Somehow, some way, throughout the years women have been told that if they lift weights, they will get big and bulky, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! The benefits of weight training for fat loss far outweigh those of cardio, and weight training is the most efficient way to achieve a lean look.
Cardio trains your body to slave away for the bare minimum results. During long cardio sessions, your body not only burns calories, but also lean muscle for energy. The less lean muscle you have on your body, the more fat your body stores, and the harder it becomes to maintain or reach a weight you’re happy with. To further thicken the plot, fat loss hormones are essentially untouched by traditional cardio — this means that your body basically stops burning calories from your workout the moment your cardio ends.
If that’s not enough to convince you to ditch the elliptical in favor of the weight room, here are 5 more reasons that women should lift weights!
1. You’ll Burn A Lot More Fat: In a study on over 700 females, lifting weights for 25 minutes, 3 times a week, led to gaining nearly 2 pounds of muscles and losing four pounds of fat. When you lift something heavy, you’re setting your body up for metabolic reactions that utilize nutrients better and continue to burn calories for up to 36 hours after you workout. As you gain more muscle, you increase your Basal Metabolic Rate which controls how many calories your body burns as you rest. By increasing your BMR you can increase how much you can eat and still stay lean!
2. Shorter Exercise Sessions: Rather than spending 60+ minutes on cardio, all you need is a 30 minute lifting session about 3 times a week to start seeing results quickly.
3. Strong is the New Skinny: Your weight is not necessarily a good indication of if you’re healthy, overweight, or anything in between. What is a good indicator? Your strength. Studies show that even moderate weight training can more than double a woman’s strength. When you’re stronger, day to day tasks are easier — lifting children, carrying groceries, punching the annoying guy that won’t leave you alone — all are much more enjoyable the stronger you become.
4. You Will NOT Bulk Up: Unless you’re training like a beast, eating insane amounts of calories, and using synthetic hormones, you are not going to turn into The Hulk. Promise.
5. Strengthen Your Bones: Women are at higher risk than men for osteoporosis, which means an increased risk for fracturing and breaking bones. Lifting weights with intensity actually builds muscle mass, increases your bone density, and increases your strength.