Have you heard that lifting weights makes you “bulky” before?  Most of us have heard, especially females, that if you lift heavy weights you will become a hulk, or a “she-hulk”.  Even if you are a male, weight lifting should be part of your current exercise routine for a number of reasons.  Hopefully this article will help alleviate your fears of lifting weights and you will discover that lifting weights can actually change your life as well as your physique.

You Will Not Become Bulky

First off, the notion that females who lift weights will become “bulky” is inherently untrue. Females cannot physiologically build huge muscles because they produce estrogen, and very, very low levels of testosterone, which is one of the primary hormones responsible for muscle gain.  Men are able to gain more muscle due to the fact that their bodies naturally produce greater levels of testosterone, and very low levels of estrogen.

Why Lift Weights

If you are a female reading this, don’t fear the weights! Like previously stated, your hormones PREVENT you from gaining any muscle beyond your genetic potential. Women you see in the gym/fitness industry with an extremely massive muscle mass have most likely been abusing some form of synthetic hormones.

Weightlifting is Fun

Weight lifting can definitely be intimidating, don’t get me wrong.  Walk into any fitness center and you are surrounded by fancy machines, powerlifting racks, cardio machines, and sometimes even TRX straps.  If you are completely new to exercise and weight lifting, this can be extremely intimidating, especially when you may be surrounded by people who have the physique you desire.  To combat this intimidation factor, get a friend to start with you!

If you make weight lifting and the gym a FUN place to go it will allow you to build an even better relationship with your friend and keep each other accountable.  If your schedule is a limiting factor to working out with someone, don’t fret!  Do your research online, or consult with a personal trainer to help you start your fitness journey, you will not regret it.

Improves Metabolism

Lifting weights properly with the right intensity also has been shown to improve metabolism!  By lifting weights consistently, your lean muscle mass will increase slowly over time.  Since muscle is such a dense tissue, muscle cells use more energy than normal tissue cells to maintain their structure and function properly. Though the increase in metabolism isn’t huge, it is still enough of a reason to make lifting part of your routine!

Another form of resistance training, known as “High Intensity Interval Training” or “HIIT” is also very effective at keeping that metabolism revving away.  This kind of training involves performing all out exercise for a bout of 10-45 seconds, followed by a rest interval of 45-2 minutes, performed for sets ranging from 4-10.  Though this kind of training is short, it is not for the faint of heart or mind, but it is definitely worth it!  Studies show that HIIT actually causes your metabolism to continue to be elevated even after you are done exercising.  Are you sold yet?!

Insulin Sensitivity

Weightlifting can also improve insulin sensitivity – causing your body to become more efficient  at utilizing glucose for fuel.  What does this mean for you?  Well, your body will be able to use glucose (sugar) more efficiently – giving you more energy, better workouts, a better mood, better sleep, and the list goes on!  Since weight training depletes muscle glycogen during training bouts, more of the carbs you eat will be used to replenish your muscle glycogen fuel stores.

Bone Density Benefits

Are you already thin and in shape yet still question whether you want to lift weights?  Well, weight lifting can also improve bone density.  Young and old, everyone can appreciate maintaining and improving bone mass.  As you age, your bones become less and less dense, which is unpreventable.  This is especially important for females, whose risk of osteoporosis goes up after menopause.

However, lifting moderate to heavy weights every week can help maintain bone density and slow the effects of aging.  Among the effects of aging, is loss of cognitive and memory function.  Good news – lifting weights actually improves cognitive function, problem solving, and memory!

Take-Home Message

Now that we have uncovered the secrets of success, what’s holding you back? Don’t fear the weights!

The truth about gaining muscle and losing weight

The truth about gaining muscle and losing weight

First of all, there are a lot of articles all over the internet and various magazines telling you that you can gain muscle and lose weight at the same time if you just buy this supplement, do this routine, or what have you. These are lies, and I’m going to tell you why, and tell you the right way to accomplish these goals.

Ignore bodybuilders and models

For someone trying to live a normal lifestyle, there is no point following bodybuilders, watching what they do, and trying to copy their diet or exercise techniques. What they do is completely different from what an ordinary person trying to get fit needs to do. A professional bodybuilder does nothing but lift, eat, and prepare for competitions. This is not a normal person’s lifestyle, and will not work if you are trying to get fit while having a job, a family to take care of, or a normal life.

