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An Instagrammer's incredible transformation shows the different effects of weight lifting and running

Emily DiNuzzo
Rebecca Catherine Smith

The INSIDER Summary: 

  • In a recent Instagram post, fitness Instagrammer Rebecca Catherine Smith shared a side-by-side photo of her body before and after changing her workout routine.
  • Smith wrote that she switched from cardio to weightlifting, and hasn't looked back since. 
  • She wants to encourage women to embrace the weight room and not be afraid of becoming "manly." 

 

Weightlifting is no longer considered "just for the boys." Celebrities and average people alike are embracing this classic strength-building workout-type. Case in point: Rebecca Catherine Smith. The Instagrammer recently shared a transformation photo documenting her experience with lifting weights. In the post, Smith discussed her switch from a cardio-based exercise program to weightlifting and the effects it had on her body. 

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"It infuriates me how still so many girls think the second you pick up a dumbbell or protein shake you'll suddenly become the hulk," Smith wrote in the caption. "[C]hanging my training from cardio to weights changed me completely inside & out and each to their own but I personally don't think I've made my body look at all manly in my past year and a bit of weight training!" 

Looking manly is one concern that keeps women from lifting heavy. Model Kate Upton had the same fear but, like Smith, she embraced the weights and developed a passion for weightlifting.  

Smith's post has received more than 14,000 likes and comments from followers who were motivated by her words. 

"Wow well done! this is so true, way too many girls are scared they're going to become too muscular by lifting weights," one commenter wrote. "So many girls are going to the gym with hate for their bodies, and you do it with good intent to improve a good thing. Also: Trying different things, getting off the 'man thing, woman thing' box is so much better," another person wrote. 

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A few commenters, however, brought up a good point about cardio and choosing an exercise program. 

"Cardio is great for anyone as it enhances your cardiovascular health as well as creates endurance, flexibility, strength and can enable a caloric deficit in which you lose 'weight'. [...] I just think it's uh more complex than posting a picture of cardio vs weights. False message. A lot more involved," one person wrote. 

"It's also infuriating to assume cardio makes you look like a dumpy body type. I do both and I certainly dont look like the left picture. This sends a false message as far as the picture is concerned," another person commented. 

Smith acknowledged these commenters, saying the purpose of the post was to share her amazing experience with lifting weights, and not so much on villanizing cardio. 

With that in mind, Smith ended her caption with these words of wisdom: "Rant over if this convinces one girl to try out weight training mission complete but I wanna see MORE GIRLS in the weights section and get rid of the association that it's just for boys because it's not."

Here's the full caption of Smith's Instagram photo:

LIFTING MAKES YOU MANLY?!-It infuriates me how still so many girls think the second you pick up a dumbbell or protein shake you'll suddenly become the hulk???????? changing my training from cardio to weights changed me completely inside & out and each to their own but I personally don't think I've made my body look at all manly in my past year and a bit of weight training! Here are my 3 main reasons for girls to start lifting ???? -1. Building strength & muscles: Lifting builds on a woman's natural curves and helps your body be the strongest it can. Ripped abs, sexy strong back, shoulder boulders & a curvy behind alll come from lifting ???? #strongnotskinny -2. Loosing that extra body fat: my body fat % saw a MASSIVE fall when I began lifting because as your muscle mass INCREASES your metabolism INCREASES. Before I would spend hours on cardio machines thinking that will get rid of fat but never saw any results and just made me HATE going to the gym, and if you feel like your in that boat now then change it up now!- 3. Healthy relationship with food & body image: when your doing cardio in order to burn 'calories' it's so easy to look at food as numbers and end up feeling guilty for eating too much and feeling like you HAVE to restrict yourself to see results, well that's just not the case at all. Starting weight training made me realise food is fuel and I need LOTS of it to get the best out of my training ???? the amount I eat has honestly trebled since I picked up lifting and I absolutely love it ???? there's no restricting and there's no guilt in indulging in treats once in a while because what better way to fuel a sesh ????????-Rant over if this convinces one girl to try out weight training mission complete but I wanna see MORE GIRLS in the weights section and get rid of the association that it's just for boys because it's not