The SparkPeople Blog

How 'Bulking Up' Helped LeAnn Rimes Slim Down

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/24/2010 10:00 AM   :  91 comments   :  36,034 Views

I was intrigued to see LeAnn Rimes on the October 2010 cover of Shape magazine. Yes, her recent divorce has made headlines, and she admits to feeling a lot of stress and pressure over the events of the past year, but one thing hasn't changed: her dedication to fitness. Now 28, she is looking better than ever. Her secret? It's not cardio, a crazy diet (the girl eats chocolate chip pancakes!) or even the three-pound weight myth so many other celebs subscribe to. In fact, it's just the opposite.

LeAnn graced the cover of Shape three years ago, and the writer of this story comments on how different her body looks today (in a good way). LeAnn admits that she actually weighs 6 pounds MORE than she did back then but that her body fat is "the lowest it's ever been." She's gained muscle, but actually appears curvier than before, and she's loving the results. LeAnn changed her body composition, which means she's dropped body fat and increased her lean muscle mass, by incorporating serious strength training into her workouts, three or four times per week.

When asked the ONE THING that has gotten her so sculpted, she credits her strength training program. And she's not talking measly little weights either.

"I don't think I've ever had more muscle than I do now," she tells Shape. "Some days I do heavy weights with only six to eight reps, and the other days I do light weights with 22 reps. I work with dumbbells or a bar with weights on each end. I don't know how much weight I lift anymore. All I know is it's seriously heavy!"

Never one to "doodle around" in the gym, she takes her workouts seriously, which has garnered her some amazing results. Not only does she look better than ever, but she also says that her increased strength is "empowering."

I thought this was worth sharing because it is SO rare to see a female celebrity talking attributing her lean figure to something other than Pilates or lifting teeny tiny weights. LeAnn is a great example of how lifting heavier weights can actually change your body for the better. Many women fear that big weights will make them big, but that's not necessarily the case. Muscle is naturally long and lean, not bulky, and it takes up less space than fat. So whether you build it with 2-pound or 25 pound weights, muscle is muscle. The more you have, the more your fat-burning furnace with be cranked up and the more toned and sculpted you will look. Not to mention, strong muscles are useful in everyday life, and beautiful, too! And let's not forget that the number on the scale is just that. LeAnne admits to gaining 6 pounds, but does it show? Not even close! She looks leaner than ever, despite gaining muscle mass, which proves that "weight" only means so much. Next time that scale goes up when you've done everything right, maybe you can rejoice the new muscle you're building instead of feeling down about the number on the scale, which doesn't really say much about you.

In the article, LeAnn Rimes talks about her diet and go-to stress relievers, and also shares how cardio boxing helps her break out of a bad mood and stay in shape at the same time. So be sure to pick up the October issue of Shape to learn more about her healthy-body secrets.

Do you still fear heavy weights or embrace them? How was strength training changed your body?

Follow thecoachnicole on Twitter

Become a Fan of Coach Nicole |


Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
 

NEXT ENTRY >   Ditch the Dining Hall Tray to Stay Lean at College

Great Stories from around the Web

Comments

  • 91
    I embrace heavy weights. I love seeing the hint of toning that is coming, and the feeling of utter strength when I surprise myself. - 4/20/2011   10:12:54 PM
  • DARCELG
    90
    I do powerlifting at the age of 45. I have a 265 pound squat and deadlift and a 155 lb bench press. My body infrastructure feels strong and supported. My knees don't warble around and I have no joint aches. I feel strong and brave :-)
    I have never felt better.
    I do about 30 min of cardio every other day.
    Eating sweets is my addiction! - 10/18/2010   11:52:36 AM
  • 89
    ST is great! It's way more interesting to me than cardio. I do cardio to burn fat and to warm up for my ST sessions, but it's always a chore. I have also started doing yoga and that is a great ST workout - I am always sore all over the day after my yoga class.

    As so many have already said, ST works wonders in how your body looks, no matter what the scale is telling you. I dropped 5 inches off my waist in one month since I started doing the yoga class!

