At my gym there is a good mix of men and women that exercise regularly. I must admit, though, there are very few women who lift weights. More women are on the treadmills and ellipticals – or in the various cardio classes than on the floor with free weights. More often when women at my gym decide to “lift weights” they are in the circuit training room using *very* light weights on those movement-restricting machines.
I was talking to one gal last night at the gym who said something along these lines: “I don’t lift weights because I don’t want to be a body builder.” My guess is that most women (and possibly even some men) associate lifting free weights with “bulking up” and becoming some sort of muscle-bound monster. That is simply untrue.
I lift weights every week (usually two or three days out of my four to six days at the gym) and I am no where near muscle-bound. I am; however, just starting to see some real definition when I flex my bicep, and I find this more than a little exciting. So, I thought I would share some information about lifting weights that I found in a book I just purchased.
1. You’ll Lose 40% More Fat
2. You’ll Burn More Calories
3. Your Clothes Will Fit Better
4. You’ll Keep Your Body Young
5. You’ll Build Stronger Bones
6. You’ll Be More Flexible
7. Your Heart Will Be Healthier
8. You’ll Derail Diabetes
9. You’ll Cut Your Cancer Risk
10. Your Diet Will Improve
11. You’ll Handle Stress Better
12. You’ll Shrug Off Jet Lag
13. You’ll Be Happier
14. You’ll Sleep Better
15. You’ll Get In Shape Faster
16. You’ll Fight Depression
17. You’ll Be More Productive
18. You’ll Add Years to Your Life
19. You’ll Stay Sharp
20. You’ll Even Be Smarter
All of these reasons have an excerpt underneath them in the book that explains the science/proof behind the concept. Of course this does not mean that cardio is not important, it certainly is. However, everyone should be lifting weights. Not super heavy weights, but weights heavy enough to challenge your muscles. Heavy enough that you have to really work to complete 10 to 12 reps in *perfect form* (the indicator that you are lifting the perfect amount of weight).
Personally, I love lifting weights. They make me feel stronger and I even can tell a difference the in the way my body feels the day after I lift. Because of lifting weights, I am *very close* to having my body fat percentage in the “normal” range – high end of that range, of course, but normal none-the-less. When I started my journey back in July my body fat percentage was over 50%. I do not have an exact figure because the little machine at the gym does not read anything over 50%. My BMI was 49.33 (and my BF% is usually 3 or 4 numbers higher). Now, my BF is 37%. What a *huge* improvement over the course of less than eight months, right? Yes, I still have some serious fat to melt away, but I am getting there…thanks to lifting weights.
Do you lift weights? If not, why?