Walk into any gym and you will automatically be ushered to the segments that are traditionally yours, for women, its aerobics. When women hit the gym most of the time the motive is usually to lose weight, and we have been taught that that can only happen when we do aerobic workouts and dances like Zumba. We avoid weights at all costs. I remember when I was watching Red carpet events where Lupita was to receive an Oscar. She wore a very beautiful sleeveless dress that showed her muscles, yes she looked masculine, and there were gasps of disappointment as to why a woman can decide to look like a man! As a pageant fanatic I always feel some sort of disappointment when the contestants grace the runways in their bikinis and very visible abs.
With all my phobias of not wanting to look like a body builder due to weight lifting, which is a rumor by the way, it took forever for me to actually start lifting weights, and two years down the line I even look more feminine. I had done aerobics for the longest time and lost some weight, before my weight stagnated for a while, then it decided to start piling back. At this point my instructor didn’t have to tell me twice to start lifting weights, I was desperate enough to trust him. Ill share with you the advantages of lifting weight, as a woman.
- Helps in Weight Loss
So after my intense cardio for several months, the weight that I had successfully shed returned, full force. I ended up being way bigger than I was when I was joining the gym. The thing with our bodies is that they quickly adapt t circumstances to return to normalcy. Of course engaging in cardio jump started the body hence the calories I was burning was more than the ones I was consuming, so I lost weight, a lot. Then guess what, my body started getting used to my new routine, the workout, to the point that calories were no longer lost. My metabolism started dropping altogether leading to stagnation, wait, and weight gain.
As shocking as it may sound, concurrently having cardio and weight training is exactly the magic portion to effective weight loss. The body cannot fully adapt to these frequent changes.
- Increased Calorie Expenditure
One thing I experienced during my weight training workouts is that I kept hydrating all through the day. I also had my roll on in hand, as I was hot the whole day. Research has it that Vigorous weight training actually boosts your metabolic rate throughout the day, which in turn makes you more efficient at burning body-fat when you’re not exercising. It appears that the primary mechanism for this is increased mitochondria in cells, via a process known as mitochondrial biogenesis. Your weight training doesn’t end at the end of your gym session; your body will still be working out long after hence increasing your chances of actually losing weight.
- Shape your curves.
- More energy throughout the day.
Anyone who works out knows that you feel tired for the next 24 hours. Woe unto you if you prefer working out in the evenings, waking up the next day will be a tall order. The few times that I did intense cardio, I could hardly get out of bed. My operations for the whole day were badly affected. I missed meetings and hardly met deadlines. It’s better if you do cardio in the morning. For your evening or morning workouts, pick weight training. It has n fatigue attached to it. In fact, it produces some feel good hormones which makes one feel great and have high self esteem. Studies show that the heavy weight exercise protocols appear to greatly increase plasma beta-endorphin concentration, which in turn modulates mood in a positive manner. Cardio can be exhausting. It’s normal to feel flat after cardio. The burnout is real and one may just push themselves to finish a one hour class.
- Better Heart Health
The heart is indeed a muscle (a smooth muscle) and it can be trained much like skeletal muscle. Most females assume that aerobic exercise is inherently the best way to train the heart and improve blood lipid profiles. While that is true, combining aerobic exercise with weight training actually has been shown to do those factors just as effectively, if not even more.
Not only does weight training reduce Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL), which is often referred to as “unhealthy” cholesterol, but also it elevates serum values of high-density lipoproteins (which is “healthy” cholesterol)
- Improves Mental Health
One reason I joined the gym was because of my low self image. I didn’t just look fat, I felt fat. When we ladies feel that way we quickly enroll to a cardio class which is very exhausting by the way, we will lose the fat but will be extremely exhausted in the process. Research shows that weight training releases the feel good hormones Oxytocin. The heavy weight exercise protocols appear to greatly increase plasma beta-endorphin concentration, which in turn modulates mood in a positive manner. You will automatically feel sexy after lifting some weights.
- Strong Bones
Inactivity causes fragile bones. In fact Osteoporosis and osteopenia are becoming more and more common in females (both young and old), which can likely be attributed to physical inactivity and lack of load-bearing exercises. Physical activity increases bone mass hence increasing its density and preventing fractures. Weight training is one way of creating resistance and preventing degenerating of bones.
- Increased Libido
Weight training actually increases testosterone. I said it! But this is very far from what many women fear, No you will not look masculine, especially if you don’t overdo it or even take supplements. We have estrogen but testosterone is the hormone that increases libido and improves one’s sex life. Weight training triggers the production of testosterone weight training should be the focus; don’t worry, you won’t magically get “bulky” overnight just because you start lifting more.
In a nutshell, while cardio is good especially if you want to reduce body mass, weight training should be the focus; don’t worry; you won’t magically get “bulky” overnight just because you start lifting more