I feel like there’s such a misconception surrounding women & weight training. Many women avoid it because they don’t want to get too bulky (you won’t, BTW!) & some women choose to do only cardio because they think it’s the fastest & most efficient way to lose weight & fat. I used to think the same!
Based on my personal experience, a combination of cardio + weight training is key to losing body fat & keeping it off because metabolism is driven & revved by lean muscle tissue.
Most cardio workouts are effective for burning calories during, but with weight training, you actually burn calories for up to 24 hours post-sweat! Too much cardio can also spike hormone levels, especially cortisol. High cortisol levels instruct the brain to store fat (especially around the abs) & inhibit the body’s ability to process sugar, thereby leading to potential weight gain, energy slumps & chronic fatigue. On the other hand, weight training helps increase insulin sensitivity for better blood sugar control.
Lifting weights also has benefits beyond fat burning & revving metabolism:
- strengthens joints & bones, prevents loss of bone density overtime & helps muscles adapt to the stress of weightlifting by becoming bigger + stronger
- helps relieve back pain caused by severely sedentary lifestyles by strengthening muscles surrounding + supporting the spine
- tones the body, improves posture, physique, flexibility + mobility
- boosts confidence, mood + makes you feel both mentally & physically strong
- strengthens the mind & challenges & empowers you to push past what you thought was possible – progress, not perfection!
- boosts your ability to perform cardio without injury
- teaches you to value & take care of your body & see its potential
- improves your relationship with your body & shifts your mindset: you don’t work out as a punishment or to get skinny, but rather to build yourself up + get stronger!
You don’t have to lift heavy weights; I stick to 5-10lbs. depending on the exercise & the area of the body targeted. Body weight exercises, such as planks & push ups are also super effective.
As women, it’s important to defy the stereotypes that we’re not as tough or strong as men. Because WE ARE.