Updated: May 11
Why do females feel that it is necessary to lift light weights? I have watched females in the gym lift 5 pound dumbbells for over three years. Did it help? What do you think?
Here are some highlights of an article I read this morning:
NUMBER 1: YOU BURN MORE FAT! Bottom line. The more lean body mass you have in your body, the higher your metabolism is throughout the day. This blog says it all.
One study showed that adding heavy lifting 2x per week can reduce your body fat by up to 3%....and that's without cutting calories! WHAT!? See what a trainer can do for you!
NUMBER 2: TONE UP! The heavier the weight, the less reps, will cause better definition. You know all those females that you see that have sculpted arms, and I am not talking about the bodybuilding type, but the average gym rat. Well, it's easy to accomplish. Add weight to your work out, and decrease the amount of reps you do. Instead of grabbing 5 pound dumbbells for your bicep curls, grab a 10# and only do 8 reps. If you can't do even one, then switch down to the 8# and see how many you can get in. If you use any accessory muscles during any workout (ie back work to swing your arm up for a bicep curl), the weight is TOO heavy and STOP!
Women are scared of using heavy weights because they think they will bulk up. NOPE! We don't have enough testosterone in our bodies to cause that like the guys do. Women that get larger muscles, such as bodybuilders, are typically using supplements to allow this to happen.
NUMBER 3: Osteoporosis. It doesn't matter how young you are, you don't want this disease. It limits your livelihood. Who wants to be 50 and can't walk or lift up a coffee cup because they are too weak?
Research shows that moving heavy weights can maintain bone mass and CAN actually help build new bone.
NUMBER 4: BURN MORE CALORIES! Here's the DL on this tid bit: You burn more calories during cardio BUT there are studies out there that show that you actually will burn more calories in a 24 hour period following your workout with heavy lifting. So, I say yes, DO BOTH!
With all that being said, let's go back to NUMBER 2. There was a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise that showed women who lifted 85% of max load 8x versus 45% of max load at 15x burned nearly 2x the calories during the two hours following their workout.
Hmmmmm....makes you think, doesn't it!?
NUMBER 5: Build Strength Faster. Add some compound exercises to your regimen. ie. squats, lunges, deadlifts, etc.
NUMBER 6: LOSE BELLY FAT! Oh yes, you heard me right and all the ladies complain of belly fat....even the ones we think don't have any! There was a study at the University of Alabama that showed women who lifted more weight also lost more intra abdominal fat (aka visceral fat - see picture below) than those who did just cardio.
This also helps lose the pouch even though you can't SPOT TRAIN but the biggest effect - it's a HEALTH exercise. Losing visceral fat will help decrease diabetes and even some cancers. This is the fat the hangs out around your organs. EESH! SCARY!
NUMBER 7: Feel EMPOWERED! Oh, I like this one! Do I need to say more?
NUMBER 8: Decrease the risk of injury. Strengthening the muscles around joints can help prevent injury as well as increase joint integrity.
To sum it up, if you are currently lifting weights, change it up. Add more and decrease your reps. If you aren't doing any weight training, START NOW! Don't forget your cardio! Not only is it still good for your fitness life, it's good for your health!