We talk to many women about training and how to get the best body shape. It still amazes us that, despite all the benefits you can read about, women still shy away from the very style of training that will get them the best results.
When we assess a female client, who spends a lot of time doing cardio, we come across poor flexibility in the thighs and hips, a pelvis that is tilted forward (especially post-natal), glute muscles that aren’t firing correctly, complaints of lower back pain and rounded shoulders. These aren’t areas that can be improved by simply prescribing more work on a treadmill. These areas need strengthening and then progressing.
One of the main things that worries women about lifting weights is getting big muscles. You’ve probably heard this a hundred times before but you really won’t end up like Arnold Schwarzenegger if you start lifting. Why? Women typically have 10% of the testosterone that men have.
Testosterone is the primary muscle building hormone, so women are going to struggle to gain large amounts of muscle mass. Also, women typically don’t eat enough to develop a lot of muscle mass.
You must create damage to the muscles (through strength training) and then provide them with adequate protein to support repair and grow, after all this is what will give you more tone and shape.
So what are the main benefits to strength training?
1. Stronger bones and connective -tissue – lifting weights is load bearing exercise which helps strengthen your bones. Maintaining strong and healthy bones lowers your risk of osteoporosis.
2. Lifting weights increases EPOC (Excessive post exercise oxygen consumption) – Your body always likes to return to a state of natural balance after anything that it does, this is called homeostasis. When you lift weights your body has to work very hard to bring you back to balance. This extra energy required burns calories for many more hours after your session.
3. Your metabolic rate will increase – For every pound of lean muscle mass you gain you burn an extra 50 calories per day.
4. Decrease your risk of injury – lifting weights helps you develop stronger tendons, this gives your joints more support and stability through daily task.
5. Boost stamina and energy levels – when you are stronger you have more energy for day to day tasks and you don’t get anywhere near as tired.
6. Increase your self confidence – I’m yet to come across a woman you hasn’t felt 100% better in herself from uncovering the body of her dreams. The benefits of increased self confidence carries over into your relationships not just the ones with your friends but also with your loved ones.
7. You have so much more variation available to you if you lift – You can change to countless exercises for different muscle groups, change the reps, sets, tempo and rest. If you just do cardio you only have that one bit of kit to use and you cover the same distance time after time without seeing improvements.
8. Anti – aging – You lose muscle and strength as you age, however if you strength train you will develop and retain your strength and muscle mass helping to maintain your youthful shape.
9. Reduction in body fat levels – This goes hand in hand with having more lean muscle mass and speeding your metabolic rate up. Lowering body fat reduces the amount of toxins in your body which improves the quality and elasticity of your skin.
10. When women lifts weights regularly they tell me that they feel empowered, stronger and so much sexier. They feel amazing and have a completely different perspective on life.
The difference in women that change their body shape through strength training over weight loss and hours doing conventional cardio is night and day.
If you’d like to know more about the programme we use with all of our clients to help them lose body fat and change their shape, please feel free to connect with us.
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