Girls should be lifting heavy weights…

Suck it up ladies – you need to start lifting some weights…!

Perhaps you’ve already dabbled in the weights section of the gym, picked up some dumbbells and done a couple of curls, or even picked up a barbell. Maybe you have a set of dumbbells at home, but every time you lift those weights you feel a little insecure, unprepared and maybe you have no idea whatsoever what it is that you’re actually meant to do with them!

You’ve heard horror stories about what happens when you start lifting weights, right? Lifting heavy weights make women bulky and gain loads of muscle, it’s bad for your joints; it’s dangerous and worst of all – if you stop lifting weights that bulky muscle will just turn to fat!! This is all bullshit, and now I’m going to explain why.

If you’re serious about your fitness goals, and you want to lose fat and change shape – then lifting weights in an essential part of the program – for both women AND men. Don’t get me wrong – other types of training like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and cardiovascular training have their place as well but for now I will focus on those barbells and other fun stuff!  Here are a few reasons why we should be lifting weights:

1. Lifting weights burns fat – there is no two ways about it, if you want to burn fat from your body – lifting weights is the way to go. You may think that lifting weights is only for people who want to gain size and muscle, and yes it will build lean muscle tissue; but you will burn fat both DURING and AFTER a session too. A heavy weights session will create an “afterburn” or EPOC (post-exercise exercise consumption) effect whereby you will continue to require additional oxygen in the hours (even days) after the workout thus fat burning.

2. Lift weights = more lean muscle tissue = more calories burned. Lean muscle tissues burns more calories at rest than adipose (fat) tissue and let’s face it – we spend the vast majority of our days “at rest” whether that be sitting at our desks, sitting at the computer, driving, sitting reading a book or sitting watching television. As you increase your strength and lean muscle mass by lifting weights you will increase the number of calories you burn while you’re at rest. Yet another reason to pick up the barbell girls (and boys)!

3. Increased energy. As I explained above, a good weight lifting session will cause you to have increased energy expenditure AFTERWARDS – so instead of grabbing that energy drink, perhaps it’s time that you hit the gym and picked up something a bit heavier.

4. Lifting weights contributes towards a HEALTHY HEART. Picking up the dumbbells can reduce your risk of heart disease AND has been approved by the American Heart Association as a healthy form of exercise for those at risk. Pumping iron can reduce your risk of high blood pressure too.

5. Healthy bones are made in the gym. Girls, as we age, we are more at risk of developing osteoporosis – a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile in some cases due to a reduction in production of the hormone oestrogen. By training against resistance, you will decrease your risk of developing osteoporosis and increase your bone health. Still undecided if lifting weights is for you? I have one last reason and I’ve saved it to last because it’s my favourite.

6. Lifting weights relieves STRESS. Believe it or not, lifting weights and exercising in general has been found to greatly relieve many symptoms of stress. So next time you feel like you need to blow off some steam, hit the gym and lift some weights instead of diving head first into a cinema sized bag of maltesers. Got it?

I hope you have learned a few things about why lifting weights is important and why we should all be doing it! Remember if you need help you can go to >> << 

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