Women, Weights, and Protein Shakes

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As a personal trainer, I often have women come to me wanting to lose weight and tone up, yet hesitate to engage in strength training because they fear developing a masculine physique. Below are the top concerns I receive most, which I have touched on to put the worry of lifting to rest.

1. I don’t want to get bulky.
Yes, there are some women lifters who have a bulky masculine physique, but I can assure you that does not come solely from weight training. Most likely these individuals supplement with a prohormone or steroid to drastically increase testosterone, as well as consume large amounts of calories. Women naturally do not have the hormones to put on that type of mass. When we weight train, it actually increases production of an exercise-induced growth hormone, which helps develop lean muscle. Lean muscle increases the metabolic rate, which will burn excess fat and help create that tight physique!

2. When I lift, I get thick.
Lifting weights can lead to a thicker (not bulky) frame if you are consuming a surplus of calories. This means you are not burning enough energy (calories) to shed excess body fat. Your muscle will continue to grow under that layer of fat, making you appear thicker. This is where nutrition comes into play – and planning meals that correspond with your desired look is key!

MORE: What Is Whey Protein and Should I Be Taking It? 

3. I just want to be TONED!
Too often I hear this from women who refuse to lift weights. There is no way around it: you must use a strength or resistance training program to tighten up. Using weights that tax your muscles is the only way you can build shapely features and supercharge the fat burning process. Combining the strength training program with a structured diet and cardiovascular activity will get you the results you are looking for.

4. Protein shakes will make me big.
Actually, protein powder has many benefits in helping reach a wide variety of fitness goals. Bodybuilders will use specialized ‘gainer’ shakes that are very high in carbs to put on weight. Many brands these days also have ‘isolate’ options that are low in sugar and carbs to control calorie intake. High protein consumption can aid in weight loss for many reasons:

  • Increases lean muscle and metabolic rate.
  • Keeps you feeling full for longer, putting those cravings aside.
  • Aids with sleep and recovery (which is important in burning fat).
  • Consuming a high amount of protein can sometimes be a challenge as it requires a lot of time to food prep, so having a shake at hand makes it easy to get in the adequate amount with very minimal prep time.

Below is my favorite go-to protein shake recipe and my favorite fat-loss stack!

Claudia Virgil, Bikini Competitor and Team Max Athlete

Claudia’s Low-Carb Peanut
Butter Protein Shake

  • 1 scoop MaxPro Elite Natural Vanilla
  • 2 Tbs PB2
  • ½ Tbs Flaxseed oil
  • 1 tsp Stevia Raw
  • 8 oz Unsweetened Vanilla
  • Cashew Milk
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 6 to 7 medium ice cubes

Blend all ingredients together until ice cubes are blended smoothly.
Macros: 36g Protein / 8g Carbs / 12g Fat = Total Cal. 275

Claudia’s Fat Loss Stack
LiquiCarn: 2 x day, morning and mid-day
Max CLA: 2 x day, morning and mid-day
Emerge: 3 x week, pre-workout

By Claudia Virgil