Most women’s workout plan involves cardio, and…well, that’s it. They are afraid of lifting weights because of the fear of getting “big” like the Hulk. But, contrary to popular belief, weight training will not make you look masculine. In fact, it is the best form of exercise to help you get stronger and leaner while promoting a calorie burn that lasts hours after you put your dumbbells down.
Still not convinced? Well, here are 5 science-backed reasons why every woman should add weight training to their fitness plan:
1. Burns fat at a higher pace than cardio- The biggest advantage of lifting weight is that it burns fat pre-and-post-workout. Once you leave the gym after strength training, your body will continue to use more oxygen for hours, and sometimes days after the workout. This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). The more oxygen your body utilizes, the higher your rate of metabolism and the larger the number of calories you burn.
2. You won’t get bigger- The two main hormones that are needed to get bulky are testosterone and human growth hormone. Men and women both have these hormones, but testosterone is found in a much higher concentration in men than women. This is why they can put on bulk and women can’t. Women are biologically designed to not be able to build massive muscles like men. Instead, what you will be left with is lean and defined muscles.
3. You will get abs faster- Spot reducing doesn’t work, but your body is naturally prone to store fat in certain areas of the body, like stomach and thighs. Studies have shown that women who lift weights lose deep belly fat faster than those who stick with only cardio. Weight training helps you lose adipose cells from places that are more inclined to store them, helping you achieve a more toned midsection.
4. Makes your bones stronger- Lifting weights trains your bones too. For example, when you do a bicep curl, the movement of your arm triggers the bones to produce new bone cells. With consistent weight training, your bone mass will increase and it can even stimulate new bone growth, especially in post-menopausal women.
5. Increase your speed- If you like running, then you will love weight training because it will improve your speed. With new lean muscles, your core will get stronger and will be able to support your form better when you run or do other challenging workouts. Besides, your legs and arms will get powerful too, helping you boost your pace as you run down that track. Plus, your strong muscles from weight training, coupled with cardio from running, will help you achieve your weight goal faster.
Every woman wants a firm, toned body that makes them feel and look good all year-round. Lifting weights, combined with cardio, will get you there faster and more efficiently. Don’t let the false scare of getting bulkier keep you away from picking up those dumbbells any longer.