Women & weight loss – Muscle building for women
Women have it all wrong when it comes to weight loss. The average woman when she joins the gym looks at how many threadmills and steppers there are, and check out if any classes fit into her schedule. They spend hours on end on the cardio machines like a hamster in a habitrail! If you look at all the women on the threadmills you will notice that hardly any of the women have the body that most women want. Where did they get the idea that endless cardio would get them toned? Is it through the media? Social conditioning? Hear-say? Well, whatever it is, you have been brainwashed!
Heres what the usual weight loss program that a woman does:
– Endless hours and days of cardio and classes
– Avoids weights fearing that she may get big and bulky or uses dinky little weights to try tone up by doing countless number of reps.
– Go on a bunny diet and practically starve herself
– Focus on the weighing scale until it shows the number she wants it to say
What works on this plan? Nothing! Whats wrong with this plan? Everything!
She will lose weight that’s for sure, and may it well be a lot of weight, quickly, but it will be a mixture of muscle, water and fat. She will be a smaller version of herself but her metabolism would be severely disrupted and there nothing she can do to maintain her new weight. Inevitably she will eventually put all her weight back on and in many cases, even more weight than before. This is the cycle that most women have been through many times throughout their lifetime. Yet, when they want to lose weight, they will do it all again hoping that they’ll keep it off this time.
The woman with toned arms and defined legs looks that way because she has the very thing most women are terrified of, muscle. They are so afraid to lift weights in fear of bulking up that they never get their bodies to look the way they want them to. They have it deeply seeded in their subconscious that as soon as they touch anything over 10 pounds, they will sprout humungous muscles! Even if they do use weights, they probably still aren’t lifting heavy enough and pushing themselves hard enough to get the look they want. Most women don’t know what their bodies are capable of and tend to not push themselves hard enough. There was actually a research study done on this where they showed that women when left to train on their own, lifted loads below what they were capable of.
What women should be doing as a priority, is hitting the weight room and get on a full bodied strength training program 2-4 times per week. This will not only blast every muscle in your body but you’ll also get the cardio effect as a bonus without spending countless of boring hours on the threadmill or stepper! Stick with high weight and low reps, compound exercises with short rest periods, keeping the intensity high, to stimulate lean muscle growth and you’re on your way to getting the beach toned body you’ve always dreamed of!
Once your weight training is in order, additional cardio can then be added to burn off any additional calories and add some variety which may help in preventing muscular adaptation and progress plateus.
In contrary to what most women believe, the first and foremost aim for fat loss is to build lean muscle tissue. Muscle tissue is metabolically active which means that the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn at rest. It is estimated that for every pound of muscle you gain you burn an extra 50 calories a day, so your body burns bodyfat more readily. The more muscle you have, the more insulin receptor sites your body has. This makes your body more sensitive to insulin release. This prevents diabetes and makes you body more effective in controlling insulin release which is key in minimizing your body’s ability to convert excessive carbohydrate intake into fat storage. Basically, more of what you eat is less likely to be converted to fat, the more muscle you have! And the more muscle tissue you have, the easier it is to stay lean.
According to Charles Poliquin, the world renowed Strength coach, in his thirty years of experience as a strength coach, for every kilo of lean tissue gained, there was an equal loss of weight in body fat. In other words, the body composition changed dramatically. For example, a female executive with a 60 kg bodyweight with 20 % body fat has 12 kg of fat. If, in 10 weeks, she gains 4 kg of muscle mass and loses 4 kg of fat, her body fat will now be 13%. With these body composition changes, not only will she feel more empowered, but her body will look fantastic!
If you’ve not made much progress in your body transformation thus far or you’re new to this and about to take the plunge, I hope you’ve gained something out of this.
If you continue to do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten. Take a leap of faith, set yourself a new challenge and make that change!
See you all in the gym!
Stay Healthy & Strong,
Steven Wong – CPT, Pn1
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