David Ball PT

Storm Fitness PT

Lifting weights: the benefits for women.

If you read my post from two weeks ago I was talking about how women are often very resistant to lifting weights, usually due to a fear of “getting big”. I hope I managed to remove that fear and so this week i’m going to talk about why us PT’s are so desperate to get you lifting and all the benefits it can offer. Oh and by the way when I say lifting weights were not talking about the little pink dumbbells you find in the stretching area that are barely challenging after a hundred reps, were going to be going heavier than that!!

1.Get the body you want. I’m not going to pin point any science for this one to prove my point, put simply these photos say it all. If your goal in the gym is an aesthetic one, which one do you prefer?

Jessica+EnnisImage


Guess which one does weights and which one does long duration cardio? If you compare 1lb of fat compared to muscle, the fat takes up 18% more space, therefore, you can lose inches and dress size sizes, but not gain the super skinny look.

2.Better hormone regulation. When you weight train, your body, amongst other things, produces more growth hormone, this hormone tells the body to burn body fat for energy something that jogging, pilates or yoga does not do. You also become more insulin sensitive again improving how you store body fat.

3.Burn more calories long term. If you keep your eye on the little calorie counter on the treadmill you’ve been bored on for the last 20 mins you’ll notice you’re racking up a great number on the calories burned. From the moment you stop running, that’s it, extra calorie expenditure stops and you go back to burning calories at the same rate as before you started. Weight training is different, the right programme can fire up your resting metabolic rate and keep you burning extra calories for the next 24 hours, 15% more in fact. Also muscle requires more calories to function, even at rest, so the more muscle you have the more calories you’ll be burning, again even when resting. For every 1 pound of extra muscle your body needs to burn an extra 50 calories per day. So putting these two points together means that, even while resting, you’ll be burning more calories without lifting a finger.

 4. Improve bone density. Women are more likely to develop a condition known as osteoporosis than men. This is a condition where the bones lose their density and become more brittle, the condition becomes more common as ladies become older, but can also be due to poor diet and lack of exercise. Strength training has been shown to improve bone density in those already suffering from osteoporosis and helping to prevent the onset of the condition. Some studies showed an increased bone density of 13% in six months , thanks to strength training.

5. Gain Strength. Who doesn’t want to be stronger, everyday life can be made so much easier. DIY, carrying the shopping, playing with the kids, improving your performance if you take part in other sports, lifting your own bodyweight out of a chair, out of bed or from the floor, are all benefits to being stronger. The final benefits become more and more important as we age, muscle degradation is part of aging and causes movement to become harder and harder and the simplest movement such as standing up from a chair can become a real struggle, that’s why strength training is important for anyone, no matter the age, something my 69 year old client, who has weight trained for 10 years will testify too.

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This entry was posted on February 17, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , .
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