a lot more natural and far more relevant to life - I often pick things up in my daily life, don't know about you!

75707623b414b7cf96be381a0f13a1f7

(10)

on August 31, 2012
at 05:30 AM

but I'm sure they weren't sitting in a chair lifting weights with one leg or just standing there and repeatedly moving their arm up & down while holding a rock.

0
5c880a6a32f9ffb0db5ee56e9b699940

(175)

on September 10, 2012
at 02:21 PM

if you have 100# to lose, bodyweight may be much to heavy for you to make progress. push ups, and pull ups may be extremely difficult. The necessary muscles can be strengthened, while burning large amounts of fat using free weights. grok didn't use weights to gain strength, because he started out strong. He could do a push up or a pull up from the time he was a boy. join a gym and get a trainer to start out, give it 6 months or a year and you will be amazed.

0
E2db1519690001648433e8109eb2c013

on August 31, 2012
at 07:37 PM

Primal Blueprint, SimpleFit, Convict Conditioning...probably dozens more plans for body-weight strength work. Gyms eat time in travelling back and forth and most gyms are full of bad advice and worthless equipment.

So yes, 'weights' are not necessary in that sense. BUT... so many women avoid strength work for bad reasons: a strange fascination with fuzzy pink dumbbells, the belief that they will wake up on morning looking like Dorian Yates etc. etc. that you might find working on strength around other people a mind-expanding experience.

Look around, learn and experiment.

0
E753cf7753e7be889ca68b1a4203483f

on August 31, 2012
at 04:57 PM

I suppose we all agree that lifting weights aren't a must, but helpful to many. However if you do have major issues with the concept of weight training, it's not likely to help you achieve anything. Some kind of physical training, will help you a lot with achieving your goals, but diet remains the most fundamental aspect. As already stated, few women can build a muscular physique without drugs, so don't let your fear of becoming muscular in a masculine way, hold you back!

0
Cd77fd01d8be999aa91b8678e262f419

(825)

on August 31, 2012
at 03:35 PM

You don't have to do anything other than bodyweight for a long time, if ever, but it's fun to try - I didn't realise I would enjoy lifting weights until I started. I recommend the Nerd Fitness Rebel Strength guide which is presented in a very engaging way as well as containing solid, scaling workouts. (Only criticism is that perhaps they don't pay enough attention to the 'unfit' end of the scale, but googling 'How do I do incline pushups' can help with that, for example).

Bodybuilding isn't the only form of strength training and it's a very one-sided form (designed to make certain muscles look great in the mirror). I'm glad to hear you are naturally rejecting this! Whole body lifts and movements make your entire body stronger and you can learn some very interesting things about your body. For example, I have a very weak posterior chain and a shoulder slump, both of which are pretty much caused by being a computer nerd my whole life. Both of these became very, very apparent when squatting with weight overhead -- so I'm working on correcting them, which means I'll be stronger, healthier and fitter for the rest of my life, ignoring the weight part completely.

You could also try out something like Crossfit which mixes metabolic conditioning, intervals, gymnastics/bodyweight movements and weights with enough coaching to make sure you're doing it right.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 31, 2012
at 11:27 AM

Depends on your goals. I would suggest you can get more work done in a shorter time with high weight low reps than you can with something like p90x.

You won't put on muscle mass unless you are also eating big. For you, I would personally suggest you add some weight training. Start with really low weights or body weight , and focus on compound movements with proper form. You will lose more weight than with diet alone.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!