Not lifting weights? You should be.
In a day and age where, for women, being strong isn’t necessarily viewed as sexy, it’s not uncommon to enter a gym and see the majority of females confined to the cardio area while the men are hitting the weights.
Often women feel intimidated by the thought of looking ‘bulky’, so they stick to the treadmill. But in reality, the benefits of weight lifting far outweigh the benefits of cardio.
That doesn’t mean cardio isn’t a great way to work out, but it’s not going to build that toned body most females are looking for on its own.
Not convinced? Here are seven reasons why women should chose to pick up some iron.
Lifting weights shapes your curves.
Many women believe spending hours on moderate cardio is the way to getting curved and tone. Actually, the best way to bring out your curves is to strengthen them, which means building muscle.
Long bouts of low intensity cardio actually lowers your metabolic rate while losing muscle mass, Simply Shredded reports. Basically, you will have lowered your body weight but increased your body-fat percentage as your end result.
The more weight training you incorporate, the more shapely your body will be, and the fact that you will also be stronger will (or at least should) empower you.
It also increases your calorie expenditure.
Vigorous weight training actually boosts your metabolic rate throughout the day, which in turn makes you more efficient at burning body-fat when you’re not exercising.
The afterburn effect means increased metabolism after certain kinds of exercise, like resistance workouts.
Still prefer the treadmill? Lifting weights accelerates fat-loss when combined with cardio.
If you’re focusing solely on cardio for fat-loss, you’ll eventually reach a point where your results will stagnate. Basically, a cardio-only workout will lead to your metabolic rate dropping as your body adapts to the demand you put on it, according to Simply Shredded.
But when you introduce weight lifting into your cardio regimen, magical things happen. A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that concurrent training (combining weight and endurance training) greatly enhanced the metabolic effects of each type of training on their own. Essentially, you get more fat-loss from cardio when you combine it with weight training.
Weight training means a healthier waist circumference.
Did you know extra fat in the belly area means bad things for cardiovascular health? Weight training leads to a healthier waist circumference, which in turn leads to a healthier heart, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. It can also just help you tone your tummy if that’s more what you’re looking for.
It also improves your libido
If you’re familiar with the female body, you’ll know that estrogen is the primary sex hormone they produce. What you might not have known though is that women also produce small amounts of testosterone, which is the primary male sex hormone. As it turns out, boosting testosterone levels in females improves their sex drive – and weight training is one of the most effective ways to do that.
Don’t take this as you’ll grow a beard and start speaking in a deep voice, though. The slight elevation in testosterone levels that you can get through weight training will enhance your sex life and keep you happy. On the contrary, long-duration cardio may do just the opposite and decrease testosterone levels, Simply Shredded reports.
And get a better sleep
Women should aim for 6-8 hours of sleep a night, but many of us are getting much less than that. Studies have proven that lifting weights can greatly improve sleep quality and duration.
Have insomnia? Weight training provides a natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs in patients.
Lifting weights won’t make you bulky
It’s simply just not true. Reality is that females who train with weights just like their male counterparts, should. And no it won’t make you bulky – the female body isn’t made to get that way with weights alone. On the contrary, those who want a bit of bulk can attain it – but it takes a strict diet, a lot of protein and a whole lot more heavy weight lifting to get there.
To sum it all up, you’ll just have smoother curves and a toned body. And that’s not so bad, is it?