A fitness instructor has posted a stunning transformation on Instagram, proving to her followers that lifting weights won't make women "manly".

Rebecca Catherine Smith, who has more than 44k followers on the social media site, said she'd often "spend hours on cardio machines" in a bid to get rid of fat but "never saw results".

She had an unhealthy relationship with food, and would do cardio simply to "burn calories" rather than get fit, reports News.com.au.

But in a side-by-side comparison, Smith revealed how swapping her long runs and restrictive diet for some weights and "treble" the amount of food has impacted her body shape.

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"It infuriates me how still so many girls think the second you pick up a dumbbell or protein shake you'll suddenly become the hulk," Smith wrote on Instagram next to the images.

"[C]hanging my training from cardio to weights changed me completely inside & out and each to their own but I personally don't think I've made my body look at all manly in my past year and a bit of weight training!"

Smith's post, which has received more than 14.5k likes, revealed the three reasons why women need to ditch the mentality that weights result in bulking - and why they should start lifting:

LIFTING MAKES YOU MANLY?! - It infuriates me how still so many girls think the second you pick up a dumbbell or protein shake you'll suddenly become the hulk🏋🏽 changing my training from cardio to weights changed me completely inside & out and each to their own but I personally don't think I've made my body look at all manly in my past year and a bit of weight training! Here are my 3 main reasons for girls to start lifting 🤗 - 1. Building strength & muscles: Lifting builds on a woman's natural curves and helps your body be the strongest it can. Ripped abs, sexy strong back, shoulder boulders & a curvy behind alll come from lifting 🍑 #strongnotskinny - 2. Loosing that extra body fat: my body fat % saw a MASSIVE fall when I began lifting because as your muscle mass INCREASES your metabolism INCREASES. Before I would spend hours on cardio machines thinking that will get rid of fat but never saw any results and just made me HATE going to the gym, and if you feel like your in that boat now then change it up now! - 3. Healthy relationship with food & body image: when your doing cardio in order to burn 'calories' it's so easy to look at food as numbers and end up feeling guilty for eating too much and feeling like you HAVE to restrict yourself to see results, well that's just not the case at all. Starting weight training made me realise food is fuel and I need LOTS of it to get the best out of my training 🐷 the amount I eat has honestly trebled since I picked up lifting and I absolutely love it 😂 there's no restricting and there's no guilt in indulging in treats once in a while because what better way to fuel a sesh 😏🍑 - Rant over if this convinces one girl to try out weight training mission complete but I wanna see MORE GIRLS in the weights section and get rid of the association that it's just for boys because it's not #gainingweightiscool #StrengthFeed #transformationthursday?🤔

A post shared by Rebecca Catherine Smith (@rebeccafitness_eats) on

1. Building strength & muscles:

Lifting builds on a woman's natural curves and helps your body be the strongest it can. Ripped abs, sexy strong back, shoulder boulders & a curvy behind all come from lifting.

2. Losing that extra body fat: Body fat % saw a MASSIVE fall when I began lifting because as your muscle mass INCREASES your metabolism INCREASES.

Before I would spend hours on cardio machines thinking that will get rid of fat but never saw any results and just made me HATE going to the gym, and if you feel like your in that boat now then change it up now!

3. Healthy relationship with food & body image: Starting weight training made me realise food is fuel and I need LOTS of it to get the best out of my training.

The amount I eat has honestly trebled since I picked up lifting and I absolutely love it ... there's no restricting and there's no guilt in indulging in treats once in a while because what better way to fuel a sesh.