A lot changes when you have a new baby in the house — and one Hollywood mama says her second child inspired a surprising shakeup. Hilary Duff now swears by bodybuilding workouts, having cut out the cardio she once built her routine around. But while Duff never thought she’d be a die-hard heavy-lifting fan, she insists she’s “never felt so strong but lean.” Bonus? She’s even saving time, a precious commodity for any mom (or woman in general!).
Duff opened up about her gym revelation during an exclusive interview with Women’s Health, admitting she used to avoid lifting any heavy weights in the gym. “I was thinking I don’t need to do heavy weights because if I do heavy weights I’ll bulk up. I tend to build muscle fast,” she told the magazine. However, it didn’t take long for the 32-year-old mom of son Luca, 7, and daughter Banks, 13 months, to realize bodybuilding workouts were in her best interest. “I’m lifting and squatting and using a barbell with lots of weigh on it, and I’ve never felt so strong but lean.”
When she began to notice a pattern of feeling tired and hungry after cardio, she converted her workouts into a complete strength-training regimen. “This is such a different, more efficient way of working out,” she said. Of course, she still gets in some cardio by chasing her kids around.
Duff’s initials concerns are super-relatable, right? Raise your hand if you’ve thrown yourself on countless elliptical machines while avoiding dumbbells out of fear of “bulking” up? (*Raises hand*) According to Time magazine, only about 20 percent of Americans do the muscle-strengthening moves that work major muscle groups (compared to about half who do the recommended amount of aerobic activity). Yet, strength training helps increase metabolism, strengthen bones, lower the risk of certain diseases, and more.
According to Duff, she’s boosting the beneficial results she’s seeing from her bodybuilding workouts with a flexible diet coach. He creates a weekly menu for her based on things she likes, like wine and chocolate-covered almonds. “He basically counts your macros for you,” she said, “and it’s been amazing because it’s basically like a mathematical equation that I just follow, and it’s been really successful for me.”
So, you get to drink wine and feel like a total badass from heavy lifting? Sign us up.