Should women lift weights?
That's the million dollar question, and one that even women are divided about. Some women swear by weightlifting, while others blanch at the idea of looking like Lisa Auckland or Irene Andersen. So, what's the answer?
Weight Loss for Women
If you want to lose weight, get in shape, and feel great, weight lifting is absolutely something you should do. Why?
1. It boosts your metabolism -- Lifting weights increases the number of calories your body burns every day, so you'll lose more weight even on your rest days.
2. It burns fat -- Without weightlifting, you would never properly burn fat. Aerobic exercise is good for fat burning, but only to a certain extent. Eventually, your body will start eating away at muscle tissue when you do only aerobic exercise, and you won't lose much fat weight. If you want to burn fat, you have to throw some weight lifting into the mix.
3. It burns calories -- Want an excuse to eat another slice of pizza or a tasty treat? "I need it as workout fuel" is a great excuse for lifters. I know women that can eat extra "forbidden foods" one day a week simply because they are loading up for an intense bodybuilding session the next day. Heavy lifting burns a whole lot of calories.
The truth is that lifting weights is the key to healthy, effective weight loss. If you spend all day in spin class, doing Zumba, practicing yoga, or running on the treadmill, you'll see some weight loss. Only if you add weights in will you really burn fat and tone your muscles.
The Best Weightlifting Exercises for Women:
Chest: Bench Press, Decline Bench Press, Incline Bench Press
Back: Bent Over Barbell Row, Hyperextensions, Lat Pulldown
Delts: Arnold Press, Dumbbell Lateral Raises
Biceps: Barbell Curls, One-Arm Preacher Curls, Hammer Curls
Triceps: Kickbacks, Overhead Extensions, Dips
Core: Jackknifes, Crunches, Superman/Banana, Plank Hold
Quads: Walking Lunges, Barbell Squat
Hams: Lying Leg Curls, Seated Leg Curls
Calves: Standing Calf Raises, Donkey Calf Raises
The Muscle Conundrum
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not recommending that you become the next heavy-lifting champion of the world--or even of your city. Women that spend too much time lifting weights will end up with overly-muscled bodies.
If you do too much weightlifting, you'll lose your shape--so it's important to find a balance. A perfect workout for women will be:
30 minutes of moderate steady-state aerobics, or 15 minutes of high intensity aerobics--think jogging, cycling, spinning, dancing, sprinting, or martial arts.
30 minutes of high-intensity, high-repetition, low-weight lifting or 20 minutes of low repetition, high-weight lifting. Go for exercises that use as many muscle groups as possible (push-ups, bench presses, cable pull-downs, etc.)
The combination of aerobics and weight-lifting will be the perfect way to burn fat and tone up your muscles. Within a few short weeks, you'll be amazed at how great you look.
THE 4 SUMMER EXERCISES YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO MISS
Andy Peloquin had battled with weight loss issues his whole life. To overcome this, he began studying fitness and is now in the process of becoming a certified professional fitness trainer. He exercise seven days a week and is excited to share his down-to-earth knowledge of exercise and fitness.