Myths of Women’s Weight Training and Female Bodybuilding

The myths about women’s weight training and female bodybuilding do not ever seem to go away. With this article, I’d like to share the facts regarding weight training and female bodybuilding.

Women’s Weight Training Myth #1 -Weight training makes you bulky and masculine.

Due to the fact that women do not, and cannot, naturally produce as much testosterone (one of the main hormones training-at-home-small-e1342483209910responsible for increasing muscle size) as males do, it is impossible for a woman to gain huge amounts of muscle mass by merely touching some weights. Unfortunately, the image that may come to your mind is that of professional female bodybuilders. Most of these women, unfortunately, use anabolic steroids (synthetic testosterone) along with other drugs in order to achieve that high degree of muscularity. In addition, most also have good genetics coupled with an unbelievable work ethic that enable them to gain muscle quickly when they spend hours in the gym lifting very heavy weights. Believe me when I say that they do not look like that by accident. Women who conduct weight training without the use of steroids get the firm and fit cellulite-free looking body that you see in most fitness/figure shows these days.

Women’s Weight Training Myth #2 – Exercise increases your chest size.

Sorry girls. Women’s breasts are composed mostly of fatty tissue. Therefore, it is impossible to increase breast size through weight training. As a matter of fact, if you go below 12 percent body fat, your breast size will decrease. Weight training does increase the size of the back, so this misconception probably comes from confusing an increase in back size with an increase in cup size. The only way to increase your breast size is by gaining fat or getting breast implants.

Women’s Weight Training Myth #3 – Weight training makes you stiff and musclebound.

If you perform all exercises through their full range of motion, flexibility will increase. Exercises like flyes, stiff-legged deadlifts, dumbbell presses, and chin-ups stretch the muscle in the bottom range of the movement. Therefore, by performing these exercises correctly, your stretching capabilities will increase.

Women’s Weight Training Myth #4 – If you stop weight training your muscles turn into fat.

This is like saying that gold can turn into brass. Muscle and fat are two totally different types of tissue. What happens many times is that when people decide to go off their weight training programs they start losing muscle due to inactivity (use it or lose it) and they also usually drop the diet as well. Therefore bad eating habits combined with the fact that their metabolism is lower due to inactivity, and lower degrees of muscle mass, give the impression that the subject’s muscle is being turned into fat while in reality what is happening is that muscle is being lost and fat is being accumulated.

Women’s Weight Training Myth #5 – Weight training turns fat into muscle.

More alchemy. This is the equivalent of saying that you can turn any metal into gold; don’t we wish! The way a body transformation occurs is by gaining muscle through weight training and losing fat through aerobics and diet simultaneously. Again, muscle and fat are very different types of tissue. We cannot turn one into the other.

_DSC7768-2Women’s Weight Training Myth #6 – As long as you exercise you can eat anything that you want.

How I wish this were true also! However, this could not be further from the truth. Our individual metabolism determines how many calories we burn at rest and while we exercise. If we eat more calories than we burn on a consistent basis, our bodies will accumulate these extra calories as fat regardless of the amount of exercise that we do. This myth may have been created by people with such high metabolic rates (hardgainers) that no matter how much they eat or what they eat, they rarely meet or exceed the amount of calories that they burn in one day unless they put their mind to doing so. Therefore, their weight either remains stable or goes down. If you are confused about nutrition, please read Nutrition Basics.

Women’s Weight Training Myth #7 – Women only need to do cardio and if they decide to lift weights, they should be very light.

First of all, if you only did cardio then muscle and fat would be burned for fuel. One needs to do weights in order to get the muscle building machine going and thus prevent any loss of muscle tissue. Women that only concentrate on cardio will have a very hard time achieving the look that they want. As far as the lifting of very light weights, this is just more nonsense. Muscle responds to resistance and if the resistance is too light, then there will be no reason for the body to change.

Women Should Train Hard


I have trained with women that train as hard as I do and they look nothing but feminine. If you want to look great, don’t be afraid to pick up the weights and lift hard!

I hope this helps!

Until next time, take care and train hard!







Natural Bodybuilding Shoulders & Arms Workout (Coaching Session with Hugo Rivera)

training-at-home-small-e1342483209910In this natural bodybuilding shoulders and arms workout video I get to coach my two friends Steven and Natasha. They started their fitness journey 4 weeks ago with my wife Cecile coaching them since the beginning. This past Monday, I did not have a chance to train before they came so I decided to join in and perform the workout that Cecile prepared for them. Since Cecile has done such a stellar job with her coaching (and they have followed the instructions to the letter; including the diet) they are now ready to follow a much more advanced program. This is only because Cecile was able to accelerate their progress based on how their body responded to the various training routines of the weeks prior.