    Ladies, please don't be afraid of ST - you will not start looking like a guy if you lift weights. - 10/4/2010   11:08:15 PM
  • 88
    guess I need to look more into strength training... - 10/2/2010   11:39:30 AM
  • 87
    I have a problem with the models Shape uses...far too skinny rather than just healthy - and I know they have been called out on their excessive airbrushing before. I do like their workout routines and I use their free website to get those, but I just can't support the magazine who is putting out as unrealistic images for people looking to get HEALTHY as any fashion magazine. - 9/29/2010   4:04:09 PM
  • 86
    I love weight training. It is an important part of my exercise routine. Since I have started it, I have never felt more confident. Weight lifting is good for my figure, my self esteem and my balance. Although, I lift heavy at times, I have not developped ourtrageously big muscle. I weigh an athletic 113 pounds and I am 4'11". I feel all women could benefit from weight training. - 9/28/2010   4:18:10 PM
  • AKAFIT
    85
    She looks amazing and I am so glad that she isn't talking the same mumbo jumbo that most stars talk about their lifestyle. I for one, love weights, and am happy that someone else in the spotlight mentioned their benefits. - 9/28/2010   1:46:17 PM
  • JSPEREZ64
    84
    She looks great! I can't believe how much different she looks - just since the last time she was on the cover of the magazine. Nice to see a strong woman - great motivation! - 9/28/2010   12:33:23 AM
  • 83
    She looks GREAT! - 9/27/2010   10:34:34 PM
  • JULIERJ58
    82
    Good advise. - 9/27/2010   5:05:57 PM
  • SMARTY23
    81
    wow. She does look amazing. Im gonna do weights then! F all the little stuff lol - 9/27/2010   1:55:32 PM
  • 80
    Strenght training is the key to looking really hot! I almost hope it doesn't catch on because there is never a line for my strenght circuit at the gym. I always feel so bad for skinny girls who just jiggle and have no tone. It also helps bone density which is so important for us!

    GET ON THOSE WEIGHTS LADIES! - 9/27/2010   1:27:18 PM
  • 79
    I read that article in the magazine a couple of days ago and I had decided after I read it, that I would put a picture of her on my wall for inspiration because I want a body like hers and she motivates me!! ^ - ^ - 9/27/2010   11:33:40 AM
  • 78
    Nice article. It was nice that LeAnn was honest about her weight struggles. I use my Tony Little "Easy Shaper" strength training bar with stretch bands. The resistance is awesome. It gives me a real good workout. I used it today for 30 minutes. I am getting over a cold so I am going to work my way up to doing strength training longer. I can see the changes in my upper body. My arms are getting toned and so is my shoulders. I am also hoping to see the difference in my butt. I am glad that I am including strength training in my workouts. It's a good workout to add to my running. - 9/27/2010   11:10:54 AM
  • 77
    I saw her on the cover, and was tempted to pick up the mag because she looked so fantastic, and I love fitness mags. I didn't because I feel like I have so many magazines to read around here, but now that it's been featured on SP, I just feel like I gotta have it! I love fitness mags for the inspiration they give me, and it's always refreshing to see a celebrity with a healthy lifestyle featured in them. - 9/27/2010   9:33:11 AM
  • 76
    Wow! She looks incredible!! Time to pick up the weights!!! - 9/27/2010   12:02:09 AM
  • 75
    Looks like I need to focus on weight training too! - 9/26/2010   11:56:53 PM
  • 74
    Strength training is the key...yet its amazing how many ladies still won't go there....due to fear of bulking up. Thanks for sharing this article hopefully it will spark someone to get started strength training!!!! - 9/26/2010   10:34:36 PM
  • ENERGETIX
    73
    Hmmm, time to increase those weights - 9/26/2010   10:06:32 PM
  • 72
    I do strength training 3-4 times per week with the highest weight that I can and maintain good form, but I guess for me I have a problem "looking lighter than I am." It may sound girly, but I like having my husband and friends be able to pick me up. - 9/26/2010   9:22:49 PM
  • 71
    I have the body type that can always build muscle really easily. At 5'4 my healthiest weight I ever have been was about 135-140. For some, this might be too much, but for me this meant a six-pack and lots of toning. I have always weighed more than I look but when I am toned I am definitely ok with it. The number on the scale isn't displayed when I walk around, only my fitness is. - 9/26/2010   1:54:03 PM
  • 70
    hey coach nicole--thanks for sharing this article with a wider audience! i subscribe to shape and JUST finished reading this one and as much as i like to THINK i know about strength training, this was still quite the eye opener. now i'm getting back into a regular work out routine after a busy summer, i DO plan to kick my strength training up a notch (or two)... - 9/26/2010   12:05:44 PM
  • 69
    I too love weight training! Lifting weights makes me feel strong and confident. I've seen wonderful results in the way my clothes fit which has me caring less and less about the numbers on my scale. Thanks for sharing this article! - 9/26/2010   10:40:17 AM
  • 68
    it's funny, i have always done strength training, i think because i worked at a gym for a long time, and just started doing it. i wish more women weren't afraid of weights, it does amazing things for your body!!!! besides, it's also kind if an ego boost when i walk into the weight area, and see the looks from the guys when i pick up 50 pounds and do squats with them, i never knew eyes could pop out that far....hehehe.... - 9/26/2010   10:05:13 AM
  • 67
    I've never heard of the woman, nor of the "three-pound-myth" - guess I need to get out more often :)

