Less Fat and More Muscle
Body Composition is where it’s at. If you want to look good naked, you have to lift heavy shit. Your physical appearance is a combination of muscle mass and adipose tissue. This means that you want to improve the amount of muscle to fat ratio. What you eat determines how much fat you have. While consistently hitting the weight room and working hard will add slabs of lean muscle. Don’t worry about looking “bulky”; that is an old wive’s tale that needs to die. I recommend that you weight train 3-4 days a week for at least 45 minutes to build a solid physique. In a recent post, I outline the top 5 Exercises for Building Muscle.
A pound of muscle burns 3 times more calories than a pound of fat. Heavy weight training adds about 5 pounds of muscle to a woman’s body in the first year of training. If you are eating in a caloric maintenance, you will improve your body composition and replace the fat with muscle. No, the fat does not actually turn into muscle, but if you stay the same weight and gain muscle, you have to lose fat as well. The bottom line is, hit the weights to build muscle, increase metabolism and increase the amount of food you can eat daily!
Improved Bone Density
Hormonal levels drop dramatically once a woman starts menopause. The hormone Estrogen plays a primary role in bone health for men and women. Once the ovaries stop producing estrogen, bone density decreases rapidly over the first few years. This is known as primary osteoporosis. There are ways to combat this, such as hormone replacement therapy as well as weight training. Weight training helps to stimulate bone growth. When we bear weight through our bones via exercise and physical activity, our body sends signals to increase bone strength. It is a similar process to how we build muscles through weight training. Ultimately, you have to consistently stress the bones enough through exercise to keep them strong.
The heart is a muscle. If you stress it through exercise, it will get stronger. Most people associate “cardio” with heart health. I’m here to tell you that weight training does the same thing. A weight circuit is an exercise routine that pairs 3-4 different exercises. The goal is to go from exercise to exercise with little to no rest in between. By doing it this way, you will keep your heart rate high and improve endurance over time. Why not kill 2 birds with one stone. Getting your weight training and cardio done in less time sounds good to me. Secondarily, the stronger you are, the less your muscles have to work to do the same task. In this way, you increase your ability to do work without getting as tired. Hit the weights to increase endurance because you are stronger!!
Improved Mental Health
Many studies have linked weight training to decreased anxiety and depression. In 2018 a meta-analysis was conducted that included over 1800 people. “They found that people with mild to moderate depression who performed resistance training two or more days a week saw “significant” reductions in their symptoms, compared with people who did not. The findings also suggested that resistance exercises may be even more beneficial for those with more severe depressive symptoms.” The authors concluded that weight training at least 3 days per week would be the most beneficial. Improve your mood by adding weight training to your daily routine!!