Circuit training, Pilates, yoga, and Zumba are all great calorie-burning activities, but when it comes to sculpting and toning your body, training with heavy weights will help you achieve incredible results in a very short period of time. Many women mistakenly believe that lifting heavy weights will make them look bulky. The truth is that training with heavy weights can actually sculpt your body faster and more effectively than cardio and light resistance workouts.
Here are five reasons why women need to train with heavy weights:
1. Burns Fat
When it comes to boosting your metabolism to burn more body fat, pushing heavy weight loads will help you scorch calories for hours – even days – after your workout. Boosting your metabolism and burning fat without cardio might seem like an impossible feat, but that’s exactly what happens when you lift heavy. Just two or three intensive strength training sessions per week will be enough to help you burn more calories well after your workout.
2. Strengthens and Sculpts the Muscles
As long as you’re not eating like a competitive bodybuilder – and taking any type of performance-enhancing drugs – you will not bulk up by lifting heavy, but will strengthen and sculpt the muscles instead. My personal experience has been – and many women I know who work out with heavy weights regularly would agree – that lifting heavy weights actually helps to create a more sculpted and defined look. Women can’t build muscle mass anywhere close to the same rate as men can but will achieve a more toned look with a strength training program and a diet that helps strip away body fat.
3. Promotes Muscle Growth
When combined with the right diet, training by pushing your muscles to failure will help them grow – you will never get to that point by lifting two or five-pound dumbbells, no matter how many repetitions and sets you perform. Don’t shy away from pushing to failure because this is the most effective way to trigger the muscle growth process. And, remember that increasing muscle mass means your body will be burning more calories at rest around the clock – no dumbbells required.
4. Improves Posture
You will look and feel better when you have good posture, but spending hours on the treadmill or elliptical machine won’t help much to correct habits that prevent you from standing straighter and taller. Strengthening your core, back muscles, shoulders, and even legs with the right weight training exercises can improve your posture and make you feel more centered. Try it for just a few weeks and you will feel and notice a big difference.
5. Increases Bone Density
Reduce your risk of osteoporosis and bone-related issues as you get older by lifting heavy weights. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends lifting weights and using weight machines to strengthen muscles, and build and maintain strong bones. Even doing exercises that involve lifting your own body weight can help to keep your bones strong while working core muscle groups.