I hate to admit it...but my husband was right.
Yep, I just said that.
He told me years ago that I should start lifting weights to build muscle and improve bone strength, but I didn't listen to him. I was dead set on running my three-plus miles several times a week (which I actually did enjoy). But no matter how much I ran, I just couldn't get the "toned" look I was going for.
Fast forward to when I was about six months postpartum. My weight was even lower than my pre pregnancy weight, but my body just looked...well, sad! Haha! I finally decided to give weight lifting a try, and man, am I glad I did! I still love a short run every now and then, but I have definitely been converted to a weights gal!
I know that lots of women are under the misconception that lifting weights will make you "bulky" or "manly". That's just not true. As women, we just don't have enough testosterone in our bodies to build that kind of muscle mass. The women that you see that are all beefed up are more than likely a) professional bodybuilders that lift weights all day, err day, and/or b) take "supplements" to gain extra muscle.
So, just try to push that thought out of your head. Deal? Instead, let's focus on the benefits of adding weights to your workout routine...
You can thank those weights for that flat tummy, curvy bottom, and toned arms and legs. Lifting weights builds muscle, which helps to trim the waist line, lift and shape the bootay, and literally "fill in" the loose skin to give you that toned, healthy look. Strength training can completely change your body shape!
Studies have shown that those who lift weights reduce their risk of a stroke by 40% and heart attack by 15% (on average). Happy heart, happy body!
Burn More Calories
Yes, you may technically burn more calories during a cardio session than a weight training session. However, muscle continues to burn calories all day long--and most of these from fat! This is because your metabolism increases as your muscles try to recruit new fibers to repair them after a strength workout.
As women, we are at a high risk of developing osteoporosis, or a decrease in bone density that makes us more likely to bust a hip (or another bone) later on in life. Just sixteen weeks of weight training has been shown to increase bone density in the hip by as much as 19%!
Bye, Bye Brain Farts
Believe it or not, resistance training has also been linked to better cognitive function! It helps your short AND long-term memory, increases attention span, and improves verbal reasoning. Okay, maybe it can't totally make those well-known "Mommy moments" disappear, but at this point, I'll take what I can get!
Catch my drift yet?
Weight lifting is AMAZING for your body, and something all women should incorporate into their workout regimen. Trust me, I was a skeptic at first. My body really started to transform after about eight weeks, and those "problem areas" I had always complained about started to literally whittle away. After seeing how my body was responding to lifting heavy stuff, I was sold!
Need more proof? Here are a few photos that show the continuous change my midsection went through after I started strength training. The top left picture is from mid-January, when I first joined a gym and was six months postpartum. The top right is only a couple of weeks later, and you can see that my waist was already toning up. The bottom left is after about three solid months of weight lifting, and then bottom right was taken the beginning of June, which was five months into my journey. (And yes, I was boo-white in that last photo. I had lost all of my tan...sniffle.)
See what I mean? My stomach doesn't even look like it belongs to the same person, does it? The combination of resistance training and a clean diet really CAN transform your body! And I guarantee your body will thank you for it!
If you have any questions, or maybe need help getting started in the weight-lifting department, please feel free to contact me!