I believe that every single person benefits from resistance training. Most men know they need to lift heavy things, or strength train, to achieve the body shape they desire.
Women tend to be a tougher task to bring to this way of thinking! So many women believe they will become bulky if they lift weights and shy away from resistance training.
Think you’re going to lose fat and keep it off with long sessions of cardio? Sorry but you’re making life hard for yourself.
If you want to actually improve your body composition, with less fat, more muscle and a better shape, you need to be doing resistance training at least two or three times a week. Ladies, I’m talking to you: if you’re not regularly weight training, you’re missing out on the opportunity to boost your metabolism.
While cardio is well known as a fat burning exercise, nothing will change the shape of your body more than strength training.
- Here are the facts:
• The stronger we get, the higher our metabolic rate. As you build muscle, you will burn more calories. Around half a kilo of lean muscle tissue uses about 35-50 extra calories per day. The bottom line – lift weights, keep the weight off more easily.
• Weight training becomes even more important as we get older. The average weight gain for a woman between the ages of 35 and 60 is 11 kilos. To work against this natural weight gain you need to have every piece of the puzzle in place – cardio training, healthy eating and resistance training.
• Women are at a higher risk of osteoporosis than men. Weight bearing activity is one of the best preventative measures you can take to maintain your bone density. Even simple exercises that use your body weight as resistance such as squats and push-ups will help.
• Not only does weight training burn fat, it helps you look slimmer by improving your posture. A balanced, carefully designed resistance training program will have you standing taller. You’ll also reduce the aches and pains associated with poor posture.
• Resistance training is the only way to tighten and tone up your body. Combined with great nutrition and regular cardio, weight training will firms upper arms, lifts bottoms and flattens tummies.
Be reassured you’re not going to have muscles bulging everywhere like a ripped body builder if you start weight training.
There’s a very small proportion of the female population with the genetic make-up to even have the potential to create that body shape.
The women with that look are not lifting weights for half an hour three times a week – they train for hours a day, eat a dangerously restrictive diet and take loads of supplements. That’s definitely not the kind of approach we advocate at New Image!
How should I lift heavy things?
You don’t need to be lifting 100’s of kilograms to be lifting something “heavy”. Your bodyweight may be adequate to begin with, especially when you learn the art of tempo training, using unstable surfaces or unilateral exercise.
Added external resistance by using weights or suspension training devices (using gravity and lever length variations) is the best way to increase strength and get all the other great benefits of weight bearing exercise.
It’s also the best way to progress rather than regress movement wise. We as humans all want to feel like we are getting better something.
How do I add resistance safely?
On that note, it’s vital we lift heavy things safely. Unless you have a lifetime of sport and lifting weights under your belt, I insist you have some coaching to ensure the following:
1. You’re ready to move
2. You can move efficiently
3. You’re doing the right exercise for you
4. You’re progressing
The key to lifting weights safely and effectively is to learn under the guidance of a great trainer who can ensure a balanced program is designed just for you and to keep your form on point.
If you’ve never weight trained before and would like to get a taste of it, call me to book in for a free session at New Image and we can take you through a session. Please don’t just go to the gym and pick up weights without instruction. Safety first!