The one type of exercise I encourage women to include in their weekly workouts is resistance training.
The number one complaint I hear from my clients is, “I don’t want to get big & bulky.” This is the excuse women use to keep from lifting weights or including any kind “resistance training” in their workouts. I promise, women don’t have enough testosterone to get big & bulky just from including resistance training.
But if you want to change the way you look, especially in clothes, you should include some form of resistance training in a weekly regimen.
What is Resistance Training?
Let’s touch on what I’m talking about exactly.
When I say you need to include resistance training in your workout regimen, I mean your body needs to work against some kind of force. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean lifting weights, but I do encourage weights to be introduced at some point and included weekly.
Resistance training can also include body weight exercises. These are always fantastic exercises to perform. Body weight exercises include things pushups, plank variations, lunges & squats. Plus, bodyweight exercises are great for beginners!
Other types of resistance training can include things like using resistance bands, a suspension trainer (like the TRX) and yes, (the one a lot of women avoid) weights. When I mention weights, don’t be scared because I promise you, they’re your friend! Weights don’t necessarily mean heavily loaded barbells. You can use lighter equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells or even weighted exercise balls. If you don’t have any of those, use water filled gallon jugs!
Now that you have an idea of what I’m talking about, let’s move on to why it’s the #1 exercise I recommend.
1. Resistance Training & Weight Loss
The first thing is this wonderful exercise is great for weight loss. I am even going to say it’s the most overlooked tool women can use to reach their weight loss goals.
When you build muscle, it helps you sculpt the lean body you desire. I recently asked my Facebook group “Which weighs more? One pound of muscle or one pound of fat?” Most people answered muscle, but they both weigh one pound. However, muscle is more dense than fat. This means muscle takes up less space, even if it weighs the same.
So, if you want your body to have a lean appearance (not just lose weight and end up flabby) then you need to include resistance training. Your clothes will begin to fit differently too, which is what most women say they desire.
Plus, in case you didn’t know, muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. So, when you’re lounging or sleeping, the more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you burn.
2. Resistance Training & Bone Health
The second reason my favorite exercise is king (or “queen” in this case) is that it helps with bone density. As women, it’s super important to make sure our bones stay strong, and resistance training is a tool you can use to achieve this.
For your bones to stay strong you need to put your bone tissues under a “mechanical load” that’s greater than what you achieve with everyday activities. You’re probably smart enough to figure out I’m going to tell you to work weights in your workouts so your bones will benefit. Yes, even aerobic activities like running, jumping, or skipping benefit your bones because they are a weight-bearing activity.
Bone health isn’t the only thing that improves though. You also improve your muscle mass, strength, and balance, and all of this helps decrease your risk factors of osteoporosis. How awesome is that?!
3. Resistance Training & Strength
Since I’ve mentioned strength, let’s chat about a 3rd benefit. Strength!
In case you don’t know, it feels good to be strong. I know there are things guys will always be able to do that women can’t, simply because guys are naturally stronger than women, but you can still gain lots of strength. To be able to move your furniture, carry a 5-gallon water jug into your house, carry a 48 lb suitcase up many flights of stairs because the escalators are broken, etc without help will make you feel like superwoman! Promise!
If those kind of things don’t matter to you, maybe this will. The stronger you are now, the less likely you are to need help in the future. You should want to be able to live an independent life as long as possible (aka not have to live in a nursing home), and keeping your body strong makes that possible.
4. Resistance Training & Stress
For some, this last reason almost becomes addictive, but in a good way. When you include resistance training, your body releases endorphins & you can get an exercise “high” you may have heard others talk about. You also help your body naturally reduce stress and possibly improve anxiety.
To see the benefits of stress reduction, studies show the most benefit when the participants include resistance training at least 3 days per week. With anxiety, even single bouts of resistance training may show moderate improvements in anxiety.
The number one exercise I recommend for everyone is some form of resistance training because your body benefits in so many ways. A few ways your body benefits: 1) Weight loss will speed up; 2) Improve your bone density 3) Increase Strength 4)Naturally relieve stress and anxiety.
If you haven’t thought about including resistance training in your workouts, I highly recommend you start. You (and your body) will be glad you did, especially in the years to come!
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