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Importance of weight training for women

October 05, 2016

Importance of weight training for women

Most women I see in gyms either opt for a Zumba session, spinning class or spend an hour on the treadmill when they are looking to see results and get toned. They think that a calorie torture like spinning or spending an hour on the treadmill will help them reach their goals. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only is running on the treadmill bad for your knees and ligaments in the long run,  it is also highly unnecessary if you want to sculpt your body and burn fat. Also, you won’t end up bulky if you weight train because our bodies don’t have enough testosterone for that kind of musculature. So don't fret and start incorporating strength training to burn fat, tone that body and reduce your risk for injuries.
The seasoned exerciser can hire a trainer or ask a spotter to help them when they are training glutes or quads in the gym to avoid injury and make sure someone is supervising you at all times. However, for the uninitiated , bodyweight training is a perfectly good place to start because the body is all you really need to get fit. You can incorporate burpees, push ups, pull ups, squats and lunges into your workout regimen and build your repetitions every week. Alternatively, if you find the bench and the bar too intimidating at first, ease yourself into the process by picking dumbbells that are lightweight and kettlebells for improved range of motion.
I have spent a large chunk of my time counseling people into incorporating three days of resistance training into their routines if they are interested in seeing results in the long term.

Here  are a few benefits of weight training or resistance training.

  1. Lifting weights regularly improves bone density and reduces your risk for osteopenia, fractures and rheumatoid arthritis.
  2. Lifting heavy weights consistently has shown incredible results in women with hormonal issues, insulin sensitivity and PCOS or PCOD. Lifting weights regularises your hormones and makes your periods less painful too.
  3. Unlike cardiovascular workouts that have you expend X amount of calories during the workout, weight training has an ‘afterburn’ which amps up your fat burning, improves metabolism and you end up burning calories even at rest. It is a win win situation, we think.
  4. You will actually go down a dress size or two. Weight training enables lean muscle building which supports the framework of your body making you look toned, taut and fit.  Fitness trainers and professionals need to help debunk the myth that lifting weight makes you look bulky because you actually look smaller.
  5. Weight training in conjunction with functional training and yoga helps you carry out day to day tasks with more ease like lugging suitcases, carrying heavy grocery bags, gardening and cleaning around the house.
  6. Research has found that 20-40 minutes of regular strength training lowers blood pressure and has cardio protective properties that safeguard your heart against lifestyle related diseases.
  7. It is also a great way to improve performance even on the track. You can incorporate some lifting into your week so that you improve your timing, fix any gait or postural issues and shave off some milliseconds before the race.
If you are convinced about the many benefits of strength training, I strongly suggest you start with a 2-3 day training week and work your way up. Remember precision, posture and control are key. Its a lot better to do 10 reps with good posture than 20 half assed push ups. If you are nervous about starting out on your own, #buddy up for support and hire a trainer for guidance.
Oh, and don't forget to follow a healthy diet rich in lean protein, greens and healthy fats from avocado, chia, fish oil and nuts to yield better results.
You can get the cardio protective properties from your pecans here-