Everyday we talk to women about training. 99% all say the same things “I want to tone up and lose weight” This is then normally followed by the lady in question grabbing her stomach or backs of arms to make this point clear! My answer is always quite simply to train with weights. But despite showing them clients who have achieved the results they are looking for and describing why this form of training works we still get the same response “But wont weight training make me more muscly”

Now the facts are that women have around 10% of the testosterone levels that men do. Testosterone is the primary muscle building hormone, so just purely in that respect women are going to find it difficult to build significant muscle mass.

As covered in another article (click here) in order to build muscle we need to firstly create a stimulus through strength training (lifting weights) and then provide the damaged muscle with adequate protein to aid repair and subsequent growth. The amount of food and training required to do this requires a lot of time and dedication. You cant just pick up a dumbbell twice a week, drink a protein shake and build huge muscles!

The other benefit of strength training that we experience from our new female clients is posture. Over time it has become a common misconception that in order to lose body fat we need to do hours of cardio or crazy insanity type gym classes. Whenever we asses a client who has been doing this type of training they often have poor flexibility in their thighs and hips a tilt of their pelvis to the front, glute muscles that aren’t firing correctly, complaints of lower back pain and rounded shoulders. These are all issues directly or indirectly as a result of too much cardio. More cardio is not going to solve these issues, only though strength training can we fix these issues.

So what are the main benefits to strength training?

  1. Stronger bones and connective tissue – lifting weights is load bearing exercise which helps strengthen your bones. Maintaining strong and healthy bones lowers your risk of osteoporosis.
  2. Lifting weights increases EPOC (Excessive post exercise oxygen consumption) – Your body always likes to return to a state of natural balance after anything that it does, this is called homeostasis. When you lift weights your body has to work very hard to bring you back to balance. This extra energy required burns calories for many more hours after your session.
  3. Your metabolic rate will increase – For every pound of lean muscle mass you gain you burn an extra 50 calories per day.
  4. Decrease your risk of injury – lifting weights helps you develop stronger tendons, this gives your joints more support and stability through daily task.
  5. Boost stamina and energy levels – when you are stronger you have more energy for day to day tasks and you don’t get anywhere near as tired.
  6. Increase your self confidence – We’re yet to come across a woman who hasn’t felt 100% better in herself from uncovering the body of her dreams. The benefits of increased self confidence carries over into your relationships not just the ones with your friends but also with your loved ones.
  7. You have so much more variation available to you if you lift – You can change to countless exercises for different muscle groups, change the reps, sets, tempo and rest. If you just do cardio you only have that one bit of kit to use and you cover the same distance time after time without seeing improvements.
  8. Anti-aging – You lose muscle and strength as you age, however if you strength train you will develop and retain your strength and muscle mass helping to maintain your youthful shape.
  9. Reduction in body fat levels – This goes hand in hand with having more lean muscle mass and speeding your metabolic rate up. Lowering body fat reduces the amount of toxins in your body which improves the quality and elasticity of your skin.
  10. When women lifts weights regularly say that they feel empowered, stronger and so much happier. They feel amazing and have a completely different perspective on life.

The difference in women that change their body shape through strength training over weight loss and hours doing conventional cardio is night and day.

Want to know more or need help? Click here to learn more about our personal training programmes and find out how HUSTLE. can help you!

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