Start Lifting Weights Today for Weightloss

2 02 2011

I have a confession to make. I’m in love with every fit and toned celebrity woman out there. From Michelle Obama to Jessica Biel to Gwen Stefani – I have a thing for them all. Along with toned legs and washboard abs, these women have arms. Muscular, toned, beautiful arms.

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston--Photo from dietsinreview.com.

Many girls think that all they need in terms of exercise is some cardio. Meet the 30 minute requirement and you’re all set, right? This is SO wrong and you need to change this mindset! Weight training is necessary to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle, and in many ways it is even more beneficial than cardio.

If you don’t believe me, check out this excerpt from an article in Women’s Health Magazine:

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, a mere 21 percent of women strength train two or more times a week. What you don’t know: When you skip the weight room, you lose out on the ultimate flab melter. Those two sessions a week can reduce overall body fat by about 3 percentage points in just 10 weeks, even if you don’t cut a single calorie. That translates to as much as three inches total off your waist and hips. Even better, all that new muscle pays off in a long-term boost to your metabolism, which helps keep your body lean and sculpted

Weight training, unlike cardio, helps¬† you to burn calories 24/7–long after you’ve finished your workout. It’s also an easy way to get rid of fat and get some definition in the biggest trouble areas for women. And come on, who doesn’t want to look like Jennifer Aniston?

I strength train about four days a week. Usually¬† three days a week, I do 45 minutes or so of upper body exercises. Then, once or twice a week I do lower body exercises for the same amount of time. On these days I still fit in time for cardio, because it is still an important part of the fitness equation. This is a rough estimate, though–as some days I’ll go to more fitness classes or workout from home.

A few tips on strength training: mix it up. Don’t work the same muscle groups two days in a row because your muscles need time to recover. This includes abs, ladies! Also, keep varying the exercises to keep your body guessing. Muscle confusion is the best way to get a toned body.

Make sure to use enough weight. Women are often worried about “bulking” up and shy away from heavier weights–trust me, you will not bulk up. We are not built like men and don’t have the ability to get huge. (Without MAJOR diet adjustments and possibly some chemical help..) I have been lifting weights for about seven years now, and I definitely do not look like a bodybuilder. Aim for 10-12 reps of the exercises for a few sets. You shouldn’t be able to lift past 15 reps with your weights, or else you know they are too light.

Below are photos of easy, quick at-home arm exercises. You don’t need weights, just a chair, so anyone can do these from home. Even get a few sets in while you watch TV. Every little bit helps.

 

Chair Pushup

Chair Push-Up

Tricep Dip

Chair Tricep Dip

Tricep Push-Up

Tricep Push-Up

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