Thursday, June 30, 2011
We all know what the dudes in the gym do.
They lift heavy. They grunt. They sweat. They wear sleeveless shirts to show their guns off. They stand around and watch tv between sets. They work ONE or two muscles at a time and they leave.
I think women can learn something from the men that dominate the weight room.
Strength training has so many benefits. And women can take advantage of the same ones as men. Muscle fiber is muscle fiber all the way around and on top of building strong bones, increasing circulation & energy-- strength training can blast fat!
Here's the deal ladies, we can lift heavy.
It takes time to work up to it, but right out of the gate 90 percent of us aren't doing as much as we think we can. WHY? Because I know, because I have been there. Because it's hard to lift heavy and scary. We don't know how to push our limits or we don't want to, because it's easier to stay in our comfort zone.
Somewhere along the line we were told we couldn't do it, we ourselves thought we couldn't. How could I possibly lift that much? But we do more and lift and carry more in our day to day lives than we realize. You know who has amazing, untapped upper body strength? Moms. They lift all day long and don't realize their strength.
Lifting heavy burns fat like crazy.
It changes up your metabolism and keeps it high so you operate at a higher level on a regular basis, burning more calories even at rest. It's very important to lift weights as you lose weight or you will LOSE your lean muscle mass at the same time. I am not advising that you lift the same weight as the guys, but they lift heavy for their relative strength and doing that will produce results.
I used to do a full body workout about three times a week on top of my running. Then I switched it up and I was sure it wasn't going to work. I mean, I used to come in, take an hour or more and tire my whole body out. My new program has me focusing on one or two muscle groups at a time. JUST back day? JUST leg day? JUST Chest and Tri's? That's what guys do, in and out of the gym, 30 min on their delts and done! I used to think it was SO strange and then I tried it.
I didn't get overwhelmed with the workout.
Focus on the muscle for that day and be done. My workouts were shorter but more than that, they were more intense! Yes, one muscle group, but do more than two sets. Women are trained to do just a few sets. A good friend of mine the other night said he does 5 sets and a body builder suggested I switch to four.
There are some people who feel the difference between two and three sets is minimal, but what you are doing is increasing that intensity and duration. Fewer muscles worked means you can lift heavier and push. If I am only in the gym for 30 or 40 min, I want to feel it. If I do three sets or four instead of two, I WILL feel it. That intensity will make all the difference with seeing a change in your physique. Long and lean? Muscle is muscle, it's growing or not.
Growing muscle, strong muscle takes up less space and that means so will you!
Time in the gym
Doesn't seem like THAT big of a deal right? Guys are in and out, but they are in nearly everyday. That means that their body is experiencing a heavy burn most days of the week. Calorie burn, fat burn, it's boosting their metabolism even though it's different daily. Isn't that what you want? I mean at the very least, more variety and less time just plugging away on a full body workout?
In and out in less than 45 min means more time to do all the other things I want to and need to and means that on my cross training or running days, it's not hours of working out. It's like snacking and eating small meals through out the day. It's the best way to keep your body burning the fuel and by bursts of high intensity lifting most days, your going to keep that momentum going. Combining the right way to fuel and a lifting routine with heavier weight, more intensity and more often but shorter bursts? Success.
So if you want, display those guns, grunt a little, sweat a lot. Add in your two cents about the game. But what ever you do, give lifting like a dude a shot, it's a worth the try!
Have a fantastic weekend and HOLIDAY!
I will be blogging over it, don't worry! There are a number of great posts swirling about in my little head and I have some nice down time coming up!
Live well, chose well, be well!