Hey everyone - particularly the ladies for this post but guys, there’s some good knowledge bombs in here that you can impart to impress your friends!! You may have seen the series of videos that I’ve posted on Facebook in recent weeks (if not then be sure to connect with me there – either search Matt Bevan or the One Mile In Fitness Page) and I decided to follow up the latest one with this blog post.
As I discussed in my video, one of the most common questions or comments I have as a Personal Trainer is from ladies who say:
“I want to be toned but I don’t want to bulk up!” or;
“If I lift heavy weights won’t I put muscle on and look manly?”
They quite often come to me and tell me they want to have amazing toned arms, or stomachs or legs or bums or whatever but they have a fear that if they lift weights they’ll turn into a huge bodybuilder overnight! So I wanted to explain to you what I tell them, because here’s the big secret…..
You have absolutely nothing to fear!
And here’s why. There’s a hormone that you may have heard about called testosterone and it’s this that is the magic ingredient that allows guys to get ‘huge’ but it also prevents women from doing so – why? Well, being the male sex hormone (like estrogen is in females) guys have 15 to 20 times more in their body than women. This not only gives chaps their distinctive features but it also means they are genetically more capable of building way more muscle and much more quickly than a woman can.
Ladies – you can work out using heavy weights, you could (and should!) be using compound exercises like bench presses, squats, deadlifts, pull ups amongst a host of other moves, you could train for years & years, get your diet absolutely on point to support muscle growth but you still won’t get freakishly big! It just can’t happen naturally!
Women can build muscle and be strong!
In fact, strength training will help you reach your goals faster than doing cardio in isolation. With more muscle your body is going to use more calories and use them more efficiently. A ‘muscle contraction’ is anything from blinking to standing up to doing those compound exercises I mentioned earlier these are going to contribute to how many calories you burn during the day. Logically this means that the more lean muscle mass you have the more calories you will burn during the course of a day!
Through strength training your body is going to burn fat both during & after exercise as you continue to use more oxygen post exercise. This requires more caloric expenditure and an increased metabolic rate post workout – sometimes this can be as much as a higher ‘burn’ for another 48 to 72 hrs!
If you spend hours a week on the cross-trainer at a stead state of exertion then and you’re getting your calories in/out right and you’re aiming to los weight then you’ll probably achieve that but that’s going to come from a mixture of fat & muscle tissue. The ideal situation is to lose fat only, this puts you in a much healthier place.
Strength training develops muscles and helps to reveal those curves that you’re looking for!
When we talk about ‘toning’ we quite often mean ‘curves’ and through the development of muscle, you will burn the fat that covers that muscle but also see far more definition. Then you’ll be truly ‘toned’.
There are even more benefits of lifting, not just in the short-term!
As well as those aesthetic reasons for exercising, strength training has been shown to improve sleep – particularly important to balance hormones, essential if you’re looking to lose or maintain weight – it also give you more energy which is great if you have kids, grandkids or an active lifestyle. There’s a reduced risk of heart disease and it decreases the risk of osteoporosis later in life by increasing bone density, a particular problem for ladies later in life.
Here's the Top 9 Reasons ladies should lift:
1) You'll reach your goals faster than by doing cardio in isolation
2) Your metabolic rate will increase post workout giving you a bigger 'burn' for up to 72hrs after.
3) When you lose weight, it'll be fat & not muscle
4) You'll see more of your natural curves & get that 'toned' look you crave
5) It will improve your sleep
6) You'll have more energy
7) You will have a reduced risk of developing heart disease
8) You'll decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis later in life
9) You will look and feel fantastic!
I hope this has given you some useful info on lifting and hopefully you’ll start adding this form of exercise into your programmes if you don’t already.
Now contact me for your FREEstrength transformation session! This offer is limited to just 3 spots so don’t hesitate to get in touch.