How Weight Lifting for Women Can Be Beneficial
Weight lifting for women is not conceived as being a normal activity, but believe it or not it can be a very beneficial one. Consider the fact that most girls do not grow up as boys do, by being active in sports, and they are not built to have strong bodies anyway. But if they get involved in a lightweight weightlifting program, they can avoid a lot of common injuries.
Women in general have weak muscles for lifting, pushing and a lot of things they do anyway like lifting groceries, babies, and household things in general. If they can strengthen their muscles, particularly the back muscles, they can avoid many nagging injuries.
Another great benefit of women lifting weights, it that weightlifting helps to take off the flab. Studies have shown that as little as two light weight lifting sessions per week can take off up to 3 percentage points of overall body fat in a 10 week period. This will happen even if no calorie intake is reduced. This can equal to taking up to 3 inches off of the waist and hips.
In addition to that when muscle mass is increased, so is metabolism, which in turn, will increase the burning of fat, furthering more weight loss. Since muscle accounts to more than 33 percent of a woman’s overall weight, it has a very important effect upon her metabolism.
“Skeletal muscles account for about 40-50% of total body weight in a healthy adult … Since muscle burns more calories than fat, a smaller proportion of muscle on your body has implications for your overall weight and health, as well as a loss of overall strength, and increased disability.” – About.com
The ultimate effect is the metabolism factor, because muscle will always be metabolically active whereas fat is not active at all, it just sits there. Muscle will burn more calories, even when you are not exercising. If 10 pounds of fat is replaced with 10 pounds of muscle, from 25 to 50 extra calories a day will be burnt without any exercising at all.
It is important to lose the right kind of weight. A recent study compared women who did strictly cardiovascular exercises to women who lifted weights. Both groups ate the same number of calories and both lost the same amount of weight, around 26 pounds. The ladies who were doing the weight lifting weight loss was pure fat, while the women who were involved in the aerobics weigh loss involved 8 percent of their muscle mass. Research has also shown that lifting has a pronounced effect of helping to lose belly fat as opposed to cardio.
Weight training will probably not take pounds off as fast as diet and cardio exercise, but it will take inches off faster. Muscle is denser than fat, so as the fat melts you will see sizes disappear faster, while the muscle is staying relatively the same size and gaining strength. Fat will never gain strength, but we can make it disappear.
Be sure to fuel your weightlifting program by providing enough protein in your diet. Lean fish, chicken, eggs and other natural protein sources are optimal and plenty of vegetables are the key to success in this area.
The weigh training regimen should be gradual, starting off with lighter weights that are easily handled, then work your way up to heavier weights on a gradual and systematic basis. It is always a good idea to work with a personal trainer in order to have professional back up and advice along the way.