Women, Weight-loss and Weight Training

Women, Weight-loss and Weight training. The facts. Having run many successful weight loss programmes for women in Balham, the importance of lifting weights has never been more obvious. Adding weight training sessions to women’s weekly exercise regime always produces some amazing results, whether it’s weight on the scale, improvements in body fat % or just how they look and feel.

There seems to be a deep-seated belief that doing reams and reams of cardio training is what you need to do for weight loss. Wrong. You train cardio for the health of your internal systems, heart, lungs etc For fat loss and improving and changing your body composition you need to lift weights. Fact.

Whether you’re a 20-year-old man or 60 year old lady, we all need to lift. So get off the elliptical, wave goodbye to the treadmill and forget your Pilates class. These are NOT going to develop Lean Muscle. If your goal is to change the way your body looks then lifting weights in a progressive programme is the only way forward. However there are even more benefits.

Scientific evidence has stated that lifting weights can help fight Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as having a positive effect on mental health. Stronger muscles also prevent falls in the elderly and allow people to stay mobile and independent for longer.

According to a study in the US National Library of Medicine weight training has a better effect on bone and joint strength than aerobic training and does more to help the body deal with everyday activities, making it a better bet especially for ageing gym goers.

Furthermore, lifting weights raises the body’s metabolic rate, meaning that fat is burned off faster even during periods of rest. So while pounding the treadmill may burn off more calories in the short term, lifting weights can lead to a longer-term solution to love handles.

“I’m to old to lift weights!….aren’t I?”

Growing older brings about numerous physiological changes including less-flexible muscles, sagging skin, slower metabolic processes and weight gain. Other changes might include bone deterioration and less efficiency of the heart; so finding the motivation to get in shape and stay healthy is crucial to help alleviate or prevent some of these issues.

Though we believe that everyone should weight train, we recognize that weightlifting is especially important for women—and it’s women who are less likely to make a habit of this form of exercise.

Whether it’s due to the tired myth that women can bulk up from weightlifting, or because they feel less comfortable in the weight room, it is costly to their wellbeing.

Because women have less muscle than men do to begin with, there is greater need to lift weights to prevent the natural loss that occurs during the aging process. So if you’ve been avoiding lifting weights because you think you’ll get mannish or bulky, that’s the last thing you should worry about!

It is proven that women do not have the same levels of anabolic hormones that men have, and that’s the key component in building muscle. One of the top reasons women should lift weights is because women are also more prone to bone and joint issues as they age in comparison to men. The muscle tells the bone where to go, not the other way around, so as you increase your muscle strength, you’ll improve your posture and better support your joints. Additionally, a strong core is key for balance and joint health alike as balance is highly linked to strong hip and core muscles. By training your core, you will effectively reduce your risk of falling and lessen stress to the knee joints.

Sometimes a reality check like a serious injury or illness can provide enough motivation to get into shape. Carrying extra weight as you age reduces your overall health and wellness but the good news is: exercise and proper nutrition can actually counteract potential problems. In “Psychology Today,” Susan Krauss Whitbourne discusses how exercise can reduce blood pressure and lower your risk for type 2 diabetes

She notes that your immune system will improve, you’ll build muscle mass and decrease the risk of osteoporosis through exercise. Getting in shape can also help you sleep better, have more energy, and maintain your sex drive. Lastly, studies also link weightlifting to lower anxiety and better overall mental health. As you can see, there are many benefits and we realize just getting started is the hardest part!

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they begin an exercise program is not thinking about their health and fitness as a journey; it has everything to do with understanding what you expect and desire for yourself a year from now instead of focusing on crushing it right now.

It’s important to start slow with a well-organized plan. Injuries caused by starting too fast will only set you back further. Far too many people needlessly struggle with fitness because they try to do it alone. There is no substitute for having expert guidance, a program designed specifically for you by a fitness professional, and the accountability and support to see it through. At Ashley Green Fitness, we encourage you to feel proud of your efforts and we aim to give you the tools for managing your own fitness goals so that you can feel empowered and motivated to get in shape and stay there.

If you want to find out more about programmes and how we can help you please click here and fill out our consultation request form and we’ll be in touch.

Ashley Green

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