When you walk into the gym and step on the treadmill, you probably have one thing in mind: You want to lose some body fat. It may be 5 pounds or it may be 25 pounds; whatever that number may be I’ve got some advice for you: Step off of the treadmill. Listed below are just a few of the many upsides heavy weight lifting has for weight loss and essential health.
Weight Lifting Burns More Fat Than Cardio
While cardio has been found to be essential for good heart health, it can also burn muscle along with fat which is something you don’t want to happen.
This negative effect happens because the more muscle your body has the more fat your body burns. For every pound of muscle you gain, your body naturally burns an extra 35-50 calories per day, just by obtaining muscle! Therefore, a weight lifting session continues to burn calories even after your workout is over with where as cardio stops burning calories the second it’s over with.
“The more lean muscle mass an individual has the more calories burned at rest, therefore resistance training helps to burn fat while developing a lean, toned physique,” said Kalene Smith, certified personal trainer, lifestyle coach and owner of GoTimeTraining.com.
When you look at from in this perspective, one of the last things a woman wanting to lower her body fat should want to do is get rid of the muscle she already has.
Heavy Weights With Less Reps is Better Than Light Weights With More Reps
Lifting 8-15 pound weights is sufficient and will burn a decent amount of calories, but lifting 25-plus pounds is better. Several studies have shown that women who lift heavier weights and perform fewer reps burn almost twice as many calories for two hours after their workout than when they lifted lighter weight for more reps.
In order to build muscle mass, lifting heavy weights is the most effective and efficient way to do it. No, you’re not going to get big, bulky or turn into a bodybuilder. This is a large misconception that I wish would vanish. The truth is, women don’t gain size from strength training; they gain sexy shoulders, toned biceps, and rock hard quads. This is due to the fact that women have far fewer hormones in their bodies than men that cause hypertrophy (excessive growth).
“A common misconception I see with female clients is lifting weights will make them bulky. Testosterone is the growth hormone that helps build muscle. Women have approximately 1/10 of the testosterone as compared to men, which makes it difficult for women to build a large muscular frame. The women seen on magazine covers lift weights, and heavy ones at that,” said Smith. “Incorporate resistance training into your workout regimen to help build lean muscle mass, strengthen bones and provide the body energy.”
Protect Yourself From Injury and Health Risks
Studies have shown that a regular weight lifting routine can create a significant increase in bone density, which in turn fights against osteoporosis. It can also reduce high blood pressure, alleviate pain associated with arthritis, reduce risks of diabetes and improve cardiovascular function even though you’re not on the treadmill or elliptical.
Also, don’t forget stronger muscles yield more stabilized joints and stronger connective tissues. That right there can prevent you from running into injury situations during any type of workout no matter what kind it may be – Crossfit, yoga, Pilates, weight lifting and even forms of cardio.
Reduce Depression and Increase Confidence
For me, working out has become my drug. Exercise naturally releases endorphins which supply me with more energy and put me in a better mood almost instantly. Think about how great you’d feel knowing you’re able to lift some serious weight. Not only will strength and empowerment come out in you physically, it’ll show in your attitude, too. There’s nothing more attractive than a woman who exudes self confidence. Also, don’t forget how much easier everyday chores become when you’re strong. Carrying all your groceries in one trip is all of the sudden no problem. And when you feel like a little furniture rearrangement is necessary, no need to call the men – just take care of it yourself.
December 5th, 2012