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6 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights

6 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights

It puzzles me why so few active women strength train: the benefits of weight training for fat loss far outweigh those of cardio.

Think you’re going to get big and bulky? Think again. You might be surprised to learn that lifting weights is the most efficient way to quickly gain the lean physique you are after.

The negative prejudice towards lifting weights is an all too common mis-belief that is holding women back in achieving their fitness goals. As a trainer and coach, I spend a lot of time convincing female clients to ditch the treadmill and get in the squat rack. After all, my job is to make people lean, strong and sexy in the shortest amount of time possible.

Slow Cardio Is Making You Fatter And Weaker

Let’s say you run for an hour on the treadmill and burn 300 calories. That’s less than one “healthy” muffin at Starbucks. Run for just 11 more hours, and you’ll burn a pound of fat!

On top of the minimum calorie burning that takes place during that long, slow, and boring cardio session, you can also bet that your body used some of your lean muscle for energy.

The less lean muscle you have on your body, the more fat your body will store, and the harder it will be to lose weight, or even maintain a weight you’re happy with.

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And to make it worse – your fat loss hormones are virtually unaffected by traditional cardio. You’ll experience no prolonged metabolic benefit, which means, the minimal calorie burning you spent so much time on stops shortly after you step off the treadmill.

You’ll end up slaving away for the bare minimum of results.

A much better alternative to traditional cardio, is High Intensity Interval Training – or HIIT for short. HIIT is a method of cardio during which you alternate periods of intense work (like sprinting), with periods of rest. For example, run hard for 30 seconds, walk for 60, and repeat about eight times.

Training like this taps into your fat cells and burns more calories, keeps your metabolism elevated longer, and is much more time efficient. One study showed that HIIT was nine times more effective at burning fat than traditional cardio.

HIIT is much more effective for fat loss than traditional cardio, but not quite as effective as weight lifting.

You’ll Burn A Lot More Fat

In one study on over 700 females, lifting weights for just 25 minutes three times per week led to the gain of nearly two pounds of muscle, and the loss of four pounds of fat. If you’re familiar with how physiques work, then you know that is a radical change in appearance!

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Now, picking up heavy things burns a respectable amount of calories on it’s own. No doubt about that. But that’s not why lifting weights is so effective for burning fat.

When you lift something heavy, you’re setting your body up for metabolic reactions that allow you to utilize nutrients better (like ice-cream), and continue burning calories for up to 36 hours after your workout.

There’s this thing called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). It controls how many calories your body burns while you rest. As you gain more muscle, you increase your BMR, along with how much you can eat and still stay lean.

The more lean muscle on your body, the less body fat you will store, and the harder it will be to gain weight.

You Wont Know What To Do With Your Free Time

All you need is a 30-60 minute lifting session about three times a week to start seeing great results in as little as two weeks.

I like to reinforce this efficiency mindset with all of my trainees:

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Get In. Work Hard. Get Out.

You’ll have more time to spend with your favorite people, and to do your favorite things.

You’ll Get Stronger And Feel Awesome

Studies show that moderate weight training can more than double a woman’s strength. I’ve had a female trainee get 400% stronger in about 30 days. When we started, she could barely do two push ups, less than a month later, she was banging out sets of eight push ups. It was awesome.

When you’re stronger, daily tasks like groceries, lifting children, and pushing that creep at the club off of you become much easier, and enjoyable.

And along with the sense of pride that comes with finishing a challenging workout and beating a personal record (it’s super easy to track your progress with weights), your body will reward you with a dose of euphoric chemicals called endorphins. These affect us like powerful drugs, but without the nasty side effects. I’m sure you’ve heard about the runner’s high, but have you ever tried the lifter’s high? It’s much easier and faster to achieve. The more intense your workout, the higher you’ll get.

You Will Not Get Big Or Bulky

At this point you’re probably thinking everything sounds amazing, but have this little voice in your head telling you that you’re going to get big or bulky.

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I hear this way too many times. It’s simply a mis-belief that is holding you back from seeing results you love in a short period of time. Unless, of course, you’re training like a monster, consuming a massive amount of calories, and injecting yourself with synthetic hormones.

Let me break it down for you. Hormones, such as testosterone, are responsible for muscle growth. Women have anywhere from 10-30 times less testosterone than men.

Now, there is an extremely small sample of women that do, in fact, build bigger muscles from lifting weights. This is a very small group, and I’ve never worked with anyone that falls into this category. But even in that case, as soon as you notice irregular muscle growth, you stop and change your routine.

Simply lifting something heavy does not mean you’re going to build muscles overnight. Hell, even guys that are doing everything in their power to build muscle are struggling!

You Will Develop Nice Assets

The gluteus maximus is one of the strongest muscles in your body. The shape of your glutes are influenced by muscular development.

When it comes to building size in your glutes, there is no substitute for a deep, heavy squat. This will also help rid you of cellulite, while “firming” and “toning” your legs in the process. You’ll also strengthen your lower back and help prevent back injuries that are all too common as we age.

There is nothing more enchanting than seeing a woman commanding a respectable amount of weight at the gym. It’s effective. It’s empowering. It’s dang sexy! Don’t be afraid to give it a go.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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