The majority of ladies I know want to ‘tone up’ and insist that their previous methods; cutting their food consumption and running a whole lot more is their tool of the trade. I also know straight away that a desire to ‘tone up’ means they are scared of weights.
The only problem with ‘toning up’ is that it requires women to weight train, a notion that unleashes a tirade of excuses as to why using weights will make them HUGE!
Let me tell you- I have been going hard on weights for a little over a year and have only shrunk (albeit not massively as I am a small person) and gained enormous confidence with my bodies capabilities – a sense of confidence that could never have been found running for miles or attending back to back spin classes.
Not only has lifting HEAVY weights affected my day-to-day activities (hello being able to carry home ALL my groceries without a car) but the increased muscle mass means I burn more even at rest. (And subsequently have to eat more…oh the pain!)
And the best way for women to weight train?
Like a man.
Lifting light weights with lots of reps is a sure fire way to not see results.
Without massive amounts of testosterone, and an accompanying male appetite for food, women will only achieve that toned, cellulite-less physique they so constantly crave.
Don’t get me wrong, group classes are great for camaraderie and motivation but it will never beat heavy and intense weight training.
For me, weight training has affected my body, mind and spirit in 5 crucial ways: (let me know your experience)
1. Creates tangible goals:
When ‘lifting weights’, exercise moves beyond the realms of aesthetic goals and touches upon the desire to outdo our last efforts. Writing and tracking our progression of strength allows us to see how far we have come, the results we have achieved and creates a massive sense of pride and reward. In a competitive world, being able to feel accomplished with your own personal pursuits is so imperative for mental health!
2. I get to be part of the bro club at the gym.
Which is dam intimidating but so satisfying once you start to blend in with the crowd. Furthermore, training with weights enters you into a wonderful community. Just like when my dad, a proud panel van driver, drives past a fellow sandman and toots his horn, so to can you feel part of something and connect with strangers. And given our propensity to live our friendships online who doesn’t love a good bit of social interaction with a random.
3. It is proven to boost your self esteem.
There are quite a few studies that show how a weight training program can help those with eating disorders normalize their eating patterns and in doing so, gain confidence in their ability to ‘let go’ of food anxieties.
4. Weight training requires patience. And being part of a generation who wants change yesterday, cultivating a realisation that change doesn’t happen overnight and requires hard work is vital in reinvigorating a more realistic mindset on achieving goals.
5. It makes you smarter! There is quite a bit of research that demonstrates the correlations between exercise and mental cognition. The theory being that the increased blood flow to the brain enhances clarity and concentration.
So to all my female readers, and there are a few, start lifting heavy, stop running to shed fat and reap the benefits of stronger bones, a ‘toned’ tush and an astronomically faster metabolism.
..let me know what you guys thinks. Does the weights section scare you? Do you find you are addicted to the high that jogging/spin classes gives you?