Ok, ladies, we need to talk. Why do I always see you on the treadmill or the elliptical when I go to the gym? Why do you think the answer to all of your weight loss prayers lies within the cardio equipment? Who told you that running your life away would make you sexy? I am here to tell you that an hour on the treadmill a day, every day, is not enough to get you back in your skinny jeans in time for that dreaded high school reunion next month. In reality, weight training combined with appropriate cardiovascular exercise, will give you the tight butt for which you yearn. Now, I know what you’re saying. “But, Beth, lifting is going to make me look like a dude.” You are envisioning a masculine-looking physique full of veins, aren’t you? What you don’t realize, however, is that true bodybuilders represent only a fraction of the American population. The bodybuilding physique is not easily attained or maintained by most people; especially women. To build massive muscles, you need a penis (aka, testosterone), you need to eat like an elephant (think consuming well over 2,000 cals a day), and you need a hell of a lot of free time to spend in the gym. I don’t know about you ladies, but I’ve got more important things to do (like sleep). The average woman will NOT get bulky from lifting, because she physically cannot. I was a doughy 5’6”, 150 in college, and I really struggled with my weight after I graduated since I was no longer playing sports. I also discovered my affinity for pizza, which had unfortunate consequences for my rear end. I trained for a half marathon, but, to my surprise, all that running didn’t transform my body like I thought it would. Sure, I was lean, but I had no shape; I felt like lumpy mashed potatoes (not a good look in a bikini, especially with all the whiteness). A few years later, I was sick and tired of not looking like the athlete I knew I was, so I hired a personal trainer. She got me into shape QUICKLY; to my surprise, she did it mostly with heavy weights. Three years later, I am now at a place where I feel pleased with what I see in the mirror. Some women will say, “Ok, fine, Beth, I’ll lift. But I’ll lift low weight and do a lot of reps so my muscles don’t get too big.” There is something to be said for endurance lifting as part of your program, but your entire program should not consist of just endurance lifting. Muscle burns fat, ladies; the more of it you have, the leaner you'll appear, and the more calories you’ll burn all throughout the day. Lifting heavier weights with fewer repetitions burns more calories and results in a bigger metabolic boost than lifting lighter weights with more repetitions. And when I say heavy weights, I mean heavy enough to impress the guys in the weight room. Not a bad way to get a date, might I add. Ladies, I PROMISE you that you will not get bulky and you will certainly not look like a man if you start to lift heavy. I promise you that you won’t look like a linebacker in your wedding dress, nor will you look like the Incredible Hulk at that high school reunion. You’ll look tight, sexy, healthy, and fit. Now stop the madness and get off of the treadmill. Beth is an NPC and OCB figure competitor and has been competing for 3 years. When she’s not rocking the stage in her stiletto heels, she’s either at work as Project Manager at a Pharmaceutical company in Durham, NC or she’s in the gym training clients or teaching spin classes. In her very minimal free time, Beth likes to sleep, eat, play with her dog, and spend time with her boyfriend and friends (who also like to sleep and eat).