Every woman’s goal when they start an exercise program is to look and feel better. Whether they want to lose weight they have gained over the years or put weight on, they have an idea of the image of themselves they want to achieve.
What most women don’t know, is the type of training they need to do to achieve that image. Take a look at my mum’s generation. The idea of lifting weights was thought of only as a bodybuilding exercise for men who wanted to grow muscle. There was no education on the effects and benefits of weight training on the female body – their idea of an exercise program is walking or running and/or maybe a few sessions a week of Aerobics Oz Style as the go-to ways to train to lose weight.
These forms of exercise are ok to lose an initial amount of weight and get you moving, but if you are looking for long-term results and a change to the shape of your body, this kind of training is going to get you nowhere – and that’s what happens. The first few weeks are great. You see a slight change on the scales, you feel better because you have started exercising and sweating and your body loses fluid so you start to feel slimmer.
Then after the first few weeks, changes start to slow down. Scale weight fluctuates, you stop seeing any real changes to your body and the idea of jumping on the treadmill for 40 minutes to ‘sweat it out’ is just boring. You lose interest, you lose motivation, you stop the discipline you have maintained with your food and then you basically give up returning to where you were or even worse than before.
Today, there is a constant feed of information and education through social media and main-stream media about training, exercise and nutrition. Society’s view on what a fit, healthy female body should look like is changing and that is a good thing. Instead of wanting to look like a waifer-thin model who is all bones and no curves, there is more of an interest in getting healthy, building lean muscle for strength and having the confidence of a strong, lean body that looks great in clothes.
What women need to realise is, these kind of results come from a training program that involves lifting weights – and lifting heavy weights. I’m not talking about the fluro plastic-coated dumbbells that you can do endless repetitions of and barely feel anything, you need to be lifting weights that you can instantly feel your body adapting to.
Free-weight exercises like Barbell Squats, Deadlifts, Dumbbell Lunges, Presses and Rows, with a weight that pushes your strength and endurance each time, are the types of exercises that are going to change your body shape. This kind of training is going to give you the changes to your body composition (lean muscle:body fat) that are going to achieve that lean, fit, sexy physique that you are confident to show off.
So, if you are a woman wanting to slim down, re-shape your body and gain a level of confidence and independence that only comes with building up your own strength, then look to include weight-training into your next exercise program. If you are not sure where to start then find yourself a qualified trainer to help get you started with a program that will get you results and educate you at the same time.