We normally don’t think of women as being weightlifters, but weightlifting can be a very beneficial activity for women. When girls are growing up there is very little emphasis on sports and muscle building. Boys are more active in these areas, but girls are discouraged, especially in weight lifting and muscle building. Consequently, we see more women that have injuries from lifting common items such as groceries, babies, furniture and other household items. When women get involved in weight lifting training, the strengthen muscles, particularly the back muscles, and these types of injuries are fewer.
Another big benefit for women who get themselves involve in weightlifting is the reduction in body fat as the result from lifting weights.
“Muscle tends to hold more space in the body reducing the amount of fat someone has. This gives the impression of a more toned, well defined body as the muscles begin to shape, reducing the amount of fat you hold.” – Shapefit.com
In as little as two average weightlifting sessions per week, it has been shown from studies that up to 3 percentage points of body fat can be lost over a 10 week period. This equates to nearly three inches lost from the waist and the hips.
In the process of lifting weights, new muscle is being built which gives the overall body the shape that you want, as well as strengthening the muscles. Building more muscle also increases metabolism, which in turn will burn more fat. That is a nice scenario with which to be involved.
Muscle accounts for about one third of a woman’s total weight and it has a very valuable effect upon metabolism. Fat is not active in a metabolic way at all, but muscle is. If 10 pounds of fat are replaced with 10 pounds of muscle, an extra 25 to 55 calories per day will be burned up without any exercise at all.
It is valuable to understand that it is the kind of weight that is lost that is important. It is important to lose fat and not muscle mass. In a recent study, a group of women who did only cardiovascular exercises was compared to a group of women who lifted weights. The same number of calories was fed to each group, and both groups lost the same weight, about 26 pounds on the average for each group. The women who were doing the weight lifting lost 100 per cent fat, while the group that was doing the cardio exercises lost 8 percent of their muscle mass.
Weight lifting has also been shown to have a better effect on losing belly fat, than cardio exercise, as it is better at grabbing the intra-abdominal fat that is associated with diabetes and cancer.
Muscle is more dense than fat, so weight training will build up the muscle, while eliminating the fat. The actual weigh loss will not be as great as compared to cardio, but the size will lessen faster. The fat will whittle away, while the muscle will get stronger, which is exactly what you want to happen.
It is important to eat properly when taking on a weightlifting program. Extra protein is important because that is what fuels and builds the muscles. Lean fish, chicken, eggs, and vegetables are important to continue and add to your diet during a weightlifting program.