<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=424649934352787&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

NIFS Healthy Living Blog

Weightlifting for Women: Enhance Weight Loss and More

ThinkstockPhotos-512273152.jpgLet’s play out a little scenario. Judy just renewed her gym membership because it’s almost time for her annual summer vacation. She currently weighs 170 pounds but wants to lose around 30 pounds before she goes on vacation. She has taken herself through this transformation once before by running 4 miles on the treadmill every other day until she finally got to her desired weight. She plans to come to the gym this year with the same game plan as last time. Judy does not lift weights because she only wants to lose fat, not gain muscle.

Now here is the question: Should Judy repeat her cardio routine this year, or should she incorporate heavy resistance training?

Lifting Heavy Weights Has More Benefits Than Cardio Alone

This may be the approach many females take when trying to lose weight. Doing cardiovascular exercise is much easier and more effective at weight loss than weight training, right? WRONG! In fact, I strongly believe any woman who is looking to lose weight should invest more of her time into weight training. But I don’t recommend just any weight training; it needs to be heavy weight training!

Reasons to Add Weightlifting

It’s easy to understand why many females prefer not to lift heavy weights when in the gym. It often causes a lack of comfort if you are not used to pushing your body to its max strength levels. In addition, the female lifting recommendation for years has been to stick with light to moderate weight with an abundance of sets and reps. While this is not a bad recommendation, lifting heavy can add a great list of benefits that lighter weight (and cardio) just cannot compare to, all while possibly giving you faster, more dramatic results.   

  • Burn more calories. In terms of fat loss, forcing your body to lift heavy weight repeatedly will stimulate muscle growth, which creates a higher metabolism. The more muscle in the body, the more fat-burning potential will be created. When you are done lifting weights, your body continues to burn calories due to its need for muscle recovery. This is called EPOC, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. So even when you are no longer in the gym working out, your body is still burning calories for you. EPOC does not happen with non-resistance training.  
  • Get toned, not ripped. Lifting weights brings out a woman’s natural curves and body structure. It’s easy to believe lifting weights will cause bulky muscles to form, just as many guys become bulky when we lift. However, there is one huge difference between males and females and that’s the presence of testosterone. As you may know, one responsibility of testosterone is muscle hypertrophy. Since females have very low amounts of testosterone, becoming bulky is often not a realistic expectation. Instead, when females participate in heavy weight training, their bodies actually become smaller due to more muscle and less fat. Females actually become leaner and curvier, which often leads to an increase in body image and self-confidence. 
  • Gain confidence. I believe a strong reason many females would rather do cardio instead of weightlifting may be due to their lack of confidence. If the treadmill or the elliptical has always been your best friend, you may find it hard to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself with a heavy weight-training program. However, what many females come to find out is once weightlifting barriers have been torn down, confidence levels rise. I have heard many women in the gym say there is nothing more satisfying than when they are finally able to lift a weight that they could not lift previously. It not only reassures you that with some hard work and consistency you can push your body to new levels, but it also confirms that women do, in fact, belong in the weight room lifting heavy weight.

The Question Again: Should You Add Weight Training?

I will raise my question again: should Judy repeat her routine this year, or should she incorporate heavy resistance training into her program for different results? Sure doing 4 miles a day may get Judy to her ultimate weight-loss goal, but how much of her weight loss will be due to actual fat loss instead of muscle loss? Typically when cardio is a large portion of the workout routine, you tend to lose muscle, whereas when resistance training makes up a large portion of the workout routine, you tend to gain muscle. Remember, the more muscle in the body, the higher the metabolism, and the higher the rate of caloric burn—and the more weight you lose.

Like what you've just read? Click here to subscribe to our blog!

This blog was written by Darius Felix, Health Fitness Specialist. For more on the NIFS bloggers, click here.

 

Topics: cardio weight loss calories weightlifting women toning

Wonder Woman: The Indy Women Fitness 2015

IWF2015As a fitness professional, I have had the honor and the privilege to work with some amazing women over the past decade. Strength, passion, and a focus on excellence are just a few of the characteristics that I have witnessed women displaying day in and day out, and I have gained strength and motivation from them. So when I was asked to join some of the strongest fitness minds on the planet to celebrate and inspire some of the women of our wonderful Indianapolis community, it was a no-brainer. I’m IN!

Using What You Learn

I have been attending seminars and fitness summits for some time now. I love them, because I absolutely love to learn. I have gained so much from attending different events, but mainly I have learned that you have to be a lifetime learner, no matter what you do vocationally or personally. 

Inspiration and motivation are served up in buckets at these events, and you can’t help but get amped up about the impact we as fitness pros have on people. I always return from summits refreshed, revived, and ready to rock. My Group Training warriors know when I go to these events and prepare for when I return from them. They know that we are going to take it to the next level and learn some very cool ideas. I just can’t wait to get back and share what I have learned. I believe that when you catch fire, you just can’t help but to spread it. 

A Preview of the Event

Unlike any other event in our great city, the Indy Women Fitness 2015 event is designed for women of all fitness ages (from enthusiasts to those just starting out) to come and learn, train, and be inspired on their journey to greatness. The event will be held July 18, 2015 at NIFS. One of the keynote speakers for this event, Molly Galbraith, puts it best by saying that “unleashing the inner wonder woman” inside all women will be a side-effect of attending this event. Molly is the co-founder of Girls Gone Strong and dedicates her life to the education and empowerment of women everywhere; I really look forward to meeting and working with her.

Mike Robertson, our other keynote, will be breaking down many fitness misconceptions and teaching how to transform cookie-cutter exercise programs into individual-driven programming. I have attended one of Mike’s presentations and walked out of it having gained so much in so little time. Mike’s partner in crime, Bill Hartman, will be covering “Butts & Guts”; I love that title, by the way. Bill will be speaking the truth about what strategies and principles are actually effective in building “strong abs and a shapely posterior.” These two guys are fountains of knowledge and are sure to lay it all out for you.

The NIFS Presenters

Our very own Kris Simpson dives into those daily habits that women may fall into which negatively affect posture and increase pain. Kris will cover strategies to help you shoulder the load of your daily tasks to maximize productivity in the real world and in the gym. One of the super members of NIFS, Buffy Linville, will be discussing the habit of a new normal and ways to stop sabotaging your health and fitness. Buffy is a complete story of health and fitness success and will explore what has worked for her and what will work for you.

As for me? Presenting and public speaking is something I truly enjoy! Since I have been attending different seminars and summits over the years, it has been my ultimate goal to be one of those presenters and be considered good enough to rub elbows with the best in my field. Through many opportunities leading up this July 18th event, I have been honing my skills for this awesome chance to join a team of great presenters and impact our community. It truly is a dream come true to take this first of many steps to be one of those great presenters I have revered for so long. 

I am so excited to cover what an effective, movement-based, and fun program will look like for any woman at any level of fitness. Consistent with what I love to do, we will start the session moving and not stop till that bell rings! We will cover everything from warm-up to metabolic finishers and grab a taste of everything. By no means will this session be exhaustive, but will certainly cover the crucial basics of any program.

If you are a woman searching for some direction, new to fitness or looking to take your health and performance to the next level, you won’t want to miss this event. Join me in the excitement of learning, training, and being inspired to be a better you! Early bird pricing runs through June 18, 2015 and you will receive $100 off the registration cost.

Get Registered

This blog was written by Tony Maloney, Health Fitness Specialist and Fitness Center Manager. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: NIFS fitness NIFS programs education Indianapolis women