I’ve been training clients for nearly 15 years, and it seems like the hardest message to get across to people is that they need LESS cardio and MORE weights! It’s a cycle many are afraid to give up, I was there once and completely understand! Double days on most days, and if a day didn’t include cardio, I didn’t really consider it a good workout! Cardio sucks you in. . . ever heard of a “runner’s high?” It’s a real thing! So the high you get from cardio combined with the fear of cutting back leads to more and more cardio. This leads to muscle loss, which in turn leads to a decreased metabolic capacity.
Cardio isn’t bad, and I’m not at all saying it doesn’t have a place (I’ll touch on this in another blog!), but if your goal is to improve the shape of your body, boost your metabolism and be a healthier and fitter person, you’ve got to pick up weights! I used to give a presentation with my sister to the Fresno Police Department every year. We would always tell the officers, “if you want to look good in clothes doing just cardio is fine, but if you want to look good naked, you’ve got to lift weights.” Might sound funny, but there’s truth to it! You see, cardio pretty much produces a smaller version of the body you already have. If you’re like most people, you look in the mirror and zone in on the least favorite area of your body. Doing cardio won’t change that. . .it’s just going to give you a smaller version of it, and you’ll still look at that problem area the same way you did before. If you’re a pear shape, you’ll just be a smaller pear shape.
Lifting weights increases lean muscle. Now many women are afraid of weights and I often hear comments like, “I don’t want to bulk up,” or “I don’t want to look like a man.” Lets get one fact straight. . . lifting weights doesn’t make you bulky. . . eating too many calories makes you bulky! So now that we’ve got that out in the open, we can look at the facts. Increasing lean muscle is the number one way to increase your metabolic capacity! As we age, our metabolism slows down, so things we did before to lose weight just don’t work the same as we get older. Muscle also takes up about 1/3 less space than fat. So while the scale may not move much, your body composition will improve and your clothes will fit differently because you will be tighter and leaner. Another awesome thing about lifting weights is that you can target specific areas of the body. I’m not referring to spot reduction (hopefully you realize that’s impossible), but if you have an area you’d like to have more shape or definition, focusing on those areas when lifting will definitely help!
One more reason I LOVE to lift is that it’s so efficient and effective! Our bodies burn calories/expend energy well beyond our workout session. Doing steady state cardio only causes a small rise is this elevated metabolic rate and usually not for too long; lifting weights, on the other hand, greatly increases the “after burn” effect and for much longer (24-48 hours). So if you are short on time and want to get the biggest “bang for your buck” lift weights!
So lets review. . . 5 Reasons You Should Lift Weights:
- Change the shape of your body
- Increase metabolic capacity
- Improve problem areas
- Increase strength
- More efficient/time saving workouts
Now go pick up some weights!