There are many barriers, misconceptions and motivational factors which influence women in relation to weight training. Lack of knowledge of weight training methods, body image fears of becoming bulky and feeling intimidated when in the gym are just some of the examples that we’ve heard over the years and why some women choose not to make weight training part of their fitness plan.
Strength training is a fundamental component in the programmes of our female clients and we find that it’s one of the most effective methods when helping them to become leaner and achieve impressive fat loss results.
Focusing on compound, full body and multi joint movements in the form of squats, deadlifts and overhead presses etc. ensures that fat is burned gram by gram, molecule by molecule from the body as a whole. In our opinion this is more effective than isolated, single joint movements that create very little in the way of post exercise calorie after-burn.
Research shows that strength training is an integral part of a well balanced exercise plan. Recommended for both sexes and all ages, unfortunately many women often overlook weight training in their workouts for the reasons mentioned above and still prefer to opt for more aerobic based methods.
Whilst aerobic and cardio based exercise is also an important component of fitness, it’s the benefit and implementation of weight training into your programme that will create the greatest results for a much leaner physique.
1) Increases your fat burning ability.
Muscle mass is metabolically active, meaning that the more of it you have the more efficient your body will become at burning calories all day long and even at rest.
In our opinion, the most effective fat loss programmes for women are the ones that focus on increasing and preserving as much lean muscle tissue as possible, through the combination of weight training and quality nutrition.
2) Improves your bone density.
Resistance training has the same effect on bone tissue as it does on muscle tissue and research has shown that lifting weights over a period of time can help prevent bone loss and the onset of conditions such as osteoporosis. Weight training is also important for women post menopausal. On average, a women loses 10% of her bone mass during the the menopause transition – an entirely normal part of the bone breakdown and build up process. After women reach their peak bone mass at age 30, women naturally experience more breaking down than building up. Whilst most women have enough bone mass to handle this loss just fine, added risk factors like poor diet, family history and lifestyle can lead to excessive bone loss of up to 20%.
3) Strengthens your heart.
Lifting weights can also lower your blood pressure and protect your heart in the long run. Latest research tells us that strength training should be used as a tool for maintaining heart health, preventing heart disease and even helping those with heart disease to improve their condition.
4) It’s fun!
Weight training can be stimulating and fun, using a range of equipment such as barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, rubber resistance bands and even your own body weight, means that it can also be extremely varied and prevent boredom in your workouts.
Hopefully this has given you some fuel for thought and will encourage you to seek advice on strength training and motivate you to try something new in your training.
You won’t be disappointed!
Keep lifting, stay strong
Neil & Mark