Is weight training really the best method for women who want to lose weight?
Well, there’s no arguing that resistance training has been beneficial to men for a long time now, as it is well known to be a favorite past-time for getting fit.
Whether it’s bulking up and getting strong or training down for that chiseled and cut look, men have always used weight training as a regular part of their program for health and fitness.
But the trend seems to have taken a different direction in this modern era of health and wellness.
Resistance training methods have recently grown in popularity with weight loss enthusiasts everywhere and in turn, different methods of weight training are now becoming extremely popular with women.
But is weight training the best choice for women who want to lose weight?
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how weight training can benefit a woman for the best possible weight loss results and cover some tips on getting started with a program.
Why Are Women Getting Hooked on Lifting?
The recent up-trend is likely due to the fact that women are now realizing that resistance training can provide so many benefits, especially to those who want to shed belly fat and tone up.
While it is true that men and women do not have the same body composition, people now recognize that it doesn’t mean that women are not capable of a weight training program.
Just look at the training routines of the top NPC bikini and fitness competitors in both the professional and local amateur ranks.
All of these women use some form of weight training in their contest prep routines to help them get that lean and sexy stage ready physique, complete with rock solid abs.
Training like this is pretty much essential for anyone, since it provides so many benefits to your health and well being.
What Can Weight Training do for You?
Although high intensity fat burning workouts with weights can be one of the best ways to help you lose weight, it can also benefit you in so many different ways, helping to improve your overall health, fitness and conditioning.
Here are just a few of the different benefits that resistance training can provide you with.
- Help to burn more calories in a workout
- Help to lose fat and keep it off
- Helps to prevent bone loss (1)
- Help increase your energy levels and improve your mood
- Provide increases in both strength and stamina
- Help you to keep your body in an overall healthy state
And in addition to all of these great benefits, pumping iron can also allows you to build muscle for a sexy and chiseled physique.
Can Lifting Keep Your Body Looking Young?
As women get older, as with men, they will start to see limitations to their physical abilities such as muscular strength and endurance.
You may start to notice a difference in the regular activities that you perform such as carrying bags of groceries or regular household maintenance.
Regular aging can also post risks such as injury from the loss of bone mass, especially in women.
To counter this, resistance training is one of the best weapons to have in your corner. If you can continue to improve your muscular strength and endurance, the likelihood of having an injury is reduced and you can easily carry out your daily activities with ease.
Weight training has also been shown to help prevent bone loss in women and in some cases may even help to increase bone density (2).
Is Resistance Training Right for You?
Should you jump right into a training program that consists of lifting weights if you want to lose weight?
If you don’t have any previous exercise experience whatsoever, it may not be a great idea to start right out with a high intensity weight training program.
The key is to start off slow with a lower intensity program and work your way up in order to acclimate your body to the rigorous training and help you to avoid any type of injury.
This applies when you are more than a bit overweight and suggests that you may need to lose an initial amount of weight first.
Jump starting your weight loss beforehand can help to keep you from injuring yourself due to the fact that your body is out of condition.
In this case, you could start out with doing strictly aerobic exercises such as an outdoor walking program or an indoor program that consists of training on an elliptical, Stairmaster or other type of cardio equipment.
It would also benefit you to start an intense stretching routine in order to prime your muscles for the upcoming training cycle ahead.
A regular stretching program can also help to improve your flexibility, which will help you to master your exercise form a lot quicker (more on this in the next section).
Once you have dropped some weight and are acclimated with performing some type of regular exercises on a daily basis, your body will be ready for a higher intensity routing that consists of weight training.
5 Tips for Getting Started
Here are 5 tips that can help you tremendously if you are just starting out on your fat loss journey through weight training.
1. Remember to Warm Up Properly
It is necessary to do some light stretching in order to warm your muscles up and prepare your body for the more strenuous exercises that you are about to do.
Stretching helps your body to become more loose and flexible, which allows you to perform all of the exercises in your routine without any type of discomfort from being too tight.
It also allows you to perform certain exercises more effectively with a better range of motion.
Besides helping you to be loose and limber, stretching out will help minimize your risk of sustaining any type of injury and helps to prevent muscle strains as well.
Stretching can also be beneficial because it can help to minimize the amount of soreness that you experience after your workout.
For the prevention of muscle soreness, you can take the time to stretch after your workout in order to help remove some of the lactic acid out of your muscles.
2. Follow Specific Exercise Order
When starting out with resistance training, you will need to pay close attention to the order of the exercises in your routine.
Make sure that you are working your large muscle groups first, such as your back or your chest before working the smaller groups like biceps and triceps.
If you are performing all of your muscle groups in one routine then you will want to train your legs before your upper body.
3. Try Isolation for Maximum Toning
One of the great ways that you can get the quickest results is to target certain muscles with isolation training.
For example, to target the muscles in your butt you would do exercises that directly target these muscles. In this case scenario, you could do high repetition free-bar squats, walking lunges or high box step-ups.
The same can be applied if you want to target the muscles on your front thighs. You could use the leg press machine with a close stance or perform strict reps on the leg extension machine for pure isolation.
4. Remember to Balance Your Training
It is important the training program that you follow is well-balanced. This means that you should not neglect any body parts for any reason.
Some people get into the habit of training only those muscles that they like to train and fail to take care of the rest of their physique. But this attitude can be detrimental to your weight loss success and your physique.
Having opposing muscle groups that are unbalanced in strength can result in injury (3) and that is something that you definitely don’t want.
For example, if you like to train your triceps to tighten up the backs of your arms and get rid of your wings, you also need to do make sure that you train your biceps as well.
And if you like to work-out your chest, you also have to take the time and work-out your back as well to balance out your upper body strength.
5. Avoid Over-Training At All Costs
Although resistance training routines can be so fun that they get addictive, too much of a good thing can be counter-productive.
That’s why, unlike cardiovascular training which you can do almost every day without interruption, it’s necessary to take rest days a few times per week.
Weight training breaks down your muscle tissue, which then needs to be repaired. The reparation process happens when you are resting, which is why it is so important to take time off between sessions periodically.
But the good news is that after your body has fully recovered, you will see a noticeable difference in how energized and motivated you are.
You may find that you have a better mood and are in great spirits. And of course, you feel a lot stronger too.
Weight Training Wrap Up
If you are inexperienced at weight training but would like to start out on a regular program for weight loss, it is recommended to consult with a professional trainer at your local health club or exercise facility.
Having a trainer can save you a lot of time spent on ineffective routines and can help you to get the results that you are after much faster.
All in all, follow these weight training tips to help you start losing weight and improving your overall health and fitness.