Wonder Woman Fitness

Archive for December 2010

Want to slim down ladies?

 

Toned and lean look

If you want to change your shape or slim down or achieve a sculpted look you will not achieve it through cardio alone ladies.  You have to lift weights.  When I am working in the gym or training myself most women I see are on cardio machines for most of their workouts and most women that I train have not done much weight training.  I feel that this is due to inexperience and lack of knowledge and possibly a little bit of fear.  But I am going to put your minds at ease about weight training and show you the massive benefits from lifting weights.

I personally love strength training with weights for the pure reason that I get to train indoors in the warmth of the gym oh and ladies you get to train next to some good looking men.  Sure cardio training has its advantages but combined with some weight training you will really notice the difference.  When I do any kind of training with weights I feel stronger, leaner, more toned, I walk taller and more importantly I feel better about myself and I feel more confident.

So this blog is aimed to dispel some of the rumours about women and weights.  If you want to change your shape forever and slim down then read on.

So what will adding weight training into your programme do?

  • Make you physically stronger.  Increasing your strength will make you far less dependent upon others or assistance in daily living.  If you’re maximum strength is increased daily tasks and routine will be far less likely to cause injury. 
  • You will lose body fat.  An average woman who strength trains 2 to 3 times per week for 2 months will gain nearly 2 pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat.  As your lean muscle increases so does your resting metabolism, and you burn more calories all day long
  • You will gain strength without bulk.  Unlike men women do not typically gain size from strength training because compared to men women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle bulk.  You will however develop muscle tone and definition.
  • You decrease your risk of osteoporosis.  Weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density by 13% in 6 months.  Strength training not only strengthens your muscles but also strengthens your bones decreasing the chance of breakages and fractures.
  • You will improve your athletic performance.  Any sportsman can increase their performance with adding weight training into their programme.  Golfers can significantly increase their driving power, cyclists are able to continue for longer periods with less fatigue, skiers improve technique and reduce the chance of injury etc.  Whatever sport you play or whatever your fitness goal is strength training has been shown to improve all overall performance as well as decrease the risk of injury.
  • You will reduce the risk of injury, back pain and arthritis.  Strength training as said before not only strengthens muscles but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases your joint stability which in turn reduces chance of injury and will help as your body fights the aging process.
  • Like all aspects of exercise, strength training will reduce your risk of heart disease and reduce your risk of diabetes.
  • It is never too late to lift weights.   Women in their 70’s and 80’s have built up significant strength through weight training and studies show that strength improvements are possible at any age.  However you should seek help from a fitness professional if you decide to take out an exercise programme.
  • Weight training will not make you bulky or masculine.  As said before it is almost imposible for women to gain huge amounts of muscle mass by merely touching a dumbbell.  This is due to our decreased amount of testosterone in our bodies.  However you will have seen pictures of professional female body builders unfortunately most of these women will be taking anabolic steroids and spending hours in the gym lifting very heavy weights to look like that it is no accident that they look the way they do.  Women who follow a good structured weight training programme get the firm and fit (almost) cellulite free body that most women would like.
  • Exercise with weights does not increase your bust size.  Women your breasts are mostly made up of fatty tissue therefore, it is almost impossible to increase your breast size through weight training.  However you may slightly increase your back size through weight training and this may increase your bust size.
  • Weight training does not make you muscle-bound and stiff.  If you perform all exercises through their full range of motion your flexibility may increase.  Make sure you balance your body and train your back muscles as well as your front muscles as this will help with your natural movement.  Make sure to train every muscle group to achieve an overall toned body. 
  • Your muscles do not turn into fat if you stop training.  Muscle and fat are two totally different types of tissue.  When people decide to stop training they start losing muscle due to inactivity (the use it or lose it rule) and their training diet usually drops also.  Therefore bad habits and lack of training lowers their metabolism giving the impression that the person’s muscle is being turned to fat where in reality the muscle is being lost and the fat is being put on. 
  • Weight training does not turn muscle into fat.  Very similar to the above.  The way your body transforms is by gaining muscle through weight training and losing fat through aerobic exercise and diet.  Again muscle and fat are two different types of tissue we cant turn one into another. 
  • Beware – Just because you train does not mean you can eat whatever you want.  Oh how I wish this was true though.  Our individual metabolism determines how many calories we burn at rest and while we exercise.  If we eat more calories than we burn on a consistent basis our bodies will accumulate these extra calories as fat regardless of the amount of exercise we do.  So be careful try and follow a healthy nutritious diet that will help you maintain your weight or help you lose a few pounds. 
  • Women should not be afraid to lift heavier weights.  If you only do cardio then muscle and fat will be burned for fuel.  You need to lift weights in order to prevent any loss of muscle tissue.  Women that only concentrate on cardio will have a very hard time achieving the look that they want.  Try not to lift light weights as muscle responds to resistance and if the resistance is too light then there will be no reason for your body to change shape. 
  • And lastly women do not be frightened to train hard.   I train hard with weights and I have trained my female clients hard with weights and they look nothing but feminine. 

 

 

 

So start lifting - what have you to lose except body fat!!!

The main thing is to get help designing a weight training program.  Most of my weight training is done with free weights (dumbbells) as they work more muscles (more muscles worked = more calories burnt) and I am unlimited in my choice of exercise so I never get bored.  My best piece of advice is give it a go – what do you have to lose.  If you are wanting a defined, firm, feminine, strong figure then you’ve got to start lifting – but lift right.  Keep active folks…..

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