5 Reasons You Should Be Weight Training
There’s a common misconception amongst women that weight training can make you bulky and overly muscular. Unless you’re given a specific muscle-building programme, this isn’t true. Women don’t have the amount of testosterone needed to build muscle as quickly as men do. What weight training will do is help you lose fat and create strong, toned muscles, giving you a fit and feminine-looking physique. In my experience as a personal trainer most women and especially recently post-natal Mums I know, want all of that yesterday. Want to know more? Then read on.
1. Greater ‘after burn’ than steady state cardio
If you go for a 30-minute run at a steady pace, you’ll burn calories during the run only. If you do a 30-minute weights sessions, you will burn calories not only during your workout but once finished, showered and continuing with the rest of your day. This is called the ‘after burn’. Another way to get this effect is to do High Intensity Interval Training. However, if you’re not able to train this way because you’re pregnant (like me) or have an injury then controlled weight training is your answer.
2. Unlock your fat burning potential
Expanding on the above point, when you stimulate your muscles with weight training, they become more effective at using up calories. Muscle is also metabolically active. So the more muscle you have, the more your body will burn. Essentially you’re stoking your own internal furnace.
3. Losing fat NOT muscle
With calorie-hungry muscles working in our favour, the last things we want is to let go of them. In steady state cardio sessions, sure you might lose weight but think about where that loss is coming from. Wouldn’t you rather lose fat, not muscle? If you do lots of long distance cardio, you’ll be running off muscle and keeping the your unwanted wobbly bits!
4. Strength and stamina for LIFE as well as sports
Weight training helps give you strength and stability. Not just strength for the sake of it (and perhaps the occasional arm wrestle) but for every day activities and simply holding your body well, from head to toe. Standing and moving well, in all directions, helps to improve vitality and avoid injury caused by poor posture or bad habits.
5. Your body will thank you
With the increased effort of trying to get blood and oxygen to the working muscles while weight training, your heart is going to get stronger and healthier. It will therefore be able to function more efficiently. Weight training also strengthens bone density and connective tissues, helping to prevent sprains, strains and breakages.
Above all, keep your movement patterns varied. Aim to stay strong and flexible, allowing you to enjoy the amazing human body that you have, as it functions in the best way possible!
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