For the longest time, my fitness routine consisted of 90% cardio and 10% strength training. I felt that I needed to have a killer cardio sesh in order to burn calories and to improve my fitness. While that was all well and good, and I DID, in fact burn calories during the workout; I wasn’t gaining any benefits after my workout was over and I was parked on the couch! By incorporating weights and strength training into your workout, you are building muscle that will help your body efficiently burn fuel while at rest.
I know, I know……..us girls are afraid of getting BEASTLY and huge with added muscle from lifting weights. That’s NOT true! Our bodies don’t produce enough testosterone in order to make us “bulky”. Be mindful of your calories in and calories out….and you won’t become big and bulky. MyFitnessPal or any free calorie/exercise tracker app is great to use daily in order to keep track of your nutrients and food intake. I will be following the 21 Day Fix eating plan simply because it’s easy and I don’t need to actually count calories as I just follow the allotted amount of categories I am allowed/day. Incorporating weight/strength training into your workout routine has a multitude of benefits. I LOVE research! It’s wonderful for someone to tell you to lift weights and that you will feel better, burn more fat and look better; and it’s another thing to have those claims backed by scientific research! I found an interesting article from http://www.womenshealthmag.com that encourages women to weight train for a number of beneficial reasons:
You’ll Build Stronger Bones
As you age, bone mass goes to pot, which increases your likelihood of one day suffering a debilitating fracture. The good news: A study found that 16 weeks of resistance training increased hip bone density and elevated blood levels of osteocalcin—a marker of bone growth–by 19 percent.
You’ll Get Into Shape Faster
A study found that circuit training with weights raises your heart rate 15 beats per minute higher than if you ran at 60 to 70 percent of your max heart rate. This approach strengthens muscles and provides cardiovascular benefits similar to those of aerobic exercise—so you save time without sacrificing results!
You’ll Be Happier
Yoga isn’t the only Zen-inducing kind of exercise. Researchers found that people who performed three weight training workouts a week for six months significantly improved their scores on measures of anger and overall mood.
You’ll Burn More Calories
After each strength workout, your muscles need energy to repair their fibers. In fact, researchers found that when people did a total-body workout with just three big-muscle moves, their metabolisms were raised for 39 hours afterward. They also burned a greater percentage of calories from fat compared with those who didn’t lift.
The “after-burn” effect is great for burning calories while at rest vs. cardio, which allows you to burn calories mainly while exercising.
You’ll Live Longer
University of South Carolina researchers determined that total-body strength is linked to lower risks of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Similarly, other scientists found that being strong during middle age is associated with “exceptional survival,” defined as living to the age of 85 without developing a major disease.
You’ll Lose 40 Percent More Fat
If you think being a cardio queen is the key to blasting belly fat, think again!! Researchers at Penn State put dieters into three groups—no exercise, aerobic exercise only, or aerobic exercise and weight training—they all lost around 21 pounds, but the lifters shed six more pounds of fat than those who didn’t pump iron. Why? The lifters’ loss was almost pure fat; the others lost fat and muscle.
Other research on dieters who don’t lift shows that, on average, 75 percent of their weight loss is from fat, while 25 percent is from muscle. Muscle loss may drop your scale weight, but it doesn’t improve your reflection in the mirror and it makes you more likely to gain back the flab you lost. However, if you weight train and follow an appropriate nutrition plan, you’ll protect your hard-earned muscle and burn more fat.
Your Clothes Will Fit Better
Research shows that between the ages of 30 and 50, you’ll likely lose 10 percent of your body’s total muscle. Worse yet, it’s likely to be replaced by fat over time, says a study. And that increases your waist size, because one pound of fat takes up 18 percent more space than one pound of muscle.
More info on this topic can be found here: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/weight-exercises-women
LIFT those weights ladies!! The benefits certainly outweigh the negative aspects of it……actually I can’t really think of any negative aspects of weight training! 😉