Many women believe that cardio training is the only way to burn calories and lose weight. Eventually you will notice some changes and may lose a few pounds or inches, but cardiovascular training is only half of the equation.
For optimal fitness, long, lean bodies, weight training is essential. If you think lifting weights will make you “bulky” you are missing out on the best fat burning method around!
When you are training you should not relay on the scale to gauge your progress ( I know, I know easier said than done, but trust me on this one). Instead track your inches, and how your clothes feel and fit. Your body will shrink as you shed fat and build muscle, but your weight may not change as dramatically as you would expect. Besides what’s more important the number on the scale or how good you look in your skinny jeans?
If you are still not convinced you need to start lifting weights, here are a few reasons to you should seriously consider it:
1. Burn more fat. Researchers at Tufts University found that when overweight women lifted heavy weights twice a week, they lost an average of 14.6 pounds of fat and gained 1.4 pounds of muscle. When you do an intense weight-training program such as The Master’s Hammer and Chisel, your metabolism stays elevated and you continue to burn fat for several hours afterward. During regular cardio exercise, you stop burning fat shortly after the workout.
2. Change your body shape. You may think your genes determine how you look. That’s not necessarily true. Weight training can slim you down, create new curves, and help avoid the “post baby body” And no, you won’t bulk up—women don’t have enough muscle-building hormones to gain a lot of mass like men do. If you keep your diet clean and create a calorie deficit, you’ll burn fat.
3. Boost your metabolism. The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism will be. As women age, they lose muscle at increasing rates, especially after the age of 40. When you diet without doing resistance training, up to 25 percent of the weight loss may be muscle loss. Weight training while dieting can help you preserve and even rebuild muscle fibers. The more lean mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you’ll burn all day long.
4. Get stronger and more confident. Lifting weights increases functional fitness, which makes everyday tasks such as carrying children, lifting grocery bags, and picking up heavy suitcases much easier. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular weight training can make you 50 percent stronger in 6 months. Being strong is also empowering. Not only does it improve your physical activities, it builds emotional strength by boosting self-esteem and confidence.
5. Build strong bones. It’s been well documented that women need to do weight-bearing exercise to build and maintain bone mass, and to prevent osteoporosis. Just as muscles get stronger and bigger with use, so do bones when they’re made to bear weight. Stronger bones and increased muscle mass also lead to better flexibility and balance, which is especially important for women as they age.
6. Fight depression. You’ve probably heard that cardio and low-impact exercises such as yoga help alleviate depression, and weight lifting has the same effect. The endorphins that are released during aerobic activities are also present during resistance training. Many women find that regular strength training, in conjunction with treatment, helps lessen their depression symptoms substantially.
7. Improve sports fitness. You don’t have to be an athlete to get the sports benefit of weight training. Improved muscle mass and strength will help you in all physical activities.
8. Reduce injuries and arthritis. Weight lifting improves joint stability and builds stronger ligaments and tendons. Training safely and with proper form can help decrease the likelihood of injuries in your daily life. It can also improve physical function in people with arthritis. A study conducted at the University of Wales in Bangor, United Kingdom, found that mildly disabled participants who lifted weights for 12 weeks increased the frequency and intensity at which they could work, with less pain and increased range of movement.
9. Get heart healthy. More than 480,000 women die from cardiovascular disease each year, making it the number-one killer of women over the age of 25. Most people don’t realize that pumping iron can also keep your heart pumping. Lifting weights increases your “good” (HDL) cholesterol and decreases your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. It also lowers your blood pressure. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that people who do 30 minutes of weight lifting each week have a 23 percent reduced risk of developing heart disease compared to those who don’t lift weights.
10. Defend against diabetes. In addition to keeping your heart strong, weight training can improve glucose utilization (the way your body processes sugar) by as much as 23 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 weeks of strength training can improve glucose metabolism in a way that is comparable to taking diabetes medication. The more lean mass you have, the more efficient your body is at removing glucose from the blood, which can reduce complications from diabetes or even help prevent type 2 diabetes in the first place.
If you are ready to add weight lifting to your workout program then check out The Master’s Hammer and Chisel program from the creators of Body Beast and the popular 21 Day Fix. The program is designed to help you craft a powerful, perfectly defined body. The Master’s Hammer & Chisel is an innovative resistance training system that incorporates three muscle-sculpting phases—Stabilization, Strength, and Power—or SSP Training. This is how Sagi and Autumn help you efficiently build, chisel, and refine a masterpiece physique in just 60 days. Stay tuned for my 30 and 60 day results!