Time and time again, I constantly hear potential clients come to me about their fitness goals, and most of them will say something like, "I just want to lose my stomach, but I don't want to lose my butt and my legs", or "I don't want to lose any weight because I want to keep my legs and butt, but I want to lose my stomach". The way these goals are stated shows where the misconception lies with what most women think about how an exercise program really works.
Your goal can be to have flat abs, but in reality, you have to burn fat, which mean applying cardio into your workout program, not just an ab workout. Where the issue comes in is when the potential client wants to either keep their butt and legs or gain a butt. You have to apply strength training in order for muscle hypertrophy to occur in those muscle groups. As soon as women here that they have to lift weights, the first thing that comes to mind are bulky, manly looking women, and not wanting to lose what makes them a women. That thought alone has been enough to make a lot of women stay away from lift weights, especially anything over 5 lbs dumbbells.
The truth is that women cannot naturally produce manly, bulky muscles, even with protein supplementation! Period, point, blank! We just can't! Women do not naturally produce enough testosterone in order to gain large amounts of muscle mass to look manly. Testosterone has a lot to do with lean muscle growth and the maintenance of men's health, which women have estrogen. The women how look manly and bulky are mainly using supplementation that may have certain levels of testosterone to build large amounts of muscle, not just by lifting weights and taking protein supplements alone.
Women shouldn't be so afraid of lifting weights, especially when it is important for the goals that most women are trying to reach. How can you build a butt without building the all of the glute muscles? Of course you can use your bodyweight, but heavy weights with low reps will give you the muscular growth that you're looking for. Lifting weights give women the curves that they see women like Jennifer Lopez has, which goes to show that along with proper nutrition, lifting doesn't make women look manly.