At any rate, here is the workout that Cecile filmed of us. As you will see, I coach them through this session.

If you are looking for a new shoulders/arms workout, try out this routine and let us know how it works for you!


Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3×10-15 reps
Bent Over Lateral Raises 3×10-15 reps

Lateral Raises 3×10-15 reps
Dumbbell Upright Rows 3×6-15 reps


Triceps Pushdowns 3×10-15 reps
Triceps Pushdowns (reverse grip) 3xfailure with same weight as above

Triceps Bench Dips 3xfailure with bodyweight (use weight if you can for 10 reps minimum and then drop the weight and keep on going)
Dumbbell Curls 3×10-15 reps

Reverse Grip Preacher Machine Curls 3×10-15 reps
Preacher Machine Curls 3×10-15 reps

Only rest 90 seconds between supersets.

After the workout we had a wonderful Labrada Lean Pro8 shake mixed with IsoLean Pro and PowerCarb. (To find out more information and how to save up to 50% on these bodybuilding supplements: click here)

Until next time, take care and train hard!






9 Reasons Women Should Not Be Scared Of Gaining Muscle

Today I want to dispel more women training myths
by sharing with you this article from Registered Nurse and
Dietician Flavia Delmonte who shares 9 reasons why women should
not be scared of gaining muscle:

9 Reasons Women Should Not Be Scared Of Gaining Muscle
By Flavia Del Monte, RN & creator of The Curvalicious Workout

I am a huge advocate for gaining muscle. I love the way it looks on
a female. For years I wanted people to notice that I worked out.
Finally, after losing enough fat off my entire body, my muscle
definition became visible and people noticed!

Muscle is not just aesthetically pleasing, it is EXTREMELY
important for a myriad of health benefits.

Flavia Del Monte's Curvalicious Workout Sytem

Here are nine reasons women should not be afraid of gaining muscle:

1) Muscle helps you live longer! According to Tufts University, the
more muscle mass you have, the greater your longevity potential.
Muscle is the number one biomarker for longevity. It is a better
predictor than total cholesterol or blood pressure!

2) The more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest. It is
estimated that for every pound of muscle you gain you burn an extra
50 calories a day. Add 5 pounds of muscle and you’ll burn an extra
1,750 calories a week! That’s the equivalent of going on the
treadmill five times a week for 40 minutes!

3) Muscle makes life and everyday activities easier. The more muscle
you have, the more strength you have. Researchers at Tufts
University determined that strength is the number two predictor for

4) Muscle improves body composition. According to world renowned
strength coach Charles Poliquin, for every kilo of lean muscle that
was gained, there was an equal loss of weight in body fat! Look at
this way, if gained 4 kg (8.8-lbs) of muscle during a 12 week
program, in the same 12 weeks you would drop 4 kg (8.8-lbs) of fat!
So if you started at 20% body fat and 60 kg (132-lbs) of bodyweight,
your body fat would now be 13%! These body composition changes will
make you look absolutely amazing and feel very empowered.

5) Muscle empowers women because of the new sense of strength and
power that muscle gives!

6) The more muscle you have the more insulin receptor sites you have,
and the more sensitive they will be. This means it’s easier to stay
leaner and keep the fat off!

7) Muscle builds stronger bones, preventing osteoporosis.

8) Muscle improves flexibility and balance

9) Muscle can improve the postural muscles to enhance your posture.

And most importantly, muscle makes you look great naked! Want a
sexier butt? Add some muscle, strip the fat and VOILA! Want your
waist to look tinier? Shape your shoulders and WOW! Want to make
your legs look longer? Strip some fat and add some muscle and

*Now that you understand why women should not be scared of gaining
muscle, here is what you need to know about muscle tissue. It can
do one of two things:*

A) Grow larger and/or stronger

B) Shrink and/or get weaker

So how do you gain lean, sexy and hard looking muscle safely?

