We have long known the benefits of lifting weights when it comes to altering body composition, and yet so many women are still opting for cardio instead of resistance training. Don’t let outdated stereotypes and fears of getting “bulky” hold you back. Lifting weights has proven to be far more effective at achieving fat loss, whilst developing strength, confidence and curves!
Here’s not just three, but thirteen great reasons to start lifting weights, in order to build a better body, a better mind, and a better lifestyle.
1 – Your metabolic rate will increase. For every pound of lean muscle mass you gain you burn an extra 50 calories. That means the more muscle you have the more calories your body burns throughout the day, even at rest.
2 – Lifting weights increases EPOC – Excessive Post Exercise Oxygen consumption. Your body likes things to stay the same, it is always trying to achieve homeostasis – it’s natural balance. When you lift weights your body has to work harder to bring itself back to that natural balance, which requires extra energy, meaning more calories are burned for up to 24 hours post-workout.
3 – Improves bone health. As we age, women are at higher risk of osteoporosis, which mean lower bone density and higher risk of fractures and breaks. Lifting weights decreases your risk of injury, strengthening bones and connective tissues, and even makes everyday tasks easier.
4- Boosts energy levels and stamina, increasing energy expenditure and fat oxidation throughout the day.
5 – Increases self-confidence. What we feel inside gets projected outside. When we feel stronger, look stronger and act stronger, you guessed it… we’ll take more pride in ourselves and be more confident. You’ll feel more empowered lifting weights than you ever will on a treadmill!
6 – Resistance training has endless variations – from the type of equipment you use, whether it’s a barbell, dumbbell, a sandbag or even a good old tractor tyre! You can hit different muscle groups, train to failure, train for power, strength, hypertrophy; you can change the reps, tempo and rest, you can superset. Progression and variation means training can always be modified so you’ll never get bored.
7- It’s Anti-Ageing. It’s your new Olay moisturising cream – but for your body! As you age you lose muscle mass and strength, but if you train with weights, you can retain and gain muscle mass, helping you maintain a toned and youthful shape.
8 – It’s detoxifying. Increased muscle mass means reduced body fat, which also reduces the amount of toxins in your body thus improving the quality and elasticity of your skin.
9 – Improves sleep quality. Helping you fall asleep quicker, sleep deeper and wake up less often throughout the night.
10 – Improves heart health, reducing the risk of heart diseases factors like large waists, high triglycerides, elevated blood pressure and elevated blood glucose levels.
11 – Increases insulin sensitivity. Meaning your body becomes more efficient at utilising carbohydrates for energy and aiding in the muscle building process, instead of carbohydrates being stored and converted into adipose tissue. That means when we lift weights, we NEED to eat more.
12 – Reduces stress. Resistance training helps alleviate stress and has even been shown to improve memory and cognitive function. It increases the “feel-good” chemicals in your brain, and increases plasma beta-endorphin concentration, which in turn modulates mood.
13 – Improves libido. Lifting weights can naturally increase testosterone levels in women, improving sex drive and wellbeing. But that doesn’t mean you’ll get bulky, since women can only produce around 10% of the amount of testosterone as men.
So there you go – thirteen short and sharp reasons lifting weights can improve your body composition, make you feel more confident, get you in a better mood, make you look younger, improve your health, sleep and even your sex life!