Happy new year to you dear readers,
Working in a gym environment I get a lot of comments from the lady gym members about not wanting to do weights because they don’t want to bulk up. I do chuckle to myself whenever I here this comment, as it’s such a pre-conceived misconception that simply isn’t true! As a personal trainer, I believe it is important for people to understand the importance of weight training, so I am going to explain the benefits of including weights into your fitness programme.
If you include 2-3 weight sessions a week it will help with your weight loss because weight training will increase your metabolism and therefore burn more calories throughout the day. When we are pounding the streets doing our running or cardio in the gym, we are working hard and burning calories, but when we stop, the calorie burning slows down.
Weights are important because while we are doing weights, we are burning calories and will continue to burn calories throughout the day even after the exercises have stopped. The reason for this is that weights build muscle and the more muscle we have, the more fat we burn.
So in conclusion, someone who doesn’t do weights will not burn as many calories throughout the day compared to someone who adds weights to their workout.
On top of this, muscle is much denser and more compact and takes up less space than fat, whereas fat is soft and squishy, so therefore takes up more space within the body.
The more muscle content you have, the better your body shape will be compared to someone who has no muscle content.
Adding Weights to your programme
When adding weights to your workout ladies, please do not take it to mean that you only do light weights with high repetitions. This type of weight training uses your slow twitch fibres, the same as you use for your cardio. I suggest you use heavy weights with low repetitions to change your programme around. I promise you, you will not bulk up, you will tone up!
To add, one of the reasons behind this is that we do not have enough of the male hormone testosterone to get big and bulky. Your diet would have to be very different to a normal healthy balanced eating plan if you wanted to bulk up.
So, in a nutshell, there is no way you will bulk up, so don’t be scared of lifting weights.
Tracking your progress
When tracking your progress, I say ditch the scales and use a tape measure instead, or try a pair of jeans or a jacket that are tight on you and then, hopefully, after following a weight training programme accompanied with healthy eating and cardio, you will notice a difference and your clothes will start to feel looser on you.
To summarise: along with a healthy balanced diet you can combine lifting weights and cardio and you will see the pounds falling off and see an improvement in your body shape and muscle tone.
Remember: The more muscles we have, the more calories we will burn – even when resting.
More info on my personal training can be found on our website
Personal Trainer & Gym Manager at Emma James Physio