Question for weight lifters

alisons79alisons79 Registered Users Posts: 680
So I've been doing pyramid style weight lifting for a few months. I started out with Body For Life and I'm sticking with it! So I don't feel like I'm 'doing' Body For Life anymore since it was a lifestyle change.

Anyway, my question is I going to "top out" at some point? What I mean is, I know that as a female I only have so much muscle I can build so am I going to get to a point where I just can't lift anymore weight? Is there anything (other than steroids and anything else illegal) that I can do to to prevent this? I don't want to set myself up for disappointment thinking that one day I will be doing dead lifts with the 50's if it's not possible but I also don't want to get to a point where I am permanently plateaued (is that evena word? :) )


ETA: Has anyone here heard of/used CLA? I got some at GNC and the woman there was telling me about how using it helps your body metabolize fat. I have been taking it for a couple weeks and I have noticed that my abs are becoming more defined. I haven't changed anything in my ab routine so I know it's not attributed to that. Just wondering if anyone else has heard of this stuff.
I love Jessicurl HCC, Jessicurl Too Shea, KCKT, KCCC, CK and HESMU...but it took a LOT of trial error to get to these products that consistently work for ME.


  • SnarlsSnarls Registered Users Posts: 2,537
    Is your goal to lift as heavy as you can?

    From what I understand, the best way to get out of plateaus and keep gaining strength is to mix it up, and give your muscles adequate recovery time. So lift heavy for a few months, then take a break and do light with lots of reps. Then go back to heavy. Or put down the weights and do body weight exercises or kettlebells for a while, then go back to the weights.

    When you can deadlift with 50 or 60 lbs, you might feel reluctant to pick up 5 or 10 lbs weights and deadlift those! I know I do. But I've been doing both and lifting light with lots of reps is just as hard as lifting heavy.
    formerly Castella
    (my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)
  • alisons79alisons79 Registered Users Posts: 680
    Thanks for the response! I don't necessarily want to be able to lift as much as possible. My ultimate goal is to just look really tight and toned and to be able to see my muscle definition without making a muscle....does that make sense? In short, I just wanna look hot!!!

    I guess I just don't want to get to a point where it's just going to be physically immpossible for me to go any farther. Is that possible? I mean, I figure that as long as I go slow enough to allow my body to recover, it shouldn't hurt me to add on a few extra pounds every couple weeks when I feel like my body has gotten used to what I've been doing. But if at some point my body is just going to give way and I wind up dropping a 50 pound dumbbell on my head, I'd rather avoid that!
    I love Jessicurl HCC, Jessicurl Too Shea, KCKT, KCCC, CK and HESMU...but it took a LOT of trial error to get to these products that consistently work for ME.
  • SnarlsSnarls Registered Users Posts: 2,537
    I hear ya! It took me a ridiculously long time to get my form right and train my body to lift without hurting myself. And now I'm all bored and frustrated and trying to figure the best way to bump it up.

    I'm reading a book on periodization (programming) for strength training, but it's confusing. The idea is to vary your exercises and allow enough time for muscle recovery.

    Are you using free weights or going to a gym? Because at a gym, using machines, you can safely increase your weights. But with free weights, it gets hard unless your upper body strength perfectly matches your lower body strength and you have equipment like a squat rack. And someone to spot you! Personally, I dislike machines and love free weights.

    I've been doing the standard squats, presses, blah blah for several years and now I'm looking at things like cleans and snatches. Trying to develop explosive power in addition to strength and endurance.

