This is a guest post written by Jonathan.
In every gym I’ve ever trained in, the weight lifting section was mostly occupied by men. Women tended to stick to the area in which the cardio machines stood. The reason is that many women think that weight lifting and strength training is suitable for men only. They believe that if they do too much weight lifting they will somehow grow manly muscles, lose their feminine shape, and look much worse.
This is a mistake and it is one of the reasons why so many women find it hard to burn body fat and tone their body.
The truth is that muscle building doesn’t depend merely on training and nutrition, but also on hormones. You need to have a sufficient amount of the hormone testosterone to build muscles quickly. Men have a lot of testosterone – which is why it’s called the male hormone – but women have very little of it. This means that it will be very hard for you to build masculine sized muscles. You don’t need to worry about it.
Why Strength Training is Vital For Women
There are a number of ways in which strength training is good for women:
1. It helps to improve bone density. Weight bearing exercises keep your bones stronger and reduce the risk of fractures.
2. It helps reduce the risk of various health conditions such as diabetes. It may even improve your mood.
3. Strength training is awesome for fat loss.
Let’s talk about point number 3 for a moment.
Weight lifting is great for fat loss for a few reasons:
1. It helps to build more muscle mass which in turn boosts your metabolism. You don’t need huge muscles for this to work. Even a little muscle helps a lot.
2. Strength training creates an after-burn effect. This means that your body doesn’t just burn calories during the workout itself, but continues to do so for hours after your workout has been completed.
3. Strength training allows you to do more time efficient and calorie expensive workouts than you could have done with cardio alone.
Some Strength Training Tips For Women
1. Do masculine exercises too – Some women think that there are exercises which are for men and not for women. These may include push-ups, pull-ups, and chest presses.
These are all perfectly good exercises for women. Men do them for a reason: they deliver results. These are powerful exercises that help you burn a lot of body fat and you’d be a fool not to try them. If you are not strong enough to do these exercises, find an easier alternative. For instance, in many gyms there’s a machine that let’s you do assisted pull-ups. It’s perfect to help you build your strength.
2. Focus on big muscles – There is a simple rule to strength training: the more muscle you operate, the more effective your workout gets. So, you should spend most of your time on your chest, back and legs, as these contain the most muscle mass.
3. Don’t work on your trouble parts only – If only we could choose from where to burn fat. Unfortunately, we can’t. Our body burns fat from every part. Not just those that bother us. The best thing you can do is perform total body workouts as these will target the most muscles and burn the most fat overall.
4. Work in circuits – Circuit training is an excellent way to burn more body fat faster. When you do circuits, you perform a number of exercises with no rest in between. For instance, you can do squats, chest presses, and bicep curls. You target different muscles in each of these exercises, but the overall load you place on your body is greater than if you would have rested between each set.
5. Don’t forget to stretch – Stretching is important to preserve the health of your muscles and to speed up recovery between one workout to the next.
Have fun during your workouts, but remember, it can’t all be fun. You need to work hard in the gym in order to get results. Make your workouts count and you will look hot and toned in no time.
For more on how to burn lots of fat with strength training check out my post on metabolic resistance training. It will help you create fantastic workouts. You can also read this resource page on weight loss for women which has more information that you can use.
I’d love to know what exercises you enjoy doing. Let me know in the comments below.
Author: Jonathan Dunsky lost 30 pounds and has kept them off for over 12 years. He blogs at World Of Diets where he writes about fitness, nutrition, and weight loss tips for men and women.