So you want to lose weight and tone up. The best thing to do is to hit the treadmill, bike or aerobics class for an hour, three times a week. Right?
Performing solely cardiovascular exercise in your weekly schedule is not using your time effectively.
So, what is the secret I hear you cry! Well, the secret is to regularly perform a range of weight lifting exercises. This actually plays a key role in reducing body fat and achieving that lean body you are after. Especially for women.
Now for the science bit…… it works by building muscle mass, which in turn increases your resting metabolic rate, as muscle requires more energy to keep it working…. okay, okay, in real terms it means that you will burn more calories, even at rest. So, when you’re sitting watching tv or even sleeping, you will be burning more calories and reducing your body fat content. Nice eh?
But of course you have to build the muscle first and this is when women often get a bit worried. Ladies sometimes panic about bulking up like Arnie when strength training is suggested. Let me dispel this myth straight away. Relax ladies, you will not end up like a ‘machine’. Women generally do not have the testosterone levels needed to bulk up. The female body builders that you see, all shiny and orange, wearing a combination of napkins and cheese wires, generally do not achieve their muscle mass naturally (bet you’re shocked eh?), so there is no need to worry. Instead, women will gain strength and tone without the bulk. This will not only make you physically stronger in an exercise setting but daily tasks will be executed easier and life may not be such a physical chore as it sometimes can be. Not to mention the fantastic new sculpted body you will have developed!
To burn fat more effectively it is best to combine strength training in conjunction with cardiovascular exercise. So the good news is there is no need to flog yourself on the treadmill for hours every week in the vain attempt to reduce your body fat. Instead, introduce strength training in addition to some treadmill time. You may reduce the amount of time spent training and achieve a faster rate of fat loss. Win win!
Strength training also has a range of added benefits including a decreased risk of osteoporosis due to the increased bone mineral density that is gained. There is also a decreased risk of back pain and general injury from the increased strength in muscle and connective tissue which helps joint stability. And an improvement in mood and ability to fight depression has also been seen in strength training studies.
With all these health benefits it’s easy to see why introducing weight lifting exercises can be hugely rewarding but it is important to ensure you seek proper guidance from a qualified instructor if you are new to strength training.
So ladies, what are you waiting for? If you want to get that lean, strong, sexy body, then don’t be scared to join the men in the weights room.
Grunting is optional of course!