    I don't look cut. Damn it. I have a lot of muscle but I don't look like a body builder or anything. It's probably my diet, I think if you want that cut look you need to really watch your fat intake and eat a lot of protein. What has given me more muscle definition is lifting heavy/low rep 2x a week and light/high reps once a week. (which according to my book makes no sense at all and is stupid but it's somehow working for me)
    formerly Castella
    (my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)
  • luvmylocsluvmylocs Registered Users Posts: 7,578 Curl Neophyte
    diet is KEY for being cut! i wish i ate super clean because i should be cut!
    a dreamy pisces :fish:
    please recycle, it matters...
    i change lives...through fitness
    i'm more relaxed being natural
  • cymprenicympreni Registered Users Posts: 9,609 Curl Neophyte
    I read a good book on weight lifting for women called Body Sculpting Bible for women it explains a lot. It has different routines according to if you use free weights or machines. The basic prenciple is based on a 2 week cycle, you do a hard work out for 2 weeks, then an easier workout for 2 weeks. I really liked it while I was using it, I'm not expert but it made sense to me that it would work. I had to take a break for medical reasons, and just haven't gotten off my lazy butt to start up again.

    Also I found this free program for tracking and helping you mix up your routines Workout generator thought some people might enjoy.
  • SpiderSpider Registered Users Posts: 3,381 Curl Neophyte
    check out weight lifting/training is a big part of the program and there's some good information on there.
    Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
  • shortcurlygurlshortcurlygurl MichiganRegistered Users Posts: 13 is wonderful. I am a Personal Trainer and I use that info all the time with my clients. It is currently the most effective way to train.:blob7:
    Curly Girl since Oct 2002
    formally arobxinstructr and irishrose
  • SpiderSpider Registered Users Posts: 3,381 Curl Neophyte is wonderful. I am a Personal Trainer and I use that info all the time with my clients. It is currently the most effective way to train.:blob7:

    Are you familiar with Hyperfit, a CrossFit affiliate in Ann Arbor? One of their trainers came by DH's facility ( and I got a Hyperfit T-shirt!)
    Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
  • AmandacurlsAmandacurls Registered Users Posts: 6,252 Curl Neophyte
    Would any of you recommend that Body For Life program? My brother did it a few years back and lost quite a bit of weight, but then he fell off the wagon. I just want more muscle tone, I don't need to lose any weight really.
  • alisons79alisons79 Registered Users Posts: 680
    Amanda, I haven't really lost any major amount of weight. I'm sure that had I just done diet alone and maybe ran on a treadmill, I would have lost more. But I gained a LOT of muscle tone on BFL. So I assume that I lost a LOT of fat weight and gained a lot of muscle weight. Overall, I have a net loss of weight but I feel great and I can see my muscle now. There are still areas that I would like to work on and concentrate on a little more but overall BFL was good for me. I eat three small meals a day and also supplement with protein shakes in between. I make one big shake and have half in the morning and the other half in the afternoon. I can't really say that I limit myself as far as "bad" foods. I don't eat them all the time but I also don't always wait until my "off" day to eat them either. At first I was really strict with what I ate. After a while, I realized that I didn't want to "do" BFL, I wanted to make a lifestyle change. So I think this is how I will eat from now on and make sure to workout any day that it is possible. If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me and I'll answer anything I can! :)
    I love Jessicurl HCC, Jessicurl Too Shea, KCKT, KCCC, CK and HESMU...but it took a LOT of trial error to get to these products that consistently work for ME.
  • SuburbanbushbabeSuburbanbushbabe MassachusettsRegistered Users Posts: 15,402 Curl Neophyte
    BFL got me started on weight loss and it's easy to follow.
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  • kcurlskcurls Registered Users Posts: 205
    I won't be able to add a lot more to the good advice people have offered here, but I wanted to say that the age of 43 I finally broke down and went to a personal trainer, and have never been happier. I was having lots of back and neck pain and knew I needed to strengthen these areas safely. Because I'm basically cheap, as well as fairly self motivated, my trainer sets me up with a program that I can work on and intensify for about 4- 6 weeks, then I have another session and he gives me another program and I go from there. I NEVER thought I would enjoy or benefit from this but I have. I am stronger than ever and have less pain (and thanks to cardio and finally finally learning to stop eating when I am full, I have lost 15 pounds this past year!)
    3A - fine, just above shoulder length, w/red color and highlights.

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