If you’re reading this post, it probably means that you want to begin or are interested in a weight training program. That’s fabulous, because many women make the mistake of only dieting or doing cardiovascular exercises! Of course, those things are important, but weight lifting can be the secret weapon you are missing when it comes to the overall goals goals for your health and physique.
Weight lifting is an important way to burn that extra fat, by increasing your lean muscle mass in your body. That extra muscle also means your metabolism speeds up, burning off even more fat and calories at rest. Hey… who doesn’t want to burn fat while they are chilling on the couch!
Do not let the numbers on the scale fool you
Women’s bodies naturally contain more body fat due to hormonal and childbearing factors. Many women want to look good, and either just diet to lose that extra weight, or they only do cardiovascular exercises. So although they may see the numbers going down on the scale, they are losing fat and muscle. This is where weight lifting can become so valuable. It allows you to build your muscle.
I’m going to get into semantics for a sec. I go a bit nuts when I hear people say muscle is heavier than fat. That is actually not true. A pound of fat weighs EXACTLY the same as a pound of muscle. However, the difference is that muscle is denser, and less of it fits in less space. So although the numbers on the scale may not go down the way you like, when you build muscle, you should notice that your body looks better and your clothing fits better. Therefore, the number on the scale is less important than you realize.
Focus on compound exercises when you are begin weight lifting
Women are very busy working outside the home, running children to and from appointments and extracurricular activities, and so forth. Therefore, time is of the essence!
Maximize your time building muscle by focusing on several muscle groups, rather than just one at a time.
Quit worrying that you are going to “bulk up” or become too muscular
Women’s bodies are made differently from men’s. Men have much more testosterone (15-20 times) than women, resulting in the ability to build more muscle. Women should not be afraid of lifting heavier weights as they progress, because they are simply not going to become eligible for a bodybuilding competition by accident!
What is more important to consider is what body type you have – ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph.
What are all those “morps” I hear you say? Let’s break it down
Ectomorph – these are the women that drive you nuts in the fashion magazines, the friends that complain no matter how much they eat, they just can’t put on weight….. – slim, long-limbed, very little body fat. But also very little muscle- lack shape, flat chested and tend to lack womanly curves. See everyone has their own challenges!
Mesomorph – these chicks are the genetically gifted – athletic, strong, hourglass figures, they can gain muscle mass and lose weight relatively easy. They can frequently struggle with fluctuating weight however.
Endomorph – soft, curvey, round physiques and are the opposite of endomorphs, often finding hard to lose wieght.
Once you know where you fit you can plan your exercise and weight lifting program strategically to get the results you are looking for. Keep an eye out for future posts on training programs for each body type.