For most women, the weights room at the gym is a no go zone. We are of course curious about what’s going on in there amidst the testosterone fuelled grunting and chest puffing, but tend to take a fleeting glance inside and vow never to go in. However, according to Jean Ann Murnoch, from the fitness industry watch dog, lifting weights is vital when trying to decrease body fat and sculpt your body. And no, a 5kg dumbell isn’t going to cut it, you need to be lifting heavy and frequently to really see results.
Women shy away from weight lifting in the fear that they will bulk up, or suddenly sprout t-shirt straining biceps, yet increased muscle mass actually speeds up your metabolism. Trainer Katy Clarke explains how you can maximise your body’s fat burning potential by challenging your muscles with heavier weights. It is a myth that weight lifting will turn you into the incredible hulk – women do not have the testosterone levels to aid such muscle growth – so the only change you’ll see is a more defined and toned you. Cardio may help you shed the pounds, but it is weights that is going to carve your body, giving you a strong, tight physique which has become the sought after look.
Not only will weights help create that Victoria’s Secret model shape, it also has a positive effect on insulin resistance, meaning your body will convert carbs into energy more efficiently and increase your metabolic rate by up to 15%. I doubt much more persuasion is needed, so men better prepare themselves for an invasion of muscle flexing, squat rack hogging women!
We recommend incorporating weights into 90% of your workouts, if you can do more than 10 reps of each excercise you need to be lifting heavier, the last rep should be a struggle. Also, isolate a muscle group per workout, i.e. Back and shoulders, doing 4 to 5 different excercises and 3 to 5 sets of each. Remember, taking a mans approach to weights isnt going to turn you into one but will transform your body in ways no amount of cardio could ever do.