Ladies, you may have heard that resistance training (aka strength training) helps you lose weight and won’t bulk you up like the hulk. It may sound counterintuitive - like why would I want to lift weights if I want to get smaller? Shouldn’t I just do cardio?
Yes, doing cardio alone can help you lose weight, however if you want to build lean muscle and turn your body into a calorie burning machine (even when you’re NOT exercising), you’ll need to lift some weights. Not to mention, if you want definition, strength training is the way to go! Think, marathoner vs sprinter.
Importantly, as women age, we tend to lose muscle mass more easily and our bones get weaker. So it’s even more necessary for us ladies to gain or maintain our lean muscle by strength training.
Lifting weights or other forms of resistance training will not only increase your muscle and bone strength, but will also increase your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the minimum level of energy required to maintain vital functions such as breathing, keeping your heart beating, digesting,etc. Over 70% of the oxygen and energy we expend each day goes toward your BMR! It takes a lot of work to keep us alive and functioning optimally.
The more muscle you have, the higher your resting energy expenditure, and it also means you’re burning more calories even at rest. BONUS! This is because muscle requires more energy to function than fat.
Aesthetically speaking, you want to build muscle and lose fat because muscle is more dense than fat. Five pounds of muscle takes up less space than five pounds of fat. This is another reason why the scale can be misleading if you’ve been strength training. The number on your scale can be higher if you built more muscle and lost fat. The best gauge is how you feel inside and in your clothes.
Strength training is not only good for the body, it’s also empowering for the mind and the soul. Getting stronger = getting better.
So ladies, don’t be afraid to pick up some dumbbells, exercise bands or just use your own body weight and get lifting!
Mimie Louie is a Certified Fitness and Nutrition Coach, Personal Trainer and founder of keepingitrealfit.com. She specializes in helping women who want to feel more empowered and free in their body. She helps women get lean and strong, and feel more confident. Her programs are designed to work with a busy woman’s schedule and lifestyle. She is a Trailblazer in our Etobicoke Branch. Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org