The secret to shrinking your body is strength training. Many women shy away from lifting weights because they are afraid they will bulk up, and they’ve bought into the myth that cardio is the key to weight loss. The fact is, for most women, bulking up is virtually impossible. And though cardio is essential for good heart health, strength training delivers a lot more bang for your exercise effort.
Strength training boosts your metabolism, reduces body fat, and sculpts your body shape, making you look smaller, firmer, and sexier. Yup. If you want to shrink your body, your best bet is to lift more.
If I lift heavy weights, I’ll look like a dude!
No. No, you won’t. And here’s why. Like you lose weight by running a calorie deficit, you gain muscle weight by eating a calorie excess and engaging in consistent, long-term heavy weight training. To build massive muscles, you must eat huge quantities and train hard, often for years. Bodybuilders don’t magically attain their competition bodies. They work at it through diet and exercise consistently for a very long time.
So cast aside the myth that lifting three days a week will make you bulk. Cleaning your diet and adding weights to your exercise program won’t make you look like the Hulk. Lifting will do exactly the opposite of making you look like a man. Lifting increases your lean muscle mass, helping you tone your whole body, blast off fat, and shape the body you want. Strength training will let you take what nature gave you and improve it.
How does weight training burn more calories?
Weight training boosts your metabolism by continuing to use energy to repair muscle fibers after you finish your workout. Researchers have found that a full-body workout that uses three large muscle groups can raise your metabolism as much as 48 hours after you finish working out. That means you’ll burn more calories just sitting on the couch.
With a cardio workout, you earn the calorie-burning benefits while at the gym and for an hour or less after you finish. Your metabolism returns to its usual rate faster than it does with strength training, so while you burn more during the actual workout, you end up burning less overall. Building muscle equals a bigger burn.
Lose fat, not muscle.
When you are trying to lose weight, what you want to do is lose fat. To do that, you have to run a calorie deficit. And a calorie deficit is an energy deficit. When your body runs out of food energy, it turns to what it has stored. The trick is to get your body to burn fat stores and not muscle stores, and you do that by maintaining or increasing your strength as you lose weight.
What do you need to do to increase your strength? That’s right. Lift more.
Studies consistently show that people who combine resistance training and reduce their caloric intake lose more fat than those who limit themselves to aerobic exercise. That’s because they are building muscle while they are burning calories. That tells your body it should work on your fat stores instead.
Shape that booty!
One of the best shrinking tools you get from lifting weights is the ability to sculpt your body. We all have “problem areas” or “favorite parts” of our bodies that we would like to reshape or accentuate. Strength training lets you target those areas specifically.
Want to lose the bat wings and have fantastic arms? There’s an exercise for that. Dislike your “pear shape?” You can build your upper body and choose exercises that strengthen and elongate the muscles in your hips and thighs to help create a more balanced shape. Lifting weights allows you to train for the body you want.
Many of us spend hours on cardio machines trying to get rid of the offending flab but the real key to the perfect booty is building a muscle base. Squats and deadlifts will lift and tone your derrière in a way that no amount of time on the stair climber can. Shoulder presses and pull-ups will create definition in your arms and back that has you reaching for your sleeveless tops. Muscle makes the figure
Anyone who has tried to lose weight knows that fat takes up more space than muscle. Fat is fluffy. So while a pound weighs sixteen ounces regardless of whether it’s made of fat or muscle, muscles are 18% more dense than fat, so they take up less space. That means that two 120lb women standing side by side can be totally different sizes. The one who lifts is smaller.
We all want to be our most fit. We want firm, healthy bodies that make us feel smaller, stronger and sexier. Who doesn’t like to slip into their skinny jeans?
The best way to achieve that goal is to lift those weights. Don’t overthink it. If the weight machines make you nervous, start with squats, push ups, and lunges. Add some dumb bells. Check out some online videos. As your body confidence grows you’ll feel more comfortable trying new things. There is nothing wrong with getting your strength training started at home in the basement with two milk jugs and some resistance bands!
Just get started and keep going. The more you lift, the more you’ll shrink.
Weights are the WINNING way to lose!
Join our small group exercise classes in san Diego if you're ready to change your body and mindest.