Thursday, March 4, 2010

Weight training: cardio's best friend

It's not uncommon to hear that women are against the weight. You know, the whole "I don't want to look like Arnold" kind of excuse. Believe it or not, without some sort of weight training incorporated into your exercise routine, you're only going halfway!

Women are, first and foremost, not equipped with the same type of bulking ability as men (without juicing, anyway). This is the same reason for those SlimQuick commercials, where the couple makes the same change to their diet, but the man is the only one to see any results -- men got the muscle! While weighing more because of its higher density than fat, muscle burns more calories more often, leaving you with a sleek, toned (not shiny!) body. This also means that you should be wary of the numbers on the scale; this higher density also means more weight, so pay more attention to the way your skinny jeans fit than how many pounds you've seem to have "loaded" on. Keep in mind that weight training burns more calories than cardio not only during your workout, but that burn keeps working post-workout, too!

The best way to start pumping iron is to begin with low reps (10-12) three times a week. Choose a weight that is just heavy enough that your last rep also causes you to sacrifice your form. Women's Health cites that this can help you lose 3% body fat in ten weeks...and this is without changing your diet!

Give it a shot! Try integrating some hand weights into your usual yoga sesh or hold onto a weighted exercise ball during your morning 8-Minute Abs (the products from Savasa's line come in pretty feminine colors, too...and for cheap!). The free weights at your gym are always up for grabs, too! No need to feel intimidated, I'm pretty sure there's no sign around calling the weights "for men only." Maybe the boys' club will even lend you a few tips. ;)

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