Strong is the new skinny
- that’s great! Increasing numbers of women are braving the free weights and weight-training apparatus at the gym, even though most of them could only be found in the cardio section just a couple of years ago.
There used to be an unfounded fear of getting bored or gaining too much muscle
or weight, so women often stayed away from weight training. However, a highly effective and concentrated workout should never be boring - if you find yourself chatting on the phone or surfing the net while on the treadmill, you should ask yourself if your training is intensive enough.
The fear of fast muscle growth is also unfounded. Men, who have considerably higher testosterone levels than women, find it quite a challenge to gain muscle
- so just imagine how hard it is for a woman! Even if you do find that you gain “too much” muscle too quickly, this can be easily fixed by reducing the intensity of your training for the relevant muscle groups.
You can’t have firm arms and legs and a more defined back
, which improves posture, relieves back pain and emphasises the breasts, without working for it. Grab those dumbbells, ladies!
Regular weight lifting tightens the muscle fibres
and, with time, melts away fat. Apart from that, unlike cardio training, weightlifting brings with it the benefit of “afterburn”. This means that you don’t just burn calories while you work out but continue to burn them for hours after you’ve finished training. Muscles convert energy, so your metabolic rate also increases with weight training - in other words, you can consume more calories without putting weight. Cardio training, on the other hand, can even lead to the loss of muscle mass. Endurance training combined with a strict diet reduces the metabolic rate of the body and accustoms it to consuming fewer calories.
However, this doesn’t mean that endurance training is in any way bad for you. If practised in combination with weight training (either before or throughout, in the form of short bursts), as well as on 1-2 other separate days per week, endurance training is a perfect way to balance your fitness regime
and can help you burn fat
. Apart from the workout itself, it’s important to give your body enough time to recover
from training and nourish it in a balanced way. Women, like men, have a higher need of protein when they work out. A little bit of careful planning and analysis will be enough to cover your needs.
If what you need is more motivation
, it can help to wear a cool sports outfit in which you feel comfortable. Check out our new arrivals
from top-class brands like ASICS
or Under Armour
. Enjoy your workout!