One of the most common questions that I get asked by women before they join my Fitness Boot Camp is:
“I really don’t want to bulk up, so should I be lifting weights?”
To which I reply emphatically “YES, it’s absolutely essential!”
Here are 6 great reasons why:
Improve your metabolism:
Without regular strength training to build and maintain muscle mass, your body’s metabolism cools down over time and burns fewer and fewer calories. According to a study done in the US in 1992, women who do not strength train lose about 7 pounds of muscle every ten years and experience a reduction in metabolism equal to at least 350 calories per day.
Strength training torches fat:
Aerobic exercise improves cardiovascular fitness, but it does not keep you from losing muscle tissue. So very simply stated, strength training with weights increases muscle mass and decreases fat.
It helps women have a more defined, toned look about them (which means lower clothes sizes and less wobbly bits!):
You will not bulk due to such low testosterone levels compared to men. Men typically have around 15 times more testosterone and this is the growth hormone that causes the bulking.
It helps to fight off osteoporosis (brittle and fragile bones):
Strength training helps to not only maintain but improve bone density, especially for post menopausal women.
Burn more calories than cardio:
This is especially true for women that manage to progressively increase the weight load they are lifting. It has been proven that even though more calories may be burned during a one hour session of cardio, with strength training you benefit from the ‘afterburn’ effect. This means that for up to 24 hours after the workout has finished calories are being used at an elevated level.
Reduce belly fat:
If you want to look great in a bikini again then you must lift weights. A study done by the University of Alabama proved that women that were strength training lost more intra-abdominal fat (deep belly fat) than those that just did cardio.
There is no down-side of women lifting weights. Like anything though it’s important to start off at a low and manageable level and then gradually increase the weight as strength and technique improves.