Just about everyone is after a fit, sculpted body--one that is trim and doesn’t jiggle when you jump around. However, there are many myths out there that can easily mislead a person seeking a good body sculpting workout routine.

 Here’s a comparison of weight lifting and cardio and how these two tried-and-true methods can work together to give you the body shape you’re after.

 Will Lifting Weights Lead to Bulk?

Many women avoid weight lifting due to the common misconception that it will lead to them “bulking up” and looking like a bodybuilder. If you happen to be seeking a more slender, toned look over a muscular one, don’t fear. Weight lifting actually won’t lead to bulkiness for women.

 In order for a woman to “bulk up,” she’d have to be deliberately trying. Jacque Crockford, spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise, puts it this way: "Gaining muscle mass comes from a combination of heavy weight training and an excess in calories … If you perform resistance training one to three days per week and you're not eating more calories than you expend in a day, you probably won't see a ton of muscle growth."

 Why Lift Weights At All?

If it’s unlikely for a woman to see a lot of muscle growth with just 1-3 days of light weight or resistance training each week, some may wonder why they would fit it into their routine at all. The fact is, there are many benefits that accompany a basic weight lifting routine, including:

 Shape Your Body: Targeted resistance and weight lifting exercises can allow you to shape your body, reducing and toning in the places that matter most.

Faster Metabolism: Additional lean body mass means you’ll burn more calories even while at rest, and that contributes to a faster metabolism. One study found that regular strength training could increase your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) by 5%.
Improved Bone Density: Bone density is a major factor in overall health and wellness, especially for women who may be at a higher genetic or lifestyle risk for osteoporosis. Strength training has been shown to improve bone density, reducing this risk.
Improved Heart Health: Strength training once or twice a week is recommended by the Heart Association for a lowered risk of heart disease and other heart-related conditions.


As you can see, there are countless benefits that should inspire you to hit the mat or grab some weights at least a few times a week, but for the best body sculpting plan, you should really work to combine both weight lifting and cardio.

 Combine Weight Lifting and Cardio

If you want to achieve a sculpted body, that means you need to do two things: shed off some excess pounds and tone up your muscles that are hiding underneath.

 As most people near a healthy weight range for their body type, they often find that they still have some loose and jiggly parts that they just can’t seem to lose no matter how many pounds they drop, and that’s when weight lifting and strength training come in.

 You need cardio to help you burn fat, and you need strength training to help you tone up. Even if you don’t want a pack of abs or muscular arms (which you certainly won’t get by accident), you’ll need strength training to get the firmness you desire.

 Tone and Sculpt with Weights

When people use the terms “tone” and “sculpt,” they’re talking about your ability to target certain muscle groups in the body in order to create the body shape you desire.

 That might mean working on your hamstrings for the effect of a lifted, firm booty. It could also mean toning up your tricep muscles to reduce the dreaded “bat wing” and underarm flab.

 The point is, if you want a sculpted body, you can’t just focus on losing weight, you must also focus on firming up--and that can only be done through a strength training regime.

 Create a Body Sculpting Routine

Once you recognize the power of using cardio and strength training together, you’ll be able to easily create a routine that gives you the sculpted body you’ve been looking for.

Written by Sydney King

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