Updated: May 2, 2020
Weight training is just as important as Cardio and flexibility. It is for everybody!!
I have been teaching fitness classes for 24 years and in the recent years, I have realized how important weight training is, especially for a woman trying to lose weight.
Though it has been an uphill task convincing women that lifting weights will not bulk them up, I do think times are changing. I see so many women now in my classes, and in the gym, lifting weights very happily and with amazing results.
To all the women out there who are still afraid of weights – lifting weights will not bulk you up, only extra calories taken in can do that. Lifting weights also gets you ready for many everyday activities like carrying your baby around, carrying heavy pans and pots in the kitchen, carrying heavy shopping bags (and continuing to shop more with them), moving furniture, to name a few. Imagine being able to do all of this, feeling strong and energetic and not having to worry about things like back pain. This is what weight training does for you. Gives you stronger muscles and a stronger core, so your everyday activities become easy and enjoyable.
Here are some points to keep in mind while you weight train:
Lift the right weight
Choose a weight that challenges you. I see a lot of people lifting light weights month after month, year after year with no results at all. Increase the weight you lift and you can increase your strength, your muscle mass and your metabolic rate, which in turn burns more calories even while you are resting. It is a perfectly normal response to be sore for about 24 to 48 hours after a proper weight training workout. Make sure your form is right, drink plenty of water and ensure you are getting adequate nutrition.
You do not have to work for hours in the gym. Work hard, work smart with little rest between exercises, keeping your heart rate elevated. Circuit training is a great way to get started.
While training, push past your comfort zone. Repeating things that you can already do comfortably day after day, is not going to help you change. Push yourself to exhaustion, especially while weight training, so you can get stronger and fitter.
Get a Personal Trainer
Many people are not very confident about starting a weight training program on their own. It would be a good idea to work with a personal trainer who can ensure that you are using good form and posture while training and also to help put a plan together depending on your fitness level and your goal.
Check with your doctor The most important advice I can give you – Please check with your doctor before starting a weight training program. It may be contra-indicated for people with Hypertension (high BP) and those with musculoskeletal injuries. A certified trainer (with inputs from your doctor) will be able to put together a plan for you that is safe and beneficial. Happy lifting!!