So you are thinking of starting weight training?
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So you are thinking of starting weight training?

By: Cecilia Harris
June 19, 2018
 Although your still a bit worried, you have the usual concerns that we women all have. 
 
Will weight training make me bulky and masculine? What about my fat burning and “Cardio” work? How can I fit this in because I know this is what burns all the fat?
 
So let’s nail these concerns, as old myths and beliefs diehard.  
 
Firstly, unless you are planning on taking anabolic steroids, have very unusual genetics or dedicate hours and hours daily to training, then you are probably NEVER going to look bulky.  
 
Even females who are trying to achieve a bulky look, namely female bodybuilders, have historically often used anabolic steroids to achieve the bulked up look, even then the steroid use was alongside YEARS of training and high calorie diets. 

The cold truth is ladies have about 1/10th the testosterone levels of men, which means it’s much harder to achieve muscle growth.  Even for men this is difficult, and requires lots of volume training and excessive calorie eating that becomes a full time job. So please let’s give this a rest, picking up the 3kg pink Kettlebell is NOT going to bulk you up, stop worrying about that!  
 
Weight training is a great way to achieve a sleek, sexy and feminine looking body 🙏🏼
 
Weight Training is also an effective weight loss tool.

Perhaps the most well known health benefit of strength training is that it increases the body’s metabolic rate which in turn can help protect from obesity and all the health conditions that accompany this. 

Weight training means you will burn off more calories throughout the day, long after your workout, and simply having more lean mass (which takes up less space than fat) means you will burn up more calories in an effort to sustain the lean muscle tissue, which is highly metabolically active; this means the more lean tissue you have, the easier it is to stay lean.
 
In fact, according to Paul here at RwL – resistance training is in his opinion the most important activity for health and wellness, if you could only do one thing! Especially for women, especially as they get older, as lifting weights would provide the greatest all round benefits!
 
All the benefits associated with Aerobic Exercise like cardiovascular health, prevention of obesity, type 2 diabetes, mental health etc, are all equally associated with weight training.   This is now very clear in research. In fact, longevity, healthy functional living and quality of life is very much positively associated with resistance training.
 
 Regarding mental health benefits, weight training is arguably superior in this aspect and research seems to suggest resistance training is the gold standard exercise for mental health.
 
The research behind the benefits of Resistance training now is overwhelming and certainly as ladies get older, nothing can really compare with the benefits of putting force through your joints to help stave of osteoporosis and declines in lean muscle mass. 
 

Ok so how do I start? 

While most people associate strength training with lifting weights (barbells and dumbbells), it can also be done using other equipment (e.g.: bands, suspension ropes, gym machines, etc.) or using no equipment at all (e.g. body weight exercises, such as push-ups and pull-ups). 

The important thing to recognize is that it’s not just about being strong, or big.  It’s simply about doing it. In the same way walking is a wonderful aerobic exercise with multiple health benefits, so would be any form of exposure to resistance training, as long as you grade your exposure appropriately.
 
Simply starting with mastering some of the basic compound moves with your own bodyweight is a great introduction to weight training. 

Very few ladies have a true mastery of the Push up, or a Pull up for example, and many are put off because they feel these moves are unachievable but like every exercise it’s simply a matter of finding what level you are at, and staying there, mastering that level until you are ready to progress forward. This still can provide the health benefits mentioned above, it’s not necessarily about how strong you are, just that you do it! Click here for a Push up tutorial, or here for a Pull up tutorial.
   
The above linked videos are great examples of upper body strength moves to work on. Common Lower body moves used throughout Results With Lucy are Squats, Lunges, Deadlifts and the unlimited variations of these moves which we show regularly.  
  
We also show many ways to add resistance with resistance bands, light weights and kettlebells in many of our videos.
 
When adding heavier loads onto these moves it would be useful to understand some of the basics of REPS, SETS, LOAD, TEMPO AND REST PERIODS.
 
This is fully explained in our Gym Plan which is available on the RwL store!
 
This plan shows videos of how to safely find out what weights you should be using, how to set up correctly to lift a weight, how and when to progress with weights and how to safely end the exercise.  We start with some of the very basics, and slowly progress to more complex Olympic weight lifting.
 
Weight training has been feared by women for far too long, and the benefits of weight training are now undeniably and too fruitful to ignore. I also don’t know of any fitness model or figure competitor that doesn’t do resistance training, it’s clearly an undervalued tool that has enormous health and aesthetic positive benefits.
 

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Cecilia is the co-founder of Results with Lucy and face of Results with Cecilia.

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