Have you been religiously attending the gym, sweating heaps on the bike, treadmill or cross trainer? Well if you are serious about your fat burning then it is time to ditch your running shoes and start lifting weights. And no, it will not make you ‘butch’, ‘manly’ or ‘unattractive’.
Think about your future. Does it include arthritis, osteoporosis or heart disease? I thought not. So why avoid the weights section when it has been scientifically proven to reduce your chance of developing these conditions?
So let us talk about the effects that lifting weights has on fat burn. Basically, the more muscle we have, the more calories we will burn during rest. Sounds good right? Research has shown that after a strength training session you will continue to burn calories up to 39 hours after. Similarly, the more muscle we have, the greater our joint stability which reinforces the joints and can reduce our chance of injury.
Strength training also means that you will not need to spend so long in the gym. You can burn the same amount of calories doing a twenty minute strength circuit as you would an hour of steady state cardiovascular. Stick to compound exercises such as overhead squats, assisted pull ups and clean and press and you will find your heart rate elevated and your body fat decreasing.
Want a healthier heart? Those clever people at the University of Michigan have found that women who did three resistance sessions a week over a period of two months saw a significant decrease in their blood pressure. Enough to reduce your risk of a heart attack by 14%!
While I am blessed to motivate and inspire women to regularly engage in strength training, I am not oblivious to the attitudes some of you may have towards using the weights. Yes it can be intimidating with all those grunting men but start with a few simple exercises that you feel comfortable with and you will be walking in there with your head held high, and your body will look great too!
BSc (hons) Sports Science, Level 3 Certificate in Advanced Personal Training, Boxercise Registered Instructor, Certificate in Pre and Post Natal Exercise