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Excuses, excuses

We all have excuses to avoid strength training, and ours typically go something like this:
1. "I barely have time to squeeze in a run in the park; I couldn't possibly add weights to the mix."
2. "I can't afford a gym membership, so I don't have access to all the weights and fancy machines."
3. "When I go to the gym, the weight room is full of 'serious' weight lifters (aka intimidating meat-heads)."
4. "I don't want to look like a bulky female body builder."

While we'd like to cut ourselves some slack for these (understandable! ubiquitous!) excuses, they're all a load of BS.

For starters, strength training has way too many benefits for you to not do it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says strength training increases bone density, boosts your metabolism, improves sleep, and can even help prevent and manage a number of diseases. In essence, it's one of the simplest things you can do to get healthier, faster.

And those fears that strength training will give you quads like Arnold Schwarzenegger's in his body building days? A total myth. Experts agree very few women have the hormone balance (mainly enough testosterone) necessary to bulk up, so your chances of looking like an American Gladiator are pretty slim -- no matter how many bench presses and leg curls you do.

As for that lack of time and a gym membership, here's the deal: We talked to experts who say you don't need either to strength train. In fact, they helped us create a full-body program that you can do using a simple park bench -- and that's all.

So head to a park and start working on your bikini bod. This workout is quick, easy, and free -- the ultimate buzz kill for all of those "I can't strength train" excuses.
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