There’s so many different types of exercise out there so how are you meant to know which one is best to shave those inches off your butt? Or how about if you wanted to beef up your back? Or even if you’re in training for a triathlon?
It’s tricky and to be totally honest, the best answer is…. Mix it up.
This post is going to be the first in a series of helping you to understand the benefits of different types of exercise and break down some of the mystery surrounding them.
I’m starting with weight training, my favourite.
Firstly, let me debunk the biggest myth about weight training. Ladies, if you lift weights you’re NOT GOING TO TURN INTO A MAN. That’s because we women simply don’t produce enough testosterone to grow manly muscles. Yes, we can increase our muscle mass and decrease our body fat to look toned but you’ll never be ripping out of your tops, don’t worry.
Here are the benefits of lifting heavy things and putting them down again:
1) Increased muscle mass will speed up your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories when at rest because muscle burns more calories than fat. It will also allow you to eat more food without putting on weight. Result
2) Everyday activities will become easier as your body gets stronger. Just think, you just might be able to carry all of your shopping bags into the house in one trip
3) Bone density is improved by putting heavy loads onto your bones through activities like weight lifting. This is particularly important as you age and you can actually reverse the early signs of osteopenia or osteoporosis through weight lifting
4) You’ll get lean, that all-encompassing golden fitness goal. While you might not see any difference on the scales, your clothes will feel looser and you will be tighter all over as 1lb of muscle takes up a lot less space than 1lb of fat
5) Your posture will improve, instantly giving the illusion that you’re taller and slimmer. By strengthening your core (including your back) you’ll be able to pull your shoulder-blades down your back, elongating your neck and pulling in your waist
6) Improves motor skills like balance and coordination. If you can clean and jerk like a boss then your everyday life will be a breeze
7) Decreases the risk of injury through strengthening bones, ligaments and tendons. Say goodbye to back pain, twisted ankles and twinges in your knees
8) Weight lifting, like any exercise, releases endorphins which will instantly lift your mood and make everything seem better. Remember this one when you can’t be bothered to go to the gym.
9) It allows you to focus very specifically on muscles and areas that you want to work. For example, you can work on bulking up your calves or ‘toning’ your upper arms by working on your biceps and triceps. I seem to spend an unnecessary amount of time on my glutes for some reason…
When you start weight lifting it’s a good idea to have a session either with a Personal Trainer or Gym Instructor so that they can show you the proper form and technique on the resistance machines and free weights. Technique is so important when you’re loading your body with heavy things as it can be very easy to do something wrong and not work out the part of your body that you’re trying to target or get injured.
Get in touch if you have any questions or if you want to start lifting heavy things with me!