Henry, Why Should I Lift Weights?

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Everyone asks me that. Women seem especially concerned about lifting weights, since they don’t want o ‘look like a guy’. Ladies, first let me tell you, there is really no danger of that! Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Okay, kidding aside, it’s true. Women don’t have the testosterone we males do. So, nature just won’t let you look like Arnold. To look like the female bodybuilders you may see on TV, you have to do a lot of extra ‘stuff’ to your body that the regular exerciser just doesn’t do.

Now that that’s out of the way, back to the ‘whys’ of weight training. One of the best ways to lose body fat is to weight train. Lifting weights is honestly one of the quickest ways to lose weight. And here is where everyone looks at me in a disbelieving way, but really it’s true. I may be a four-legged animal, but I know my facts. Since adding muscle speeds up your resting metabolism, you burn more calories while you’re just sitting around doing nothing. A pound of body fat only burns two (two!!) calories while you’re just sitting around on your butt, but a pound of muscles will burn six! Sure, that’s only a four calorie difference but, um, don’t you want to burn more calories? Healthily? If you can burn more calories all day, every day, won’t you jump at the chance?

Like I tell my pack all the time, if you can add an extra five pounds of muscle to your frame, you burn an extra 20 calories an hour. This is an extra 480 calories a day, which turns into 3,360 extra calories a week-for doing nothing really! And, don’t forget that you only need to burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound. This seems like a no-brainer to me-eat right, add the resistance training to your exercise routine and lose weight!

Of course, the next question I get is what and how long. If you are a true beginner, you’ve never really weight trained at all, start slow. Add 15 to 20 minutes of resistance training three times a week. If you are already exercising quite a bit, but it’s all cardiovascular, add weight training to your routine, or exchange a cardio session or three with weights. And keep adding to that-increase your weights when things get too easy. Add reps when you can. Just keep at it, and soon you’ll notice the fat melting off your body.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I ahve heard that older women, don’t benefit from any sort of weight training, as it has something to do with hormone levels; can you shed any light on this, hopefully, myth. I am starting Aero Pliates and I would like it not to be in vain.

    • Totally a myth! Women can benefit from weight training at any time of their lives. In fact, it is more essential to weight train as you get older and lose bone density…it prevents injuries like hip fractures. Pick up some weights today! 🙂

  2. Henry, what an awesome site…thanks for the insight on popular weight loss plans. What do you think about the South Beach diet? I did it a few years back(2004 or ’05), and was not exercising on a regular basis. Over the course of one year, I lost about 30lbs. I have gained back about 10lbs and was thinking about doing it again.

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