Also, what you see on TV or in magazines or on the Internet is almost certainly an illusion. Usually the models have been airbrushed and photo shopped almost beyond recognition. In real life they aren’t actually that big, or that cut, or that thin. Stop comparing yourself to the legs on that model, or the abs on that actor, because it’s probably spray painted, and if it is real, it’s because that person spend six months dedicated to achieving that body.

The difference between “bulking”, and “leaning out”, or gaining muscle and losing weight, is that when you’re bulking, you need a calorie surplus, and when you’re leaning out you need a calorie deficit. How can you do this at the same time? It’s impossible. If your goals are to gain muscle and lose fat, you need to use a way of alternating between bulking up and leaning out that works for you. Some people alternate every three months, some alternate weekly, different people have different results.

For the best results, most people find three months of bulking followed by three months of losing weight to be effective. One reason for this is that when you have more muscle mass you burn more calories, so after a good period of muscle building, the cutting stage will be more effective and you will get more lean.

Now it is possible to build muscle without gaining weight, and to do that you need to be in the gym 4-5 days per week, for 45 minutes to an hour, putting some good stress on your muscles for bulking.

If you’re trying to lean out or cut, it’s all about burning. Your workouts need to be focused on burning as many calories as possible. Five or six days a week you need to do some kind of cardio, whether that be team sports, sprinting, running, biking, or elliptical machines.


Nutrition is extremely important to reaching your fitness goals. 80% of your results will come from nutrition and diet, the other 20% will come from your physical activity.

One area people trying to lose weight often trip up is calories in beverages. Our bodies aren’t used to processing liquid calories, so we don’t feel full after consuming them, but they will hurt you just as much if you’re trying to lose weight. Stick to water, green tea, and cut out soda, juice, and other high-calorie beverages.

For building muscle, you need to consume more calories than you burn. It’s important not to consume empty calories from sugars and sauces, and protein is necessary for building muscle, but without a calorie surplus you will not grow.

Two different goals

The truth is, you cannot gain muscle and lose weight at the same time, with a single diet and exercise program. It is possible to bulk up without gaining fat, and it’s possible to lean down without losing muscle mass. To do both, you need a disciplined approach of alternating between a muscle building program and a fat cutting program.


Business Style — Introducing P2 Personal Training

Business Style — Introducing P2 Personal Training

P2 Personal Training is a new business in Cape Coral, having just opened in December, but personal training is not new to the owner, Patty Cummings.  Patty has been a personal trainer for 7 years.  She moved to Cape Coral from Peoria, Illinois three years ago, and has been looking to set up business here ever since. 

P2 Personal Training, home of Astro-Durance Bungee Training, may have opened just a few months ago, but business is booming!  P2’s Astro-Durance training program is high endurance, motion based training that revs cardio and burns fat.  Based on weightless total body bungee concepts, it allows you to perform muscle movements that would not have been possible without the bungee. There is no stress or pain on the joints.  For those with ideal weight and youth, Astro-Durance is the best workout to optimize your body’s peak performance.  It is safe and fun for all ages! 

Patty is a single mom of four children, and a new granddaughter who was born in March in Illinois.  Her oldest daughter is 25, with a career in nursing, married and now a new mom.  Patty also has a 21-year-old son who is an electrician.  Her youngest boys are identical twins, 10 years old and attending Pelican Elementary.  Patty also has a Teacup Poodle, and recently adopted a Yorkie and a Maltese.  They have a full house!

As a professional and a working mother, Cape Coral allows Patty to raise her children in “a community friendly environment where people work together to help others.”  She loves the canals that flow through Cape Coral.  “To me, it lends a taste of Italy. There is easy access to novelty islands and the gulf shores.  But most of all, living in The Cape is like being on a never-ending vacation!”

Patty is a member of the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral, active with Cape Christian Fellowship Church, and works closely with “Ark of Hope for Children”, a nonprofit organization that helps fight child abuse.

To see videos of what P2 does, visit their Facebook page at P2 Personal Training.  For information on franchise license opportunities, visit their website at

P2 Personal Training

324 W Nicholas Parkway


Cape Coral pastor takes on the Appalachian Trail

Cape Coral pastor takes on the Appalachian Trail

Gulf Coast Village’s Pastor Tom Hafer begins six-month journey for faith, fitness

Pastor Tom Hafer, director of spiritual services for Gulf Coast Village in Cape Coral and ordained minister with Volunteers of America (VOA), will begin a 2,190-mile journey along the Appalachian Trail, beginning April 24 at Springer Mountain in Georgia and concluding October 15 at Mount Katahdin in Maine. Following his motto, “care for yourself to better care for others,” Hafer will take on a six-month journey dedicated to mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

“Intense ongoing physical exertion for months on end through unspoiled woods alone in silent contemplation, teaches a person to travel light. One can no longer carry the heavy baggage that weighs him down,” Hafer said. “Mentally, he learns to let go of anxiety, fear, hostility or shame. Physically, he corrects the effects of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, addictions or other chronic ailments. Living simply and intentionally with less than forty pounds of worldly possessions – in the present moment, with purpose, and without distractions – forces change. We can all live “well” once we let go and travel light.”

