Strength Training For Women – Train To Look Toned, Not Thin
I am writing this article since I have seen women doing hours of cardio and attending 6 days yoga sessions in gym just to be thin.
It’s not entirely a women fault because they are often torn between what they read on some fitness magazine, or some insane aerobic queen’s blog, or listen to what their unqualified friend or trainer says, and society’s conflicting expectations of what a real woman should actually look like.
There is no wonder they can’t decide between lifting weights, doing aerobics until they’re thin, or practicing so much yoga that their seven angry chakras pack up their things and go to hell.
Women sometimes develop a body that’s “skinny fat,” a cruel, paradoxical condition where they appear thin in clothes, but have a higher body fat percentage than they did before they started to exercise because they lost muscle instead of body fat.
As I myself being a certified fitness trainer believe that most of the women who goes to the gym to build a nice toned physique which consists of curves but instead of that they want to achieve a thin physique and ultimately look very weak.
The truth is you can’t achieve those curvy shaped body without strength training.
Now, when it comes to strength training the most important thing which comes to the mind of beginner women gym goers is “Lifting weight will make me look like a female bodybuilder”
Hold on to that thought for a minute while we explain a little bit more!
Body achieved by the female bodybuilders are direct result of years of special training for bodybuilding, eating like a barbarian and steroids (bodybuilding drugs). It’s not like that you start lifting weight and one fine morning you wake up and see yourself in mirror and find yourself muscular just like your favorite female bodybuilder!
Another very famous quote women tend to use as a reason to avoid lifting weight is “I just want a toned physique, I don’t want to look bulky”.
Weight lifting is not going to make you look bulky, having too much body fat makes you look bulky. Look at the image below, currently she has a nice toned physique, what if she gains 10 kg fat? she is going to look bulky.
Still if you are unable to make your mind for lifting weight, one point you must remember is “you gain muscle gradually, there will always be plenty of time to apply the brakes if you feel you’re becoming too muscular”
Now the point comes what will be the ideal training program for a female to achieve a toned physique.
It’s quite simple,
- Do strength training 3-4 times a week.
- Incorporate 2 low intensity cardio session of 30-45 mins in your workout plan per week.
- Don’t go in a huge caloric deficit.
Some Amazing Benefits of Lifting Weight is Mentioned Below
- Burning More Calories: In spite of the fact that cardio consumes a larger number of calories than quality preparing during your 30-minute perspiration session, lifting weights consumes increasingly more generally speaking. Everything returns to building muscle. When you are done lifting weights, your body continues to burn calories due to its need for muscle recovery. This is called EPOC, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. So even when you are no longer in the gym working out, your body is still burning calories for you. EPOC does not happen with non-resistance training. So, by lifting weights to add more muscle mass, you’ll boost your metabolism and turn your body into a more efficient fat-burning machine.
- Tone Up The Body: Lifting weights can help you get a toned and sleek body not ripped and by “toned,” I mean building lean muscle mass. Females become leaner and curvier, which often leads to an increase in body image and self-confidence. When you combine the cardio and strength training and build muscle mass, no matter what your body shape is, you will look fit and fabulous.
- Quality Sleep: Morning resistance training or high intensity training greatly affects the sleep and while you sleep, your muscles will rebuild and rejuvenate themselves.
- Lower The Risk of Heart Disease: Endurance and strength training will increase the muscle health. “The heart then recirculates this oxygenated blood back to the muscles, which keeps the cardiovascular system in better working order.”. It improves the heart muscle strength and heart rate variability (HRV).
- Bone Health: As you age, you are at risk of losing both bone and muscle mass. Postmenopausal women are at a greater risk for osteoporosis because the body no longer secretes estrogen. Resistance training is an excellent way to combat loss of bone mass, and it decreases the risk of osteoporosis. Weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density (and enhance bone modeling).
- Lesser Diabetic Risk: Diabetes is one of the common issue among all regardless what age group they belong to. A research showed the people who included strength training in their workout routine showed greater glucose tolerance, increased insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, and improved lipid profile.
- Happier and Less Stressed: Strength exercise reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, potentially relieving feelings of anxiety and agitation. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident.
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