Despite what the latest diet or weight loss pill would have you believe, it’s going to take more than simply cutting back on calories and eating a few more carrots on a regular basis to shed those stubborn pounds clinging to your waistline.
Although dieting is important, it’s only half of the equation.
Regular exercise that combines both strength training and cardio is absolutely crucial to losing weight and keeping it off, so you can get the lean, sexy, and toned body you’ve always wanted.
However, many women are afraid that by hitting the weights and working out “like a man” that they’ll also develop the big, bulky muscles commonly associated with their male counterparts.
First off we’re here to set the rumors straight: testosterone is the primary ingredient for building supersized muscles, and very few men have the genetic capabilities to completely “hulk up” let alone women.
Secondly, by neglecting your strength training or by half-heatedly attempting to lift weights, you’re depriving yourself of a great workouts and an essential part of losing weight.
Experts at Webmd explain, “Resistance (strength) training exercise can improve your overall physical health and ability to do daily activities. It can also lower or prevent bone loss associated with menopause.” But that’s not all, “the increased muscle mass [also] helps your body use energy more efficiently.”
So are you getting the most out of your strength training exercises? If you are experiencing any of scenarios below, then it’s time to bump it up a notch.
You Could Keep Lifting Forever without Breaking a Sweat
You may have heard the old weight loss myth that increasing the number of reps you do can increase your endurance without building big bulky muscles, but that is simply not true.
According to studies, the ideal number of reps is around 12-15 for the beginning lifter, taking several seconds to perform each repetition correctly and in good form. If you’re not feeling any fatigue by the end of the set, then it’s time to take it to the next level.
You’ve Used the Same Weight for Weeks
The more you work a muscle, the more efficient it becomes at doing that particular exercise. It takes fewer calories to complete a repetition, and the nervous system sends signals faster to the muscles so you utilize the right muscle fibers with each lift.
Consequently, if you’re not consistently challenging your muscles, you’ll get fewer weight loss results. Some predesigned programs are very specific in their guidelines for how and when you should increase your resistance, but if you’re just winging it, then experts recommend adding additional weight after about 6-8 weeks of regular training (only after you can successfully perform 8-12 reps and maintain good form, of course) .
You’re Not Seeing Any Progress
By keeping your weights at the same resistance day in and day out, your muscle toning results will flat line. Afterall, how can you expect to reach the top of a hill if you’re not looking for a way up? The more you challenge yourself to improve, the more results you’ll see. Although it takes extra effort and work, you’ll be amazed at what the human body can accomplish.
Although you might not like the idea of having to actually work during a workout, if you really want to slim down and shape up, then now is the perfect time to analyze your performance and increase your resistance. If your weights aren’t budging, what makes you think that the scale will too?
For additional pointers on how to get more out of your workouts, then be sure to read this article here.