Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Womens Fitness - Cardio vs Weight training

I just wanted to do a quick post for the women out there, who might be missing out on the massive benefits of weight training, due to the misconception that they will get big and bulky - like a typical male body builder.

Don't worry, This will never happen!!! So please lift weights :-)

This will never happen because women naturally do not have the levels of testosterone that us men have. In fact, men have 20 times more test in their bodies than women according to Livestrong.com. And if you've seen any of the professional women (and male!) body builders and thought 'I don't want to get like that!!', then don't worry, you will never get like that because they're taking steroids to get that big. Plus, even when doing it naturally, it takes years of effort and strict diet/training to build a decent amount of muscle, as any natural body builder will tell you.

I've been wanting to address this for a while now because, as you may have noticed, all my advice to women is based around simple, weight lifting (body weight or free weights) routines that can be done at home. I don't mention any cardio because you don't necessarily need cardio to get in shape...

You can get in shape and lose weight by reducing your calories, eating a well balanced diet and performing some basic weight lifting movements, 2-3 times a week, either at home or at the gym.

Push ups - Great body weight exercise
I won't get into the nitty gritty health benefits of weight training and cardio (but there are many for both) but I will just compare them from a persons perspective, who is looking to lose weight and improve their physique.

Cardiovascular exercise

Cardio definitely has its place for burning calories and burning fat/weight loss in general. You will burn more calories during a 20 minute session of cardio than you would a 20 minute session of weight training. If you're a beginner and, first and foremost, you are looking to lose some weight, then start by performing light to moderate cardio (walking or cycling or swimming) 2-3 times a week for 20-30 minutes each session. Where cardio falls down is that it doesn't necessarily help you get in shape.  'Shape' being the key word. Yes, you will lose weight, but its diet and lifting weights that will build curves, tone and add shape to your physique.

Weight training

I love lifting weights!! Its helped me transform my physique so I can't help but sing its praises. Weight training will not burn as many calories as cardio per session but it will help you naturally burn more calories/fat at rest and keep your body naturally lean, long term. This is all down to the fact that you're building lean muscle and, so naturally raising your metabolism. So your body becomes more effective at burning calories and burning fat. Plus, it's the muscle that gives you shape, tone, firmness, and that slim lean look. If you want a nice shapely bum and legs, don't go for a run, do some squats.

Squats - Start with body weight only or an empty bar as shown.
So which should you use???

Both... But I would keep it 70% weights 30% cardio. It's different for each person though; some people may want to do more cardio to aid weight loss.

I'll leave you with a quote I recently heard and thought it was pretty spot on! - "Lean women train like men"

For more info on home workouts and diet for women's fitness please click here - Women's Fitness 

Follow Chrisy M Fitness on Twitter - https://twitter.com/ChrisyMFitness


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