If there is one thing I suggest to all women over the age 40, its train regularly with weights!
I know weight training can be scary especially if you dont know where to start, but I promise you (especially as you get older) that its the BEST training you can do to create fantastic shape in your body AND best of all is AWESOME for weight loss!!
I am also here to dispel the myth that you will get ‘bulky’ if you train with weights, this simply will not happen as your body doesnt have enough testosterone for this to occur. What will happen though is that you will feel stronger and develop awesome shape all over your body!
OK so here is why weight training is awesome…..
Did you ever wonder how you can spend hours slaving away on the treadmill or doing 3-4 gym classes a week and consider yourself pretty fit, but never really achieve the body shape you want? The answer is that whilst cardio is important and will help you burn fat (while you are doing it and maybe for a few hours afterwards), only resistance or weight training will develop your muscles in a way that gives you shape and definition.
An example of what I mean would be to think about how an Olympic sprinter looks compared to an Olympic marathon runner. These are extreme examples and chances are you will never look like either, but the sprinter who trains for power and speed will always have more shape and muscle than the marathon runner whose training consists of lots of long distance running.
Another example are the fitness models you see in your news feed or on ads, I promise you they achieve their amazing physiques through eating plenty of the right foods and lifting heavy, not from eating salad and running 10km each day!
Weight training helps you build lean muscle, when this happens your body actually has to work harder to maintain this muscle so automatically you will burn more fat at rest. This means, that say if you do your weights workout in the morning, for the rest of the day while you are at work, your body is busy burning fat, great news right!!
The process of building lean muscle comes down to your muscle fibres being ripped apart whilst you are doing your weights session (hence muscle soreness especially from your first few session or when you start a new program) then for the following 2-3 days your body spends time rebuilding and repairing itself so you get stronger.
This allows you to then increase the intensity of your program and the weight you are lifting. You also need to keep in mind that you need to constantly push yourself with weight training, which means challenging yourself to lift heavier as time goes on (whilst maintaining your form) and changing your program regularly.
Please also bear in mind that your muscles will ‘pump’ and look bigger during your workout as your blood pumps through them, but this will only last for a while post workout, you won’t be walking around looking like ‘The Rock’!
I absolutely love training with weights 3-4 times a week but a full body program twice a week is more than enough to get you started. Make sure you speak to a certified trainer to give you a proper program every 4-6 weeks and have them show you the correct form for each exercise.
One thing I also want to mention is that weight training classes at your gym such as pump or lift are fantastic but in my opinion they wont replace the proper benefits of an individual weights program.
If you are not a member of a gym or prefer to workout at home all you need are some basic adjustable handweights and you are good to go. (If you are starting out with weights and want to train at home, my app is a great starting point for you).
Lastly, again please dont be scared of starting a weights program or using the weights room at your gym. If you are worried about this do your first session when no-one is around or ask a trainer to guide you through your first day or first couple of sessions.
Make this year you start training with weights, you will develop real shape, your clothes will fit better than ever before, and I guarantee you will feel strong & amazing!
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