Most women today still believe the myth that they will look like ‘a muscle chick’ if they lift weights heavier then 10lbs. I’m here to tell you that if your goal is fat loss, then you need to ditch the high rep, light-weight workouts.
If your goal is to be a lean, mean—fitness machine, you simply cannot do without strength training. There are plenty of women out there who are ripped who don’t do a whole lot of running or cycling.
Dumbbells are a great way to start out with weighted strength training for a few reasons. First, most gyms will have a good set dumbbells, even if it’s a basic gym in your apartment complex. If you want to train at home, you can get a set of adjustable dumbbells that don’t take up a ton of space.
The benefits of weight lifting include increased bone density and muscular strength. Muscle-strengthening activities can also help maintain muscle mass which is especially important when you are on a weight-loss program.
If your workout calls for 20+ reps with those tiny dumbbells, you are setting yourself up for a very different hormonal response than if you were to cut the reps in half and lift heavier weights. You’re essentially training for endurance by doing endless reps with light weights. This causes your body to increase the stress hormone cortisol and epinephrine, but it does not release the fat burning hormones like testosterone, GH and lactic acid which is a chemical messenger in the fat burning process. Performing these types of workouts day after day does nothing for muscle building and actually strips muscle from your body. If you’re not challenging your muscles then you are not giving them a reason to grow.
If you really want to accelerate your fat loss you must challenge your muscles, lift heavy, move quickly from movement to movement and do more in less time. If you are performing a movement that calls for 10 reps, you need to pick a weight that causes you to hit muscle failure by rep 10. Pick compound movements for upper and lower muscle groups and perform them in a circuit like fashion. Take no more then one minute between sets and train for no more than 35 minutes; this time would include your warm-up at the beginning. Be sure to mix up the movements and reps every few weeks to continue to challenge your body and avoid muscle adaption.
Many times, I will pick the right workout to match my situation. When I’m traveling, I’ll do a ton of body-weight workouts since I don’t have a gym and a barbell available. When I’m at home with my gym, you better believe every morning the first thing I do is 100 jumping jacks, 100 squats and some head/handstands.
Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and dispel some of the myths that are out there. Women are just as capable as men to get in the gym and “Go Beast-Mode.”
Remember , if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.
About the Author
Tammy Wilson is die-hard health and fitness guru, and her energy is absolutely contagious. Her areas of expertise include cellular health and personal training, and she is also a competitive dancer, model, actor, and loving mother of three. Tammy is known as fierce and fearless and each day sets out to inspire everyone to live […]Read Bio Read Posts