I constantly hear from clients, when asked about their fitness goals, that they want to lose weight. Once I create their workout plan and they see the amount of weight lifting is included many immediately question why I designed their program that way. They then express concerns about growing big and bulky.
Testosterone is the hormone that helps grow big and bulky muscles and women have way less of this hormone than men so it is virtually impossible for women to grow muscles like men. With that said, the more weights you lift the more lean muscle mass you build. Also, consume between .6 to .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This will help you maintain, build and repair the lean muscle you’re building. All of this muscle building is extremely important for women in particular for the following reasons.
Reason 1: Helps to shape the body and curves
Doing cardio all day every day will help you lose weight and fat but your body will be shapeless. No curves or form. The more lean muscle you build you can better shape your body such as your shoulders, back, legs or glutes.
Reason 2: Strengthens your bones
Lifting weights improves bone density and that is extremely important for women. As we age our bones tend to lose density making us susceptible to broken bones and osteoporosis. The more weights you lift consistently the stronger your bones become and that is a VERY good reason for women to lift.
Reason 3: Helps burn more calories
Now this reason right here should grab your attention. People tend to believe that cardio is the only way to burn fat and that simply isn’t true. The other part of that is, while you are performing cardio your body is burning fat but once you stop, your body stops burning fat. This is how weight lifting is different. Your body burns fat while you lift heavy weights and AFTER. Also, the more lean muscle mass your body carries the more calories you burn at rest. Building lean muscle actually helps fire up and improve your metabolism which burns fat while you sit around, eat and sleep.
Reason 4: Makes you stronger
This might seem obvious but I felt the need to point it out because this is extremely important. When you get stronger from lifting heavy weights normal activities of daily living become easier. It’s easier to move furniture, carry grocery bags and children. Women constantly complain about not having upper body strength so lifting weights can help remedy that.
Reason 5: Better fit into your clothes
As you lift weights and your body shapes up you will also notice it’s also slimming down. Muscle is leaner than fat therefore it takes up less space than fat. That means you can now pull out your clothes from 5 years ago and fit them again. How amazing is that? Please realize, that may not necessarily translate to weight loss based on the scale but if you can fit into clothes many sizes smaller, consider that a non-scale victory. You’re winning.
I hope this inspires you to reconsider lifting more weights during your workout session than simply doing hours and hours of cardio. Your body will thank you for it.
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