Are you fat and want to lose weight? Then lift heavy. Don’t make the mistake of thinking heavy weightlifting will bulk up your body.

It’s a compelling phenomenon: The fatter a woman at the gym, the lighter the weights she lifts.

This isn’t because plus size women are weak. If anything, they’re on an even playing field when compared to thinner women with similar strength training backgrounds.

A very overweight body has adapted to supporting all those extra pounds, which is why obese women should have no difficulty performing the same weightlifting routines as thinner women.

The secret to reinventing your body, to shrinking it, to tightening it, to trimming those thighs and shearing inches off the stomach…is to lift heavy weights.

Lifting Heavy Will Not Make Fat Women Bigger

If you actually believe that using heavy weights will make you larger, then ask yourself just how this happens.

Does lifting a heavy barbell add fat to your fat cells? Just HOW does heavy strength training cause a size 20 woman to balloon to size 24?

Intense Heavy Strength Training Shrinks the Body
In an obese woman, her fat cells have too much fat in them. This is stored energy. Pedaling endlessly on cardio equipment or moving to music in some “dance” class is not a sufficient stimulus to force the body to siphon the fat out of those cells.

Though a little weight loss may result from being a new participant to low impact group fitness classes, walking on a treadmill (hands off the machine!) and light strength training (a la the infamous 45-pound lat pull-down), women who engage in such exercise will ultimately be facing pretty much the same size every time they look in the mirror.

To force the body to ransack oversized fat cells for their energy, the body needs to get hammered. There’s no other way around this.

Women who have very toned, fit looking, lean and mean physiques work hard—very hard. They don’t dilly-dally around. They don’t just stand there lackadaisically curling 5-pound dumbbells.

They typically do these exercises for optimal fat-burning. If you’re sick and tired of being fat, you need to change your game plan in the gym and stop sabotaging your workouts.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.