Weight training won’t make you bulk like the hulk if done correctly!
Many women steer clear of weights and anything related, from fear of looking like a bodybuilder. In reality, weight training is necessary for a tight and defined body.
Cardiovascular exercises get your heart pumping and help in losing calories.
Cardiovascular exercises, or cardio for short, are great to lower your blood pressure and burn calories which helps in weight loss. Most common forms of cardio include: treadmill, elliptical, dance, and aerobic sessions. As you do your cardio routine you feel your heartbeat raise, you get sweaty and sometimes notice a change in breathing. Your heart is a very important muscle, and when it beats faster from physical activity it means it’s getting stronger. When your heart rate increases, your heart works harder in distributing blood flow throughout your body, as compared to when it’s at a resting rate. During your workout you lose calories which helps your metabolism, and can be measured by a pedometer or a system programmed on most exercise machines. If you want to lose weight and tone your shape, you have to combine a mix of cardio and weight training.
Weight training is also great for a strong heart.
You might notice that your heartbeat isn’t as elevated as compared to a cardio workout, but when each move is done correctly it adds great benefits not only to your heart but overall body. Weight lifting is about control and accuracy, not speed. There are various moves which work different muscle groups, and if they are done incorrectly it won’t benefit you and you might end up with a sprained muscle. During a weight session, you are burning calories. After you finish your weight session and are out of the gym or on to your next activity, your body is still burning calories at a resting heart rate. Weight training increases your resting metabolic rate, which makes it possible for you to burn calories post-workout. When you do a weight routine, your muscles are pretty much being torn in order to add strength and mass. That’s why it’s recommended to take a day off in order for your muscles to recuperate. It’s also necessary to eat a meal rich in protein half an hour to an hour after your workout.
How do you lift weights?
When you lift weights it doesn’t mean you have to go and pick up the heaviest set of weights you can carry, and do as many repetitions until you feel sore and can hardly breathe. If you’re starting out it’s recommended to use a a 5-10lb weight, depending on your fitness level. Keep good posture when lifting and remember to push up through your legs when doing leg exercises to avoid back injury. Don’t stiffen your body, keep it relaxed and tighten your muscles as you work out. You shouldn’t feel discomfort or soreness when lifting, except in your last few repetitions per set. Short breaks are commonly taken between sets, but you can also keep your heart rate going by doing squats or jumping rope in place.
What’s the difference between sets and reps?
Sets and reps are commonly used terms in weight lifting. A set is pretty much used to describe how many times you will do a style of an exercise such as; three sets of dead lifts or five sets of tricep curls. A repetition, or rep for short, is how many times you will repeat that exercise within a set. In example: you will do three sets of dead lifts with ten repetitions. So you’re pretty much going to grab your weights, do a set of dead lifts ten times, take a break and repeat a total of three times. Sets and reps are used to avoid rushing through an exercise and in order to correctly do a workout which will be of better benefit to your body.
Best weight training for women
Most women are looking for a weight training workout which will tighten up and define their muscles. In order to tone, it’s recommended to break down a routine by doing 5 sets with 8-10 reps with minimal weight. As you progress, you can add more weight. The gym isn’t necessarily the best place for this workout, since all you really need is a pair of dumbbells, a hard floor or workout mat, and a workout routine. Routines are easy to find through magazines, workout DVDs, and the internet. Proper form is probably the hardest part to achieve, but by keeping good posture and not exceeding your own limits it can be learned. So there’s truly no excuse to not give weight training a chance. It’s also recommended to always get the go ahead from your physician before taking on any new physical activity, especially since some strain is put on your joints when doing certain moves. Proper nutrition and water intake are also needed for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.
Weights just aren’t for me…
No big deal. Not everybody is a fan of weight lifting, but there are other forms of exercise which use your own body weight to define your muscles. Pilates, yoga, and swimming are a few great options to lose weight and tone up your body at the same time. These types of exercises combine cardio and use your body to create a strong, leaner appearance. Kick boxing can also be done, as well as working out to my favorite fitness guru, Jillian Michaels. Her workouts combine pilates, yoga, and weights to give you maximum results.
Got any questions or tips you’d like to share about workouts for women? Comment below!