I generally don’t trust women’s magazines and I think a lot of the articles they put out there are BS (I’m looking at you, Cosmo!) So I was pleasantly surprised to find an article in this month’s Self that said strength training is more vital to weight loss than cardio. I’m glad this was finally put out there in such a mainstream place since so many women still mistakenly believe that they need to do hours of cardio and that weight lifting will make them bulk up. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I almost never do cardio. Sure, I bike and hike for fun, but I never run or do cardio just for the sake of exercise. I prefer strength-based exercises, whether that means body weight drills or pure weight lifting. Here’s why.
I should note that there are MANY more health benefits to weight lifting (and to cardio, as well), but this post is purely focused on weight loss/maintenance. In addition, any healthy individual should also be getting some cardio in, but if you live a healthy lifestyle that involves a lot of walking and activity, your workout time will be more effectively spent doing strength training.
1. Say Goodbye to “Skinny-Fat”
You’ll look toned instead of “skinny-fat.” Sure you can lose a lot of weight with cardio, but if you’re burning muscle instead of fat you’re not going to look so good. Lifting weights burns fat almost exclusively.
2. Shrink In Size
You’ll slim your waistline. Dear women, unless you’re eating over 3000 calories a day, you’re probably not going to bulk up from weight lifting. Our bodies just aren’t built that way. In fact, you’ll slim down. Since muscle weighs more than fat, you might gain weight but you’ll look smaller since the muslce takes up less space.
3. Up The Burn
You’ll be able to eat and burn more calories. Muscle mass plays a big part in determining your metabolism and how many calories you burn. By developing more lean muscle, you’ll burn more calories even while you’re just sitting down.
4. All About That Bass
You’ll retain more of your beloved curves. Ok, so some of us aren’t blessed with curves to begin with (ahem!) But women tend to lose a lot of fat from their butt and boobs first. Yet, if you focus some strength training exercises on your glutes and chest, you can maximize the appearance of those areas.
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