If you have been huffing and puffing on every piece of cardio equipment at your local gym yet getting no results on the scale, then you might need to increase your strength training. According to national health reports only 21 percent of all women include strength training routines for women in their normal workout routine.
Just two strength training sessions each week can effectively lower your body fat percentage by three points within just a couple of months. This can result in an approximate three inch reduction in your waist. Strength training routines for women also help to create a lean body, higher metabolism and general good health.
Burn More Calories with Less Effort
Even though a vigorous cardio workout uses more calories during the session, strength training results in a calorie burn that lasts for about 24 hours after your session. This means that ultimately, women who strength train will end up burning more calories over time than women who only perform cardiovascular exercises.
As you get stronger, simply add more weight to your strength training routine to maintain the same caloric burn. A study that was published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal discovered that women were able to burn two times as many calories after their strength training session when they lifted 40 percent more weight than usual.
Having a more muscular body also increases your metabolism. Muscle naturally burns many more calories than fat, so even when you are doing cardio, you will burn many more calories than you otherwise would. Ten pounds of muscle typically burns 25-50 more calories per day than ten pounds of fat.
More Significant Changes
The University of Alabama at Birmingham conducted a study that found that among women dieters, those who engaged in strength training exercises three times per week lost about the same amount of weight as those who only did cardio, but their physical change in appearance was much more significant.
The women who lifted weights lost more fat, while those who only did cardio also lost muscle along with some fat. Therefore, even though the women who lifted lost the same number of pounds, they looked noticeably smaller because muscle is much more compact than fat.
Finding the Right Strength Training Routines for Women
Fitness experts suggest starting off with three strength training session per week. During these sessions, it is important to focus on the muscles in the legs, arms and back. Exercises that work many muscles at once are preferred. Squats are a great strength exercise that works most of your leg muscles at one time.
As far as reps go, each exercise should consist of about three sets with 10 to 12 repetitions. You should be using weights that are heavy enough for you to finish each set without losing proper form. As you get stronger, it is a good idea to start varying the weights and reps from moderate intensity to low intensity to vigorous intensity for the best results.