    But I totally agree with the gist of the article. How ridiculous to think that women can only lift three pounds - a normal newborn weighs twice that much for starters.

    I'm happy with my strength training. When I look in the mirror I don't see a size 2 body, but I see a body that's strong and fit and shows some muscle definition. And I feel great when the grocery clerk asks me if I "need help with my bags" and I can smile and say "no thanks". - 9/26/2010   9:23:42 AM
  • 66
    Just read your blog & saw your pics-you have much to be proud of! YOU TRULY are an
    INSPIRATION! - 9/26/2010   6:58:20 AM
  • ETHELMERZ
    65
    I'm surprised that there has still been fear of strength training heavy duty style for women, all the women's magazines have been writing about that for several years now. Lifting weights shows results faster than losing weight does. One thing though, I've looked and looked, and can't find any pictures of LeAnn NOT being SLIM!! Just how much overweight was she, one would think from the article that she was some kind of pudgy gal before weight training.??? Or is there some "overstatement" in order to make a headline catch the eye? - 9/25/2010   9:10:48 PM
  • 64
    Okay while I don't like to listen to hear sing I disagree that she looks better now than before. Pleas don't misread me as saying she looks awful but for the picture fooled me as saying she is 28 years old. I actually thought she was older than that by looking at her face. The picture makes me think of a fit 40ish woman instead someone 28 years old. However the weight training is definitely good to read about. - 9/25/2010   8:20:42 PM
  • 63
    LeAnn Rimes has a beautiful singing voice, but she has had more cosmetic surgery than anyone I know while they have tried to make her beautiful. I can only imagine what they did with lipo-suction and what else for her to get on the cover of SHAPE. - 9/25/2010   8:18:35 PM
  • JTSOKOLOV
    62
    i have been weight training, and i LOVE what it's done for my body! - 9/25/2010   7:28:09 PM
  • 61
    Thanks Nicole for submitting motivational articles like this one. ST is top of my goal list. - 9/25/2010   4:19:27 PM
  • 60
    I started weight training early last year and love it as much as I do spinning. I have osteoporosis, and at my last check up, for the first time in years I had no bone loss!!!

    I'm small and thin and most people assume I am frail; I love the look on their faces when I move furniture or heavy boxes. Mighty Mouse!!! It has also given me so much more confidence in how powerful my body can be. - 9/25/2010   3:49:31 PM
  • 59
    i have lifted weights for a long time but just realized that I've been lifting the SAMEweight for a long time. So, now, i am starting to use heavier weights. I don't see the difference yet, but i feel it! - 9/25/2010   3:44:34 PM
  • 58
    Ohh...I am so confused!! I recently joined a gym, and have been working with a personal trainer who keeps telling me NOT to add weight. I keep telling her the reps are too easy, that I am doing rep after rep and not feeling anything, and she says that is fine. I know in my head that doesnt seem "right". Shouldn't I be feeling muscle burn or fatigue at the end of my reps?? I am not losing weight, despite eating better and working out. I think I will go against the trainer's advice for a couple of weeks and just see what happens... - 9/25/2010   2:14:12 PM
  • 57
    I love strength training ! I wished I'd given it more thought years ago. How has it changed my body ? I'm stronger now than when I was a teenager. I feel that I have reduced my risk for osteoporosis substantial. My posture is amazing. I can't get enough weight training.

