First I just have to vent that it's so hard to lose weight!!! Consistency and patience are key, but it can get so frustrating. My goal is to have flat abs. Genetics do play a big part in body type, but it's really only 10% of the equation. Exercise coming in at 20% and nutrition with a whopping 70%! (Obviously, my nutrition is a bit off.) Anyway, I can't even remember the last time I had a flat belly...when I was 10 maybe? Everyone has different body types, different "trouble zones". Genetics for me has always been to store extra fat in my abs. I've always been thicker-waisted (is that a word? :P) The last 5-10 lbs are always the hardest to lose. Why? Because they're the pesky pounds that have been around for awhile and your body starts to think that it needs them to survive. Your body will start slowing down your metabolism in order to hang on to it! I will conquer this though. ;)
A common misconception is to lose weight you have to do hours and hours of cardio. In fact, most women only workout doing cardio.
Does your gym look like this too?
A lot of women are afraid to weight lift...thinking it'll make them look bulky or like men. I know this was my first thought:
This WILL NOT happen to you if you weight lift. It is not possible. It is not in our genetics as women. Men have 10x the testosterone women have and that's why they bulk up, women do not. This picture, and the other ones you may have seen of masculine looking women, are women on steroids. Again, you CANNOT achieve this look by weight lifting alone....no matter how much you are lifting.
So why should women replace some of their cardio workouts with weight lifting workouts?
1. Muscle increases your resting metabolic rate which increases how many calories you burn each day. It's estimated that for every pound of muscle you add, you burn an extra 50 calories a day...just sitting there!
2. Weight lifting will give your body a tighter, more toned looking body than endless cardio.
3. It keeps you healthy! Weight lifting reduces your risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, and back pain, plus, it makes things like picking up kids, groceries or heavy boxes a lot easier.
4. Weight lifting releases endorphins in your body that spike your energy levels and put you in a good mood.
5. Muscles need fuel to keep them replenished and growing. That translates to getting to eat more! (Still, that does not mean to eat whatever you want. Stick to clean eating and a calorie deficient- most women need about 1,500 calories a day, for optimal results.)
There are a few different ways to add in a weight lifting program to your routine. You could do 2-3 total body routines a week. Personally, since I like to run and do the HIIT routines I posted previously, doing a full body weight lifting routine 3x a week would be too much for me. If you don't do any other workouts, than doing a 3x a week full body routine would be perfect.
I split up my routines into either a 3x a week weight lifting like:
Monday- Chest & triceps
Wednesday- Back & biceps
Friday- Legs & abs
Or recently since it's hard to get to the gym with Elliott, I've been doing a 2x a week routine like:
Tuesday- "Front half", chest, biceps, shoulders, abs
Friday- "Back half", back, triceps, legs/glutes
The options of routines you could do are endless! For the sake of not making this post the size of a book, I'm going to have to post specific routines in another post on another day. For starters, you can check out this website www.bodybuilding.com for some GREAT workouts and demonstrations of the exercises. That's where I got started. And don't be afraid to lift heavy!!