Lift weights and lose weight

Lift weights and lose weight

Oct 28, 2012

“I’m afraid I’m going to get big and bulky,” says almost every female I talk to about weight training. This ridiculous myth has steered women away from dumbbells for decades and in the direction of treadmills, elliptical machines, spin bikes and zumba classes. Not that there is anything wrong with cardio exercise. In-fact, cardio exercise is extremely beneficial heart health and can help strengthen the lungs and improve circulation. Cardio is also a great way to improve mood as it increases serotonin levels. Though most people hop on the cardio bandwagon to burn lots of calories! And yes, cardio is great for that!  However, focusing on cardio exercise alone for weight loss is a big error that most females are guilty of making, myself included. Intense weight training can also facilitate weight loss as well as  maintain and increase bone mass, speed up the metabolism and yield beautiful muscle tone, making the body appear smaller and tighter. According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, high reps done with lighter weight will build muscle endurance and create the appearance of lean and defined muscles. Though you will only see those muscles if  they are not covered by a layer of body-fat. If you really want to raise your BMR (basal metabolic rate) and change your body composition from fat to muscle and get lean, then lifting heavy weights with low reps is best. This will help you to build muscle and  because women do not have as much testosterone as men, gaining significant size to the point of ‘looking big and bulky’ would be extremely difficult to do naturally, so ditch the pink dumbbells and start lifting like you mean it!

Breaking it down-four reasons why ALL women should weight train:

1. Increase and maintain bone mass

Strength training exercises can increase bone mass density by placing stress on the bones. This increases in bone density reduces the risk of osteoporosis and can also help improve current symptoms.

2. More muscle=faster metabolism

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, each pound of muscle burns 30-50 calories a day while at rest!

3. Having toned muscles will sculpt a healthier, sexier looking body.

Cardio exercise alone can give the appearance of a ‘scrawny thin’ or a soft, even flabby type of thin. Lifting weights not only helps accelerate fat loss but also make the body look smaller, firmer and tighter.

4. Burn more calories per workout

Total body weight training workouts that involve the upper and lower body to work at the same time can burn more calories than many cardio workouts. Combination moves like the dumbbell clean to overhead press can burn just as many calories if not more, as running on a treadmill and get your heart rate just as high. Just make sure you are lifting heavy enough, the last couple of reps should be challenging. If the last few are not difficult to squeeze out then you need heavier weight.


*If you are timid about going to the stinky, ‘manly man’ weights section of the gym, buy a set of adjustable dumbbells for your home along with a step so that you can lay down and do chest presses.

*Leave a day for rest or cardio in between your weight days so that your muscles have time to recover and try to do weight training 2-3 times per week.


Here is a sample total body weight training routine for those just starting out.

Complete 3 sets of 10reps on all exercises, take breaks between each set, 1minute to 90 seconds or however much you need, everyone’s body recovers differently.

Warm up with 10min moderate intensity cardio.

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Chest press
  • Pec flys/or wide pec push ups
  • Double arm row
  • Lat pull down
  • Barbell shoulder press
  • Arnold press
  • Bicep curls
  • Hammer curls/or pull ups
  • Tricep over head extensions
  • Skull crushers/or triceps pushups

Cool down with a 5 min walk and stretch all muscle groups that were worked.

One comment

  1. There is certainly a great deal to learn about this issue. I like all the factors you’ve made.

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