    And not only do I strength train with heavy weights regularly, I do yoga too. One compliments the other. There are poses I couldn't do if I didn't strength train. Having strong shoulders has definitely helped my yoga.

    Women shouldn't be afraid to strength train. They really will benefit.
    - 9/25/2010   1:21:29 PM
  • 56
    I have done yoga, which is lifting your own body weight, in a lot of the poses, and it has done a better job, on my body, than cardio. - 9/25/2010   11:58:10 AM
  • SUNSET09
    55
    I embrace them as it gives you confidence and you look good! Some people lose weight without shaping up muscles and sometimes, results in having to get lyposuction which, to me does not teach you how to diet and exercise correctly. It also work on other parts of your life. It tightens up my love handles and allow my clothes to fit much better. - 9/25/2010   11:33:34 AM
  • 54
    I do weights, yoga and a lot of resistance training with bands and body weight.
    I will be 66 in November and am stronger than I ever was when younger. I had an office chair roll out from under me and was able to maintain a squat and not fall down. - 9/25/2010   9:40:15 AM
  • QUICKENTON47
    53
    I agree, do not fear of bulging up, strength training is important. The one thing people worry about is the weight gain but go my measurement or how your clothes fit as the number not the scale. good luck to all who are willing to try lifting some weights. - 9/25/2010   8:59:07 AM
  • 52
    Looks like i need to put more strenghth trainig in.
    I am always afraid that i will bulk up instead of
    gaining lean muscle mass that i want. - 9/25/2010   8:58:47 AM
  • 51
    I'm not afraid of weights, the more I can lift, the more progress I feel like I've made. - 9/25/2010   8:02:49 AM
  • SILLYMIMI
    50
    I started lifting heavy weights about 5 weeks ago. I am older, but my body is looking so much better. No weight loss, but who cares. - 9/25/2010   7:56:00 AM
  • 49
    What I learned from doing strength training - I don't have to be afraid of getting the prime body of a male bodybuilder, I get more strength in doing different activities and I'm getting nearer to smokin' body, haha. Currently, I'm still get used to continuously doing strength training with only my body as equipment as I also need to train myself to not running away from the training. - 9/25/2010   4:56:36 AM
  • 48
    I really appreciate this blog because I have had a hard time committing to my ST regimen. I used to love lifting weights - maybe the personal trainer and not wanting to go to a gym soured me to it. I'll recommit and look forward to those beautiful muscles. - 9/25/2010   2:17:08 AM
  • 47
    My PT has been telling me it's time to increase the weights. I guess I will. Thanks for this article. - 9/25/2010   12:51:55 AM
  • 46
    I have been using my bowflex for the past month and can see and feel the difference. I vary the weight resistance often just to mix things up. - 9/25/2010   12:44:52 AM
  • 45
    I dropped from a 16w to a 14 petite and only lost 5 pounds, and I know it was from the strength training I started 2 months ago. I am really impressed. - 9/24/2010   11:39:20 PM
  • PERKINSSISTERS
    44
    15 years ago I started strength training with help from a professional trainer and I was in the best shape of my life. He taught me the basics then. Since that time, we started our family, built a new home, put on quite a few pounds, lost them with Spark People, put on quite a few pounds, now I have lost them once again through Spark People. This time I have really incorporated strength training using the methods from my first and only trainer. I'm so fit and strong because of it and I'm almost in the best shape of my life again at age 48! I lift heavy,especially chest, lats, delts, bi's and tri's- 60 lbs-16 lbs depending what part I'm working. The only thing I regret is not having anybody to spot me so I can lift really heavy for chest. I have a home gym and need a spotter to lift heavy. - 9/24/2010   11:17:26 PM
  • 43
    Five pounds of fat vs Five pounds of muscle: http://gutlessinseattle.com/wp-cont
    ent/uploads/2010/05/fatvsmuscle.jpg
    - 9/24/2010   10:57:52 PM
  • REMAREIS1
    42
    I started doing Jackie's Cardio sculpt a month ago, and lost two pant sizes but kept the same weight. I'm going to keep it up. - 9/24/2010   10:13:41 PM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›


Join SparkPeople.com

Sign up for a FREE SparkPeople account