There is a mystery surrounding weight training in women’s fitness routines. Majority believes that weight training is a taboo, that it is only meant for men and specifically men who train for competitions and for sport. In the vast majority of women, weight training is also perceived to make you “bigger” instead of smaller so they tend to stay away.
This of course is all a result of being un-informed and not understanding how the body works. The reality is, muscle burns much more fat during rest than not having muscle. During activity, you burn even more calories as more muscle needs more energy. You become a calorie furnace in a sense once you start gaining lean muscle.
Apart from all of the above, there is nothing more beautiful than a toned healthy body. You feel more confident, you look great and you feel good from inside.
Here are a few tips to get you going:
If you intend on starting an exercise program incorporating weights you need to plan. Decide on the exercises you are going to do and stick to the program. The last thing you want to do is “daddle” around the gym trying to decide what you are going to do next. This will cause you not to complete the workout properly and eventually loose vigour.
If you have decided on which exercises to do, its then time to find out how to do the exercises correctly. There are plenty of Youtube “how to” videos for basically everything. You can also download step by step guides from most training websites.
Quality over Quantity
Learn how to execute exercises correctly and take it through the proper R.O.M (range of motion) there is no point spending hours at the gym if you are not executing properly. Try doing less repetitions and execute properly. Slowly but surely increase the reps and weights as your body grows stronger.
Muscle weighs more than fat
If you are starting a weight training program you might find that your weight increases instead of losing, or your weight might plateau. This is happening because muscle weighs more than fat and if your fat is being burned and replaced by muscle you might be getting leaner but it is not showing on the scale. For this reason I advise ditching the scale and rather look at how your clothes feel on you and your overall appearance.
Feed your body
When you do muscle training you need protein to heal the muscles and assist with recovery. Ensure you eat sufficient amounts of protein after your workout and during the day. A Balanced diet is key to sustaining a healthy active body and your body will need to be fed sufficiently.
As you can imagine, when you start weight training the transformation will take its toll on your body. You will need to rest sufficiently to allow your body to recover and to repair itself. Every time you do weight training your muscles tear microscopically and then repair themselves to become more and stronger. All of the repairing needs loads of building material (protein) and rest. Try and aim for 8 hours of sleep.
Lastly I would just like to say that the benefits of weight training does not take very long. As soon as you start learning and transforming its likely that you will never go back to “run of the mill” so to say. They key is to stay focussed on your goal but also to enjoy what you are doing and as you are doing it. Forget about the people around you, being judged if you are not doing the exercises right, and criticizing yourself. The journey to a better body is life-enriching and an ongoing journey and you should embrace it as such. Most importantly, have fun!