Before I begin to address the importance and necessity of women lifting weights for fat loss, let me address a common fear, Weight resistance based exercise DOES NOT make women look like men and men look like bulldogs!
When I create a fat loss programme for my clients it is never complete without resistance training because it plays a crucial role in getting leaner. Resistance training transforms” soft and squidgy” into “trim and toned”, those years of stubborn tummy fat, back fat and bingo wings can be reshaped by lifting heavy weights. I have helped ladies flatten their mummy tummies by ushering them into the weights section and away from the cardio machines.
Firstly, let’s get real; no amount of time in the gym lifting weights or participating in the perfect training programme is as important as getting the nutrition right. When the fundamentals of good nutrition are applied consistently, the weight training is an equally vital part of the formula. The secret to achieving your best body is in how well you implement these elements of the programme at the same time.
There’s no question: You’ll improve body composition far more with weights than you will with cardio alone. If you go overboard, cardio can interfere with strength, power and muscle gains. However, in the right amounts, cardio and weights not only get along well together, they’re great companions, producing the most rapid fat loss and dramatic physique transformations possible. I see this time and time again with clients who initially are fearful that I am going to turn them into muscle-bound freaks! They become amazed and sometimes addicted to the result that it produces, as they see that their shape transform into a more lean and sculpted body created by lifting weights than they ever did with cardio alone.
One reason that weight training increases fat loss is obvious but is almost always overlooked: It burns a lot of calories. It’s entirely possible for your weight training to burn more calories than your cardio, especially if you do a lot of energy-demanding exercises like squats, lunges, rows, presses, dead lifts, and other compound lifts.
An even bigger surprise is the metabolic boost. This after burn effect is becoming mainstream knowledge, often written about in fitness magazines. The truth is that weight training can produce an equal if not greater metabolic boost than cardio. There’s also a high energy cost required for repairing muscle damage from training and building new muscle. And these are only the short-term effects. There’s also the long term boost in metabolism you get from increasing your lean body mass. The higher your lean body mass, the higher you metabolic rate.
With that said, please allow me to step on my soapbox, for a minute just to reiterate this to my female readers in particular: Weight training makes the difference between the person with an ideal weight but average looking body and the person who looks cut and chiselled like a fitness model. When you have time, do weights and cardio. When your time is limited, always prioritise with weights.