When it comes to exercise for weight loss, the mantra has always been you must do a lot of cardio. As a result, when you go to the gym, you will notice that the treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, rowers, and aerobics classes are all filled with people trying to lose weight. And a predominance of these people tends to be women. That’s all about to change as part of the Fit Ignition, where we will be entering into a new era for weight loss and a new world of resistance training for women.
Why Many Women are Against Resistance Training
In the past, many times when I would present women with a resistance training workout to help them lose fat, they would object that they don’t want to get big.
Fair enough, but you are not going to get big unless you train like a bodybuilder with high volume workouts and high caloric intake. So we can just kill this objection right here.
A second objection I’ve heard from women is that they would rather burn the fat first so that they do not have muscle on top of a layer of fat.
This objection is absolutely absurd. Muscle is built on top of bone and fat builds up on top of muscle. You will never build muscle on top of fat! Period.
But Doesn’t Cardio Burn More Calories?
Yes, cardio does generally burn more calories during the workout itself than your typical resistance training program. However, resistance training offers additional caloric expenditure that aerobics does not. Resistance training at a high intensity raises caloric expenditure for hours after exercise is complete. In addition, this type of exercise will build small amounts of lean muscle tissue which will increase your metabolic rate.
That’s right, the muscle that you thought would make you big, actually helps you burn fat!
Muscle is Sexy
So you want to lose weight to look good, right? But if all you do is cardio then you will lose fat and muscle. This will make you “skinny fat”. Your bodyfat percentage will not drop much, you’ll just have less fat at a lower weight with less muscle.
This “skinny fat” look without muscle is not very attractive, at least not to me. I find women with a good bit of muscle–again, we’re not talking bodybuilders–to be very sexy. So if you are looking to improve your physique, I highly recommend you partake in a total body resistance training program three times per week.
Stuck for ideas to get started? Tomorrow, I will have a post for you with a sample resistance training workout that I’ve used with great success for many women.