When you hear the sentence strength training for fat loss, how do you react? It's not unusual for women to dismiss it out of hand due to the preconceptions. You might believe that you'll bulk up without losing any weight, or that lifting isn't as effective as hitting the treadmill or exercise bike, but you'd be mistaken.
For one thing, strength training can boost your resting metabolism by more than 5%, making your body more capable of burning calories after the fact. It's all about "excess post-exercise oxygen consumption." It's not the catchiest title, but what it refers to is how the body continues to burn calories once you've stopped exercising. According to studies, strength training is one of the best exponents because the intensity of the workout correlates with lasting after-burn effects.
Considering that two out of ten women don't meet the CDC's daily exercise recommendation, strength for health could be the answer.
Of course, there is more to anaerobic and resistance workouts than burning off last night's dinner. Not only does it provide a balance to exercises that primarily use oxygen, but it also has the following impacts on your health.
Preserves And Tones Muscles
As you get older, you're inevitably going to lose muscle mass. This is problematic because you replace it with fat, leading to weight gain. Plus, it's harder to shed the pounds when you are older, so it's a double-whammy. A strength training regime is an excellent option as it helps you to limit atrophy and put on a healthy amount of muscle. Ladies, please don't worry about looking like a bodybuilder. It won't happen because of estrogen, the hormone that makes it challenging to bulk up.
Maintains Healthy Weight
Strong women are also lean women. This is down to the fact that lifting is a fantastically efficient workout. As muscles grow, they need more energy to replace the fuel that is burned during a session. This has a knock-on effect on the body's metabolism, which increases to keep up with the demand, and you lose weight as the calories burn at a greater rate.
Limits The Effects Of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a bone issue that can affect everyone, but women are more likely to be sufferers. The reason is due to hormonal changes that result in a lower bone density just before, during and after menopause, which can lead to the condition. By stressing your bones, strength training boosts the density of bones, limiting the ailment and (sometimes) stopping it altogether.
To benefit from the above for the long-term, it's essential to prevent injuries. Strength for health is the answer as it makes your joints and muscles more robust. Therefore, they are less likely to breakdown and leave you with an injury that will stop you from exercising rigorously.
How To Get Started
Although it can seem tough from the outside, starting a strength training regime is pretty straightforward, whether at home or at the gym. Here are a few top tips to (hopefully) help you get off on the right foot.
This is a fancy term for home exercises that you probably already do, or have done in the past. The theory is to use your body weight as resistance to build muscles. So, you might decide to do push-ups or squats, depending on the target area. For an all-round workout, you should choose different body-weight exercises and repeat as many reps as possible. If you want to get some bodyweight exercise ideas, head over to our private Facebook group, Team Pello Fitness.
Resistance training is similar to a body-weight workout, but instead of your body, you use an outside resistance, like weights. The majority of this kind of training takes place in gyms with weight machines that are designed to offer the desired resistance. If you want to use one but haven't done so before, please read the instructions or speak to a personal trainer.
However, it's as easy to perform resistance training at home if you have the correct equipment. Free weights, such as dumbbells, barbells, and weight bells are cheap and accessible from most stores that sell sporting goods. Again, if you have never used one of these before, I would highly recommend working with a personal trainer for some time at least, until you learn how to use them correctly and gain some confidence.
I recently wrote an article on a beginner's weight lifting routine for women. Check it out HERE.
Sometimes, it's easier to do in theory than in practice. For those who are worried about starting correctly, online coaching with an expert is an excellent way to guide you through the process. You learn the crucial tips and advice that you need without having to go to the gym. Flexibility and accessibility - what more could you want?!