I love weight training. It’s empowering, makes me feel good, and helps me maintain the physique I want. I have spoken to many women who don’t understand the benefits of lifting weights or who have a fear of “bulking up”. Speaking from years of experience, it takes very heavy weight, very focused training, and a lot of calories to form large amounts of muscle. That being said, here are some awesome benefits women can experience when they choose to do a weightlifting routine!
- You burn more body fat! With weight training (unlike steady state cardio), you activate EPOC (Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption), which is just a fancy way of saying that your metabolism is elevated (working harder) after you weight train.
- You increase your calorie expenditure! When at rest, muscle burns more calories than body fat. The more muscle you have, the more calories you’re burning without even trying!
- You get real curves! While there is no such thing as “toning muscle”, what people are really referring to is your muscle being more visible through your current level of body fat. The more body fat you lose and the more muscle you build, the more “toned” and “defined” you will appear.
- More energy and positive mood! Weight training protocols appear to greatly increase plasma beta-endorphin concentration, which in turn modulates mood in a positive manner and helps you feel more energized.
- It improves your health! Not only does weight training reduce Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) (often referred to as “unhealthy” cholesterol), it also elevates serum values of high-density lipoproteins (referred to as “healthy” cholesterol).Weight training is also one of the most effective ways to increase insulin sensitivity. This means that your body is more efficient at using carbohydrates for energy and assisting the forming of muscle tissue, as opposed to storing them and converting them to adipose tissue.
- Get stronger bones! Weight-bearing exercise has been proven to provide mechanical stimuli or “loading” important for the maintenance and improvement of bone health (fending off osteoporosis and osteopenia as we age).