Ask any woman what they want and most of them will answer that they want to lose weight, get a toned body and look fabulous. Many women actually join the gym to look great, but only a few are consistent with their training. However, the most glaring point is that women are usually interested in losing weight and perform endless sessions of cardio to gain a fit body. The bad news is that cardio alone will never help you get a toned physique. You need to try out strength training to increase your muscle mass to look leaner and fitter.
Strength training increases your strength and also enhances your muscle growth – well that doesn’t mean that being a woman you will develop biceps and start looking muscular. That’s definitely a nightmare. Weight loss equals calories in and calories out and exercise does have an important role to play in helping you look leaner and fitter. Therefore, if your calorie intake is high and you are exercising often, then you might end up looking muscular.
However, if your calorie intake is less and you do strength training, then you will end up losing body fat with a perfectly planned diet that prioritizes protein intake. However, if you are still unsure about strength training, then first let’s rule out a few myths.
Weight lifting or strength training can make you look bulky
Many women avoid strength training and have the opinion that weight lifting can make them appear bulky and out of shape. Well, it might make you gain weight but you will only end up looking leaner. This is because the lean body mass increases with weight training and you end up losing fat. With increased muscle mass you look toned and lean and the accumulated fat is lost.
Muscle is denser than fat and takes less space giving your body great shape. Moreover, by losing fat and gaining muscle you might gain weight but you actually end up looking leaner than before. Weight training is a wonderful investment with amazing dividends down the road. Over time, the more muscles you have the more calories you burn throughout the day, giving you the chance to eat delicacies without guilt.
Remember that ‘healthy’ is not just a number on the scale, but it is how you feel and look. If you notice positive changes in your body after a month’s weight training session, then you are on the right track – no matter what the scale says.
You need to lift heavy always
If you have no desire to be a bodybuilder, then you can choose to lift light weights and increase the number of reps. One method is to lift heavy with low reps – which works for a few, while others prefer to lift light but have more reps. Remember strength training of whatever level you choose to incorporate in your life leads to positive results. Therefore, there is no need to incorporate heavy exercises and lift weights that are way too huge. Include moderate or low resistance exercises and reap the benefits in the long run – a strong and toned body is just one of its side effects.
You are too old to lift weights
Most women start to lose muscle mass at the age of 35 and the gradual process of muscle loss continues. However, this decline in muscle mass isn’t due to aging but because of inactivity. However, strength training needs to be part of your exercise regime no matter what age you are! Resistance training can help to reverse and prevent aging, as it’s a long-term strategy to preserve muscle and bring positive changes in body composition. So, no matter how old you are, get a trainer, join a gym and start with your strength training program to reverse age!
Benefits of strength training
Aside from looking leaner and fitter, you get several other benefits by including strength training in your regime.
Good bones and joints
As a result of inactivity and lack of exercise, women tend to lose 3 to 8% of muscle mass every decade. With strength training, you can reduce lower back pain. Promote bone development and reverse many skeleton muscle aging issues. Strength training is definitely great for muscles but also helps ease pain in the joints and prevents bone loss.
Reduces your anxiety
Lifting weights is great for reducing anxiety and stress. As per research, there is a strong correlation between stress reduction and anxiety and resistance training. Low to moderate-intensity exercises are best to reduce anxiety – which means you have a free antidote to stay happy after a long day at work!
Improved body image
One of the biggest advantages of resistance training is that you look leaner and feel better about yourself. As per a study, with weight training, you will find significant improvements in many dimensions of health-related issues, better quality of life, body image and physical activity behavior, comfort and satisfaction.
How many strength training workouts do you need in a week?
As per, the American Heart Association (AHA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is recommended that you need at least 2 days of total weight training workout that works on all main muscle groups of your physique. If you can include 3 days per week, then settle for one-day full body workout, one day for upper body workout and one day for lower body workout. However, if you have diabetes, lung diseases and heart diseases, then your level of activity needs to be modified to ensure optimal health and safety.
Similarly, if you are a beginner or have started after a break, then ask your trainer to modify the workouts according to your fitness level. Start once a week with resistance bands and light dumbbells and then start working your way up.
Ready to start training with weights?
Your body frame, fitness levels and exercise goals need to be taken into account before designing a program that’s best fit for you. If you are trying to get lean, then your exercise program might look different from someone who is focused on toning and getting six-pack abs. Make functional strength training a part of your lifestyle to gain strength, and muscle mass and look healthy and toned like never before!