So long as I have had a relationship with the gym I have always believed that the best way to improve my fitness and get my dream body was by hopping on the treadmill, stair master, or elliptical and not getting off until I was drenched with sweat about an hour later.
Over the past few years I have dedicated many morning sweat sessions to those cardio machines.And don’t get me wrong, while I still love to run, I have found a new way to spend my time there; with the weights.
This past summer I met with a nutritionist and trainer who suggested I stop with all of the cardio and pick up some weights to see some real changes in my body and build muscle. And man, oh man, was she right.
My new workout regime now has me lifting weights about three times a week, and doing as much cardio as my little heart desires on the other three days. While the progress has been slow and steady, I have seen some major changes to the formation of my body, and my booty (thank you squats).
There is something so soothing about heading into the gym and walking right up the squat rack instead of the treadmill, knowing that by doing so I am doing so much more for my body than just burning calories.
Weightlifting really does do some great things for your overall health and fitness, so here are three main reasons as to why you should consider adding in some dumbbells to your routine.
- Your metabolism increases, and you will eventually lean out while still holding muscle.
No, you do not get ‘bulky’ from weight lifting. You get bulky from eating too much. Despite what you may have heard, most women simply do not possess the level of testosterone needed to support a bulky physique. Instead, the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn at rest. More muscle = faster metabolism = more effective fat loss.
- You burn more calories per minute while not working out when building muscle through strength training than by cardio.
Sure, if you get on a treadmill and run 5 miles you will immediately burn around 500 calories. But once you hop off that treadmill you’re body is not in that same high energy level. On the other hand, height intensity strength training allows for Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) to occur. This essentially means that your metabolism is elevated after exercise, enabling you to burn fat long after finishing your workout.
- Strength brings awesome independence.
It’s just true.
The ability to physically see your body being able to increasingly lift heavier weights over time is an awesome confidence booster. Plus, not needing a stronger man to lift or move heavy things for you is an added bonus. Check out this one mother’s insight on why women should lift weights.
If you’re still not convinced, take a look at this awesome article from Nerd Fitness comparing cardio and weight training.
And remember, if you can crush it at the gym, you can crush it at life.