Taking on the Appalachian Trail is no easy feat for a man in his 50s. According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, only about one in four people complete the entire trail from start to finish. To complete the thru-hike journey within six months, Hafer will hike approximately 15-20 miles each day, and will follow a special diet that will replenish the additional calories he will burn on a daily basis. The journey will serve as inspiration for Hafer’s future fifth book, informally titled “Ramble On.” People can follow along Hafer’s journey via Facebook at

In addition to his pastoral duties at Gulf Coast Village, Hafer is a speaker and published author. Since the original release of his first book, Faith & Fitness in 2007, Hafer has been traveling and leading workshops on the spiritual and physical health connection. He offers workshops free of charge, compliments of Volunteers of America (VOA), in support of their efforts to prevent early disabilities for the nation’s seniors.Well Planet (2010), Aging Grace (2012) and Soul Man (2016) were Hafer’s follow-up titles.

Hafer received his Bachelor’s degree from Florida A & M University in Physical Therapy and has been a licensed Physical Therapist in Florida for over 25 years. He attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia and received a Masters’ degree in Religion in 2006. Hafer lives with his wife of 26 years on a three-acre gentleman’s farm in Southwest Florida where they grow their own organic produce and citrus, and offer special celebration and wellness events to the local community. The couple has three grown children. The oldest is a Special Education teacher in Lee County, the middle is a U.S. Marine, and their youngest is pursuing her degree to become a Registered Nurse.

To learn more about Hafer visit

Founded more than 25 years ago, Gulf Coast Village is the premier Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Cape Coral, Florida. Residents enjoy active independent living in an unparalleled lifestyle of comfort and convenience with a rich array of services and amenities that are focused on living well. The community also offers the security of knowing there is the full continuum of care when needed including:  assisted living, skilled nursing, specialized memory support, home health and outpatient services. Gulf Coast Village is located at 1333 Santa Barbara Blvd., Cape Coral, FL 33991. For more information call 239-772-1333 or visit

Gulf Coast Village is sponsored by Volunteers of America, a national non-profit faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Volunteers of America was founded in 1896 and is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit providers of quality, affordable housing for seniors and a provider of professional long-term care including assisted living, home health care and nursing home care.

Thank You For Participating in the #MillionMileMovement!

Thank You For Participating in the #MillionMileMovement!

Million Mile Movement Healthy Lee RUNdown!
Thank You For Participating in the #MillionMileMovement
More than 6,000 people registered to take the steps to a healthier lifestyle by participating in Healthy Lee’s Million Mile Movement! Individuals and teams from all areas of Lee County walked, biked, danced, and swam for 90 days of movement.

Together, Lee County moved 726,552 miles! 

Congratulations Winners
The Million Mile Movement is a non-competitive wellness challenge. This means that everyone who participated in the Million Mile Movement and took steps towards a healthier lifestyle is a winner! However, we would like to take a moment to recognize the top teams and cities that led the way during this challenge. 
Top Teams:
1. Lee County School District
  70,745 miles

2. City of Cape Coral
54,840 miles 

3. Physicians’ Primary Care of SWFL
49,630 miles 

Top Cities:

1. Fort Myers Beach 
249,234 miles

2. Cape Coral 
244,029 miles 

3. Fort Myers
112,795 miles

Now What?
Stay Connected to Healthy Lee
The Healthy Lee website is available for continued use as a healthy living resource, providing Health & Wellness TipsWorkplace Wellness ResourcesChildren’s Health/5210 Program Information, and News & Events specific to Lee County, just for you.

Connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram as we encourage our community to live healthier lifestyles.

Learn About Healthy Lee’s 5210 Program 
The 5210 program is designed to help adults and children make better choices in order to live healthier lifestyles. Are you ready to take the pledge?
Thank You For Participating in the #MillionMileMovement!
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