I talk to many women about weight loss and what they need to do to get into the best shape they can. It is amazing how many women are just not doing the style of training that will get them the best results.
For most women who want to be in better shape they usually want to lose weight. On occasions some women may wish to gain weight but thats for another article. When it comes to weight loss what we often find is that it’s not the weight that’s the real problem; it’s the amount of body fat they have. This is what they want to really lose.
Many women that I speak to spend hours on a treadmill or cross trainer in the gym day after day or doing class after class. However when I assess these women (often as part of my osteopathic work) it soon becomes clear how imbalanced they are. The most common issues are weak gluteal muscles, forward tilted pelvises and weakened deep abdominal muscles. This is often accompanied by lower back or hip pain.
Now much of this is correctable, just not by using the treadmill more. This is where weight training comes in to play, but as soon as I mention weight training I hear the same things again and again; “I don’t want to become bulky”, “I don’t want to put on muscle”.
Well, the reality is that women struggle to gain muscle (even those who want more), especially compared with men. This is because compared to men, women have very little testosterone which is what’s needed to stimulate muscle growth. Also, in order to gain muscle, a woman would need to be eating much more than they do to supply their muscles with enough protein to grow.
The Benefits Of Weight Training For Women
There are so many benefits to lifting weights, but these are the main ones;
Lower Body Fat Levels
As you work your muscles they become more “metabolically active”, meaning they burn more energy. This means that at rest your body will be burning more fuel and therefore burning more fat.
As your body fat levels drop your body will also release more toxins (since most toxins are stored in your fat). This will then lead to you feeling more healthy.
Stronger Bones and Connective Tissues
Weight training is essential for women, especially women of menopausal age. This is because the menopause will lead to weaker bone density. Weight training helps to maintain the strength of bone density and ligaments and tendons and thus reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Decreased Risk Of Injury
Many of the patients I see in clinic who come in for pain are there usually because of weakness in a certain area. This weakened body part will have been at risk for some time until a certain action was too much for it to handle. The people see most with weakness are postnatal women and office workers who don’t exercise at all.
By doing weight training you will be strengthening key areas, giving your body more surpport and stability through movements.
Increased Metabolism Compared To Cardiovascular Training
After exercise your metabolism will be increased as your body tries to bring itself back into balance. It is relatively easy for your body to return to normal after doing cardio and this usually takes less than 24 hours. However after weight training this process will continue for longer; up to 72 hours in some cases. This means you’ll be burning more fuel at rest and therefore potentially burning more fat at rest.
Increased Stamina And Energy
As you get stronger you will find you’re able to normal day to day tasks with greater ease, or you’ll find that tasks you found difficulat in the past all of a sudden become easy.
As you get into better shape you’ll feel sexier, healthier and more people will be giving you praise you haven’t had for a ong time. This increase in confidence will transfer into your relationships with you friends and loved ones.
Your Workouts Become More Interesting
Let’s face it, an hour on a treadmill is soul crushing! Not only that but there aren’t many ways to create variation in cardio. You can change the speed or duration. But with weight training you have hundreds of exercises and variations of those exercises. You can also change the amount of weight you lift, the number of repetitions or sets and even the tempo.
Here’s What You Should Do Now
If you want to be in better shape then download our free ebook series “9 Steps To Better Health & Wellbeing”. Although it’s not about weight loss directly, if you follow the steps in the ebook series then you will no doubt start feeling healthier and find it easier to lose weight.
If there’s anything else we can help you with, please feel free to get in touch with us using the form below.