Since publishing my Lean Gains Bodybuilding Programme at Christmas I have been inundated on social media by women severely questioning why I am so adamant they should lift weights, as prescribed in my book.
Sadly many women believe the only way to lose weight is to perform aerobic exercise [cardiovascular] So their preferred form of exercise is to take aerobics classes a number of times a week and/or jog.
Finally they notice whilst their bodies have become a little smaller, there are still a lot of flabby bits. Does this Sound familiar?
Please don't get me wrong. Aerobic exercise is important for good health, but it's only half of the jigsaw.
To achieve an optimal level of fitness with the desired lean body you desire, to put it bluntly, weight training is essential. If like so many other mistaken women you avoid lifting because you are terrified of becoming "bulky," then you're missing out on one of the best fat-burning methods around.
When you're weight training, you shouldn't rely exclusively on the scales to monitor your progress. Instead use a body fat tester or a tape measure to track how many inches you're losing, as well as our famous photograph approach.
The size of your body will shrink as you shed fat and build muscle, but your weight may not change as dramatically as you expect. Besides, as I have said so many times before, what's more important, the number on the weighing scales or just how good you look in your new jeans?
However f you're still sceptical about lifting weights, and then at the very least please carefully consider the following 10 reasons why you should reconsider your mistaken view.
1. Burn more fat. Researchers have conclusively found when overweight women lifted heavy weights twice a week, for a reasonably sustained period, they lost an average of 14.6 pounds of fat and gained 1.4 pounds of muscle.
When you undertake an intense weight-training program such as The Lean Gains Bodybuilding Programme your metabolism stays elevated and you continue to burn fat for several hours afterward.
Did you know that with regular cardio exercise, you stop burning fat shortly after the workout?
2. Change your body shape. You may think your genes determine the way you look. That's not necessarily true. Weight training can slim you down, create new curves and help avoid the "middle-age spread."
Were you aware for example that dropping only 3 percent of your body fat could translate into a total loss of 3 inches off your hips and thighs. And no, you won't bulk up--women don't have enough muscle-building hormones to gain a lot of mass like men do.
If you keep your diet clean and create a calorie deficit, you'll burn fat.
3. Boost your metabolism. The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism will be. As women age, they lose muscle at increasing rates, especially after the age of 40. When you die without doing resistance training, up to 25 percent of the weight loss may be muscle loss. Weight training while dieting can help you preserve and even rebuild muscle fibres. The more lean mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you'll burn all day long.
4. Get stronger and more confident. Lifting weights increases functional fitness, which makes everyday tasks such as carrying children, lifting grocery bags and picking up heavy suitcases much easier.
According to research, regular weight training can make you 50 percent stronger in only 6 months. Being strong is also empowering. Not only does it improve your physical activities, it builds emotional strength by boosting self-esteem and confidence.
5. Build strong bones. It's been well documented women need to do weight-bearing exercise to build and maintain bone mass as well as prevent osteoporosis. Just as muscles get stronger and bigger with use, so do bones when they're made to bear weight.
Stronger bones and increased muscle mass also lead to better flexibility and balance, which is especially important for women as they grow older.
6. Fight depression. You probably know cardio and low-impact exercises such as yoga, can help alleviate depression, Well weight lifting has exactly the same effect. The endorphins that are released during aerobic activities are also present during resistance training.
Many women find regular weight training, in conjunction with psychological treatment if the situation is not great, helps lessen their depression symptoms substantially.
7. Improve sports fitness. You don't have to be an athlete to enjoy the sports benefit of weight training. Improved muscle mass and strength will help you in all physical activities, whether it's bicycling with the family, swimming, golfing, or skiing...whatever sport you enjoy.
8. Reduce injuries and arthritis. Weight lifting improves joint stability and builds stronger ligaments and tendons. Training safely and with proper form can help decrease the likelihood of injuries in your daily life. It can also improve physical function in people with arthritis. A study conducted at the University of Wales in Bangor, United Kingdom, found that mildly disabled participants who lifted weights for 12 weeks increased the frequency and intensity at which they could work, with less pain and increased range of movement.
9. Get heart healthy. In the USA More than 480,000 women die from cardiovascular disease each year, making it the number-one killer of women over the age of 25. Most people don't realize that pumping iron can also keep your heart pumping. Lifting weights increases your "good" (HDL) cholesterol and decreases your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol. It also lowers your blood pressure.
Acknowledged medical research claims that people who do 30 minutes of weight lifting each week have a 23 percent reduced risk of developing heart disease compared to those who don't lift weights.
10. Defend against diabetes. Research has shown in addition to keeping your heart strong, weight training can improve the way your body processes sugar by as much as 23 percent.
So 16 weeks of strength training can improve glucose metabolism. Plus the more lean mass you have, the more efficient your body is at removing glucose from the blood.
James Haskell Health & Fitness helps you achieve a healthier and fitter lifestyle.
We do this delivering professional fitness and nutrition advice in a simple, clear and easy to understand format. In conjunction with the development of our own range of clean and certified sports supplements, this allows the individual to achieve the lifestyle balance, which is right for them.