How effective is strength training for weight loss for women? Is strength training a weight loss strategy you should incorporate into your regimen? Read on to find out.
Losing weight is a goal that many women have, and getting to that healthy weight is something that many exercise programs are geared towards.
There are a variety of options when it comes to working out, and some are more effective than others.
Spinning and Spinning and Feel like You’re Getting Nowhere?
Many women will gravitate towards the cardio machines, spending hours on the treadmill or elliptical, or taking spin classes several times a week.
While it’s true that these kinds of activities burn more calories than sitting on the couch, they’re not the most effective way to shed excess body fat.
Constant cardio types of exercise burn calories while you do them, but don’t significantly increase the amount of calories you burn at rest.
It’s also very easy for your body to adapt to constant cardio. This means that your body becomes more efficient at using available fuel sources.
Put another way, your body uses LESS energy (from food and stored fat) to do the SAME amount of work. So you have to spin longer and harder to get the same calorie burn.
Shift Your Approach
To get the biggest bang for your workout buck, a better strategy is to head to the weights and resistance bands.
Being a woman, you don’t have anywhere near enough testosterone to get the bulk that bodybuilding men get when they throw weights around.
You also won’t look like one of the super muscular women who have arms as big as your legs. That kind of figure takes some very specific workout and meal planning.
Instead, the benefits you’ll get are more shapely curves, more toned and firm muscles, and a greater overall reduction in bodyfat.
You’ll also have more time to do other things you enjoy, since strength training takes less time out of your day.
So How Exactly is Strength Training an Effective Weight Loss Strategy?
Firmed and toned muscles have a much greater “afterburn” than cardio activities.
This means that even at rest, your body will burn more calories after a strength training session than after a cardio session.
Aside from your brain, your muscles have the greatest energy demands in your body. So when they are stressed from working out, they will eat up more energy in the form of glucose from your food and fat stored in your cells. (They also need protein to repair themselves, so make sure you get plenty of protein in your diet.)
Strength training isn’t an activity that your body can easily adapt to, either. Using weights, resistance bands, and even bodyweight exercises remains an efficient activity.
In other words, you will continue to burn the same amount of calories, or more, when doing the same exercises.
And, if you get tired of your workout routine, there are many variations that you can do, from isolating muscle groups on certain days, to using complex full body moves.
Losing the Weight is Just the Beginning
Keeping your muscles strong, as opposed to just doing cardio, will help you keep your body in better shape for a longer time.
Strength training promotes a better balance of hormones, and even has an anti-aging effect because of how effective it is at reducing stress.
You’ll also have a far easier time of keeping weight off, so you won’t have to face the re-gain that many people experience.
And since there are so many different workouts to try, you won’t get bored easily. There are also some great strength training dvds for women out there you can use to spice up your workouts.
Keeping exercise interesting will help you stick with your plans to lose weight.