This seems to be the most common question or issue I get asked about in the gym by women, “why aren’t I loosing weight?” And I always follow up with, “what is your resistance training routine?” All to often I hear stories of women working their butts off in the gym, sweating on the treadmill, dancing through the Zumba class and peddling their guts out at spin. But unfortunately for all their efforts, getting minimal results and wondering why. I myself only do a maximum of 20 mins of cardio, maybe 3 times a week and always after my resistance workout. So let’s look at what weight training can bring to your body.
- Building muscle helps your body to burn those calories 24/7, not just when you finish on the treadmill. A continued strength program has been shown to elevate your metabolism, continuing to burn calories for up to 38hrs after your workout. When you have finished your cardio workout, the calorie burning stops as well.
- Long term, weight training increasing your bodies base metabolic rate, which is how many calories you burn if you do nothing all day. The more muscle a person has, the more calories they burn, hence burning calories 24/7.
- I find many women aren’t actually over weight, there muscles just aren’t toned so it gives the appearance of being soft and flabby. Weight training will tone those muscles creating shape and structure to the body. In other words, creating that peach butt and toning those ‘tuck shop lady’ arms.
- Weight training actually enables your body to eat more food (healthy food of course), because it requires more fuel to function.
- Increased strength is something we all need in our lives. Weight training strengthens your muscles, leading to less stress on the joints, increase in bone mass which helps to prevent injuries and increased energy levels.
Now keep in mind this isn’t about bulking up, protein shakes and lifting belts (although I do love those things!), its just about starting. Picking compound exercises, using light weights and getting your muscles working. If you don’t have any experience with weight lifting, a few good exercises to start with are:
-Chest press or pushups
Worried about bulking up ladies? Don’t be… Gaining large amounts of muscle mass for women is very difficult. We simply don’t have enough testosterone to build muscle like the men. Sure if you follow a super strict bulking diet, lift like a beast in the gym, take a few supplements and work your butt off, you can gain some size, but that is a long way off.
So lets jump off those treadmills, stop spinning those pedals and hit the weight room!