you avoid lifting weights because you are afraid training with weights
will give you bulky muscles, you might be surprised when you hear that
it will not. To obtain those "bulky" muscles, you literally have to spend
hours in the gym. The level of strength training required for general good
health will not produce bulk in women.
The hormone balance for men
and women are not the same. Thus, it takes a lot of effort to achieve the
likes of a female bodybuilder. To reap the known health benefits associated
with strength training - such as increased metabolism, decreased risk of
osteoporosis, and improved mental health - it only takes about 30 minutes
two to three times per week.
For general fitness and conditioning,
you need to include one or two exercises that focus on each of the major
muscle groups. Keep the weight light to moderate. The number of repetitions
should range from 10 to 15 reps per exercise. The number of sets performed
depends on the amount of time you have to spend. Research has shown that
performing three sets opposed to one set does not produce a significant
benefit - at least not enough to warrant the extra time spent performing
the additional two sets.
If you are worried about
weight gain as a side effect of weight training, you should know that regularly
incorporating strength training into your exercise regimen will actually
help you control your weight. True, you will likely gain a few pounds after
you begin strength training. However, it is important to keep in mind that
muscle is more dense than fat. This means that while muscle may weigh more,
it takes up less space.
As you lose fat and gain
muscle, your weight may not decrease. This is why it is so important not
to focus on the scale. How do your clothes fit? A little looser? How about
your appearance? Do you feel a little more confident in how you look? Then
forget what the scale says. You will very likely drop a size or two with
little to no change in your weight.
Long term is where you will
notice the real benefit of strength training for weight control. With age
you typically experience a decrease in the rate at which your body uses
calories (metabolic rate). By regularly incorporating strength training,
you offset the loss in muscle tissue that typically occurs in the aging
process. Ultimately, you avoid age-related weight gain when you prevent
muscle loss. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, unlike fat tissue.
This means that even at rest,
muscle tissue is burning
Lastly, as you become stronger
through weight training, you are likely to be more active. You will feel
better and have more energy. This alone will promote a more active lifestyle.
As a result you will spend less time sitting around - this equals more
The message to take out of
this? Incorporating strength training exercises two to three times per
week will promote a healthy weight, not a bulky physique.