GIRL TALK

Let’s Hear It for 7 Tips on Strength Training

I love all types of training; TRX, RIP, Running, Pilates, Yoga, Cardiovascular and Weight Training.  All of these go hand in hand by making my body, mind and soul as fit, fearless and fabulous as they possibly can! But there is one out of these 7 that is the foundation of my strength and contributes to the success in the other practices, and that ladies and gentlemen is weight training. Lifting weights doesn’t mean lifting heavy, it means lifting to sculpt out whatever shape you prefer. But if you want to blast fat, get in shape and rock everything that comes your way, both in and out of the gym, strength training is where it’s at. Here are 7 great reasons why you should incorporate some type of weight training into your program.

  

Whether I’m outside running or on a treadmill in the gym, cardio alone isn’t going to help burn the fat. The best results come from a combination of cardio and strength training, particularly if you’re trying to lose belly fat. While aerobic exercise burns both fat and muscle, weight lifting burns almost exclusively fat. I do both, running to clear my mind and to give my heart and lungs a run for the money and strength training to sculpt and build my muscles. When in harmony, these works amazingly well.

You’ll Be Stronger Mentally

This is where the mind/soul comes into play with strength training.  Body strength has a funny way of bleeding into all areas of your life, in the gym and out.  Constantly challenging yourself to do things you never thought were possible grows your confidence. For me, weight lifting empowers me, gives me the “what it takes” to face all challenges, goals or dreams. I say, “grunt and go for it”. You’ll understand what I mean when you get there!

You’ll Boost Your Flexibility

In the workout world, flexibility is something not to be ignored. Pilates, Yoga and just plain stretching should be included in your daily routine. What professionals have found is that a full range resistance training workout can improve your flexibility. The key word here is “full range”. If you can’t complete the full motion—going all the way up and all the way down with a given weight— you may need to use a lighter weight at first. This flexibility as you build muscle creates a great marriage between the two.

You’ll Strengthen Your Bones

As we get younger in life, our bones seem to lose the density and strength of youth. Weight lifting doesn’t simply train your muscles, it strains your bones and that is what is needed to make them strong.  Bones require stresses to keep their strength.  I look at our skeletal structure like a clothes hanger. We want our clothes to hang nicely so there are no wrinkles or worse the garment doesn’t fall off the hanger, so we utilize a nice straight and strong hanger. With strong bones we provide that same hanger: we stand straighter and taller and are less likely to sustain an injury. We breath better and our overall appearance is one of a healthier and more youthful look. Every time you perform a curl your muscles tug on your bones providing the stress the bone thirsts for. The cells within the bones react to this stress by creating new bone cells. The result is a strong and dense bone. Hummmm, not sure how it all works, but standing straight like I’m the hanger is def something that I work on everyday.

You’ll Drop a Size

What you’ll find with strength training is that the more muscle you gain, the smaller you’ll be. In fact, body weight often goes up with strength training, but size goes down. No need to worry that you’re going to look like The Hulk. FYI, women produce about 5 to 10 percent the amount of testosterone that men do, limiting our muscle-building potential compared to our X-Y friends. To seriously bulk up, you’d need to live in the weight roomto look like Ms. Hulk. Gain muscle, loose fat, get stronger bones, down a size or more—now that’s results.

You’ll Be a Better Runner

Stronger muscles mean better performance—period. Your core will be better able to support your body’s weight and maintain ideal form during exercise (like running, elliptical, spinning), plus your arms and legs will be more powerful. What’s more, strength training increases the number and size of calorie-torching muscle fibers fueling your performance even further. Whatever your choice of cardio is, strong muscles will assist in exploding you to your destination.

You’ll Have a Healthier Heart

Cardiovascular exercise isn’t the only exercise that’s, well, cardiovascular. In fact, strength training can up your heart health, too. Studies show that people who performed 45 minutes of moderate-intensity resistance exercise lowered their blood pressure by 20 percent. That’s as good as—if not better than—the benefits associated with most blood pressure pills. I would rather use my money to buy a gym membership then to spend it on ome pills to keep me going. I love my heart and try everyday to let her know I love her. I appreciate all that she does, but most of all, I love that she keeps my life beating!  So treat her right!

Turn It On and Look Fab!

Juetta West

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