I can’t stress how important it is to incorporate weight lifting into your fitness routine. Many girls think that lifting weights will cause them to turn into some female version of the Hulk (I admit, I used to think that, too!). However, this is just NOT true! In order to get that lean, trimmed and toned physique, you MUST lift weights. Otherwise, as soon as you get the clean eating down and all of the fat is coming off, you’ll be left with skin and bones! This is also known as “skinny fat”.
Trust me, ladies, even if you lose that fat you’ll still have that “muffintop” until you add in a few weight training sessions each week.
So now that we’ve established that weekly weight training sessions are needed, now what? First, here are a few tips before starting a new weight lifting routine:
- Start light! Don’t make the mistake of lifting more than you can handle because you think results will come more quickly. Building muscle takes time, and if you rush into heavier weights you could serious injur yourself. In fact, I would recommend that beginners start with bodyweight-exercises – Such as push-ups, sit-ups, dips, bodyweight squats, bodyweight lunges, etc. Here are some great examples of beginner bodyweight exercises from nerdfitness.com: http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2009/12/09/beginner-body-weight-workout-burn-fat-build-muscle/
- Do some research on your own. When I first started weight training, I spent hours reading various articles on my favorite fitness sites. Read about the anatomy of major muscles and secific training they require for best results.
- Eat enough protein! In order to gain and maintain that sexy, toned muscle, you have to feed your body with the appropriate amount of protein. For females who lift weights, the daily recommendation is that you eat 0.8 – 1 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight (meaning a 125 lb female should be consuming about 125 grams of protein per day – http://www.cutandjacked.com/Women-And-Protein)
- You might consider consulting a health professional or getting a physical done before starting weight training, just to be safe and to understand your limits.
- SLEEP. Sleep is so important for building muscle. The act of lifting weights means that you are actually tearing down your muscle. When you sleep, your body has the opportunity to repair and rebuild the muscles to be stronger. If you’re not getting enough sleep (7-8 hours) then you’re settling yourself short.
- Ready!….and GO! Go for it, girl. Give it your ALL and push through the times when you’re not motivated. In the end, it’s worth it! Every drop of sweat, every sore muscle, every early morning or late night gym session. It pays off!