If you’re a woman who likes to lift weights, we’re probably preaching to the choir.
We don’t need to tell you how strength training can make you look and feel amazing.
It’s something that hundreds of our female clients at Ultimate Performance have experienced first-hand, pushing dumbbells and heaving barbells on their way to transforming their bodies.
There are so many benefits that women can enjoy through resistance training with weights.
Here’s the proof that there’s more to health and fitness than fad diets and endless cardio…
1. You can have the body shape you want
Weight training is an incredible tool that you can use to sculpt your body because it allows you to stop focusing on ‘losing weight’ and to start building the body shape you want.
Let me share a secret with you. You cannot remove fat from specific areas of your body through exercise.
But what you can do is use exercise to enhance muscle groups while reducing fat in general by controlling your calorie intake and living an active lifestyle.
That way, as your fat levels reduce (if fat loss is your goal), you will reveal a body shape that’s truly pleasing to you.
And if you want to make specific changes to how you look, then the type of training you do needs to reflect this.
For example, if your goal is to tone your arms, then you need to be performing exercises for your biceps and triceps muscles like dumbbell curls and cable triceps extensions.
Similarly, if you want a more defined posterior, you need to include exercises like hip thrusts and lunges.
2. You can eat well
Most of us think that to lose fat, slim down or simply maintain where we are; we must eat less and forego things which we’d like to eat and drink.
This kind of mindset isn’t a pleasurable way to exist and is destined to fail. After days of abstinence and misery, you’ll inevitably end up giving in to cravings and knock yourself out of the ‘fat loss zone’.
Guess what? I have never have seen a hungry female client at Ultimate Performance. I’ve seen women who are conquering ‘sugar addiction’ and I’ve seen women who are feeling challenged as they learn to eat more, but I’ve never seen a hungry one.
We recommend basing your diet around protein-rich foods like meat, fish and eggs, which help to build and repair your muscles after tough workouts.
Protein is also very filling, so it’s not easy to overeat, especially when you’re also including a serving of vegetables with each meal. And don’t worry about ‘getting big’, you’ll have to eat a lot of chicken for that!
For most clients, a key lesson is not to eat less. Instead, it’s to focus on eating the right types of food, at the right times, and often more of them.
3. You’ll have more energy
Weight training makes your heart pump. It releases endorphins, encourages you to eat well and involves making progressive improvements through goal setting, which is bound to put a spring in your step.
It’s also a focused hour of activity away from your mobile phone and emails.
It will help you sleep in a physical sense, as your body shuts down to repair itself. And it will improve the quality of your sleep as you’ll be lower on stress.
You’ll also notice that weight training has a ‘domino-like’ effect on other factors that affect your energy levels.
For example, if you see progress in the gym, your physical appearance or are just riding the endorphin-wave of a challenging workout, then you’re more likely to make positive nutrition decisions and prioritise sleep.
4. You’ll handle stress better
Weight training prepares you physically and mentally to handle all kinds of stress, good and the bad.
Examples of good stress are enjoying the excitement at a sporting event, a concert or a film. Maybe even going on a date with someone you really like. Bad stress is the kind of pressure that makes you anxious in the short term and worried or afraid in the long-term.
Sticking to a consistent weight training schedule will, except for the types of absolute exhaustion caused by physical illness or prolonged mental stress, provide an outlet through the use of controlled aggression and leave you feeling quite relaxed and chipper.
Some people go for a run to de-stress. Some do yoga. Some stroke the cat. You’d not go wrong to consider weight training in there too.
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5. You’ll be harder to knock down
Anyone who trains with weights is literally and figuratively harder to knock down.
Simply by carrying yourself confidently by means of the improved posture that weight training fosters, people will allow you your space, be it walking down the street or into a meeting.
You’ll be more stable physically too, so if your body language doesn’t deter someone who seems to expect you to flatten yourself into a wall so they can take up the whole pavement they will be in for a rude surprise!
Weight training gets you used to struggle, effort and failure. Every workout has these as part of its intention. The normalisation of these facts of life and embracing them as a beloved process will give you mental endurance and resilience.
6. You’ll see positive effects at work
If you’ve had a frustrating day at work, someone’s giving you grief, or there’s a problem you’re struggling to solve, I dare you to be unable to address it better after a weights session.
Switching your focus to lifting weights can give you the break you need to stand back and look at things afresh.
There’s also something about the complete lack of subjectivity involved with weight training that can only force you to be more objective in business.
I once saw two guys training together, and one said, “Eight and a half!” after his set, referring to the number of reps he had just accomplished. His training partner said, “So, eight then.”
I’m not promising a promotion, and I’m not saying you’ll find all the answers to your problems. But, weight training does help teach objectivity and is a great stress-buster.
7. You’ll have better sex
I have a friend who refers to sex as ‘horizontal jogging’.
Setting aside her possible lack of imagination in her sex life, the fact remains that sex is at least in part a physical activity.
As a direct result of weight training, you’ll be physically stronger, you’ll get out of breath less easily, and you’ll have more energy in general.
You’ll also be more confident about the way your body looks, which helps in circumstances where you’re naked in front of another person that you want to impress.
If you want to get in the best shape of your life and need expert guidance on the training and nutrition to achieve your goal, find out about our Personal Training Plans.