*If you want to be toned, sexy and defined curves, don’t be afraid
of training with weights*

A desirable female physique is one that can only be achieved by
moving some serious iron in the weight room! But what about all the
talk about weight training making women big and bulky? First, it is
physiologically impossible for you as a woman to put on large
amounts of muscle mass; you’re body’s hormonal makeup is not one
that will allow you to do so. God never intended for women to look
like men (go figure), so he made the chemistry of each gender’s
respective bodies different. Regardless of how you train, how often
you train, how much protein you eat, etc, you’re not going to even
come close to the big, bulky physique of a female bodybuilder. It
will not happen. That look is only obtainable by one means: super hard
training, a spartan diet and steroids. Because their natural hormonal
profiles would never allow them to get that “big,” they resort to
changing their body’s chemistry through the use of drugs. Secondly,
if the right training method is chosen, the hypertrophic (growth)
response to resistance training can be even further reduced. This brings
us to our next point.

*If you want to be toned, sexy and defined curves, you should train
HEAVY with weights.*

Training with heavy loads and low volume (sets x reps) is the best
way to get hard and strong, but not big. Muscular hypertrophy is
generally a response to a high volume work output; therefore, by
keeping the sets and reps low with heavy training, you wont have to
fear getting overly big (this really isn’t even an issue due to the
physiological reasons mentioned earlier). Why then is it commonly
recommended that women train with lighter loads? Well, there are a
couple reasons. First, there is the typical stereotype that women
are weak, fragile creatures who can’t handle anything more than
pushups on their knees and bicep curls with pink dumbbells.
Give me a break. Secondly, the belief that high-rep training
increases muscle tone is 100% myth.

Losing fat is the only thing that can reveal the status of your
“tone” and high rep training does very little for improving your

*If you want to be toned, sexy and defined curves, you should train
with compound, multi-joint movements.*

If you want to sport a hard body, you better start training heavy.
Big, compound movements such as the deadlift, squats ,presses, chin
ups and rows are superior to machine, isolation-type movements for
toning up your thighs, butt and upper body as they allow you to use
challenging weight while training a number of muscle groups
simultaneously. Another benefit obtained by performing multi-joint
compound movements is increased confidence. With strength comes

Getting skinny and soft is the easiest task in the world – starve
yourself and avoid weights. But once you stop starving yourself all
the weight will come right back and you’ll be fat and soft. Not
exactly what we want!

Instead, tapering your calories down gradually (without doing
anything extreme), while adding metabolic resistance training
workouts to strip the fat to reveal your muscle tone and adding
heavier weights and lower reps will help you reveal a sexier,
athletic and fit body!

What is sexier to you, fit and athletic, or skinny and weak? If
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Aerobic Exercise Basics – Aerobics for Fat Loss

Aerobic exercise such as walking, riding a stationary bike, or running is a good way to accelerate the fat burning process, as long as it is not overdone and as long as it is used only in addition to a good weight training program. It should never be used as a substitute for weight training since it does not permanently increases your metabolism and since it does not has the ability to re-shape your body.


Fat Burning Zone

In order for aerobic exercise to be effective, it needs to be performed within the fat burning zone. The fat burning zone is the zone at which you are doing enough work to burn fat. Your pulse (how fast your heart is beating per minute) determines this zone.

The fat burning zone formula is the following:

[Read more…]

Women’s Fitness Topics and How To Use Natural Bodybuilding for Body Sculpting

In this article I discuss several women’s fitness topics and how to use natural bodybuilding for body sculpting. [Read more…]

Do Women Only Need Cardio to Lose Weight?

This is a big myth that has plagued women in their efforts to lose weight! The truth is that while cardio can definitely help you lose weight and get into great shape, it is only one piece of the puzzle.

Now what I am about to say may come as a shock to many, but pay close attention because it is the truth!

[Read more…]

Using the 10 Sets of 10 Reps Natural Bodybuilding Workout for Women

In this article I talk about why10 sets of 10 reps natural bodybuilding workouts can also be used by women who are looking to get in great shape and even compete in figure competitions! [Read more…]

I Added Bodybuilding Workouts to my Weight Loss Plan and Stopped Losing Weight – Why?

In this article I talk about why if you add natural bodybuilding workouts to your weight loss program sometimes you stop losing weight. [Read more…]

Natural Bodybuilding Exercises for the Legs and Abs That You Can Do at Home Without Equipment

In this article I talk about what natural bodybuilding exercises women can do to shape up the legs & abs at home without equipment. [Read more…]

7 Tips to Make Your Cardio Workouts Exciting and Effective

Cardiovascular exercise is necessary for most of us in our quest to achieving the lean bodybuilding look that we are looking for. Few can achieve the lean appearance required to see a full six pack of abs without cardio. In addition to fat burning, cardiovascular exercise offers many benefits such as an improved glucose metabolism as well as a lowered heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Now that we know why we need cardio, let’s look at ways to make it more enjoyable and effective.

[Read more…]

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