Ladies I think the most beneficial way for you to ‘’shape up’’ is to lift weights, intelligently. Of course, this is only relevant if this goal is something you aspire to achieve but I am confident many of you want to, am I right? Before we get into it I understand and totally appreciate that jogging, calorie counting (in the literal sense) and endless sit ups are often the prescribed orders from the mainstream ‘’fitness’’ magazines. Obviously this world is full of contradictions and conflicting theories, and there is certainly more than one way to shed the fat. These are some thoughts of mine on the subject and ones which I admittedly have applied to some of my female clients with rather colossal results if I may say so myself.
Weights vs. Cardio
Cardio is often regarded as the ‘’best’’ way to exercise for cardiac health and fat loss. Let’s get the first point quickly out of the way first. The term ‘’cardio’’ refers to cardiovascular (heart and lungs) which suggests that weight training does not stimulate or improve the health of your cardiac system? From experience I would say this is pretty poor reasoning, show me a weight’s room and I will show you a workout which will make a 30 minute jog feel like a breeze on your lungs! In relation to fat loss, especially with ladies it is also about boosting the body’s ability to burn calories around the clock. Cardio, in large volumes will force a ‘’net’’ weight loss including a lot of your muscle. Muscle is metabolically active which means the more you have the fat you burn. This does NOT mean looking bulky, far from it – but toned. Weight training not only stimulates large calorie expenditure during a workout it promotes something known as ‘’post-workout oxygen deficit’’ which equates to elevated calorie usage for the following 24 hours. What’s more, it helps build muscle ‘’tone’’ leading to a firmer body and a higher calorie usage (BMR).
Firm vs. Soft
Above we touched on it, now let’s go further. Cardio in copious amounts leads to muscle wastage and in my experience more stubborn ‘’soft’’ areas. In contrast proper weight training helps develop firm toned muscle tissue which is far more appealing and closer to the desired result most women describe. From a man’s perspective (I am JUST about qualified to have this opinion now as I nudge 23!!) lifting weights don’t equate to mountains of muscle, I wish they did though. To add to that we have around 90% MORE testosterone than you, so don’t think hitting the weights a handful of times a week will lead to Ms Olympia dress bursting arms, it won’t – far from it.
Fun vs. Bored
Most will probably agree prolonged periods on the cross-trainer, treadmill or rower is quite boring – OK VERY boring. In contrast a good weight session can take as little as 30 minutes and what makes it better is that you are so engaged you end up running out of time, rather than wishing the time away. I am a huge believer that exercise programmes prescribed with heavy dosages of cardio is part of the reason so many become turned off by the thought of the gym.
Taking action is fairly simple, just 3 30 minute workouts a week, planned out correctly and you will be on your way to the best shape of your life. In the next part we will go over planning a workout, specifically for a female client with this level of commitment available. Just in case you think I am lying (why shouldn't you) or at least a little nuts, checkout this transformation of a female client (profile photo) - a previous cardio bunny turned weight's enthusiast.