Here at Kelsey Kerridge, we are huge advocates of women doing regular weight training. For too long the health and fitness industry has tip-toed around the misconception that lifting weights makes women bulky. That is just not the case.
Leaning towards weight training
There are people who would like to bulk up more – and there are weights and nutrition programmes specifically targeting that body-type. But, if you are a person – male or female – who wants to be toned, lean and fitter, then a well-designed weight training programme will help you achieve that aim.
And that is the point with weight training. It can be targeted to produce the results that an individual is seeking. For example, if you want to have shapelier upper arms, then a weights programme that includes tricep dips and pull ups will work wonders. Similarly, if you are looking for toned leg muscles, then squats, calf-raisers and lunges will work specific areas that will help define the muscles in the lower limbs.
Feel the burn
If it is all-over weight loss that you are seeking, then weight training can play a big part here. The truth is, per session, cardio activity will burn more calories than lifting weights. The influence of weight training comes later, as the body continues to burn more calories once you have finished exercising than it does following a cardio session. By lifting weights, you will increase your resting metabolism for up to 36 hours after training.
In addition, muscle burns more calories at rest than other tissues, including fat, so if you have a higher muscle to fat ratio, you burn more calories.
From the safety of your own home
In the winter months, weight training comes into its own. With dark nights, slippery road surfaces and lung-catching cold air, then a weights session, either at the gym or in your home, is the perfect alternative. Keeping a set of weights in your home takes up less space than a rowing machine or a standing cycle. You can whip them out for a quick training session if you are short of time. You can even do a weight training session in front of the television.
The motivation to do weight training regularly comes from the very visible results. If you lift weights regularly, you will soon see results and that provides great motivation. Your strength will improve, meaning you can manage more repetitions or move to heavier weights. To tap into your competitive nature, keep a note of your personal best results and try to beat them.
Making the everyday easier
You will also feel the change in your everyday life. Your body will feel stronger and more toned. You might not lose weight but your belt will be looser as you lose fat and get leaner. Everyday tasks become easier. You will bound up the stairs on stronger legs, lift a heavy box with ease or just feel more adept at everyday movements.
With all of this comes self confidence. When you feel good in yourself, this shines through and gets noticed by others.
And our last point is that weight training is fun. There is a real buzz to lifting weights, beating personal best results and feeling an ache that follows a hard workout. It might sound counter-intuitive to relish aching muscles, but try it for yourself – you will see what we mean.