The biggest mistake women can make in the gym is avoiding strength training. While the treadmill and spinning bikes get consistent use, the barbell and dumbbells are often neglected. Many women gravitate toward the 3-pound dumbbells for 15-25 repetitions. Most studies have found the average women's handbag weighs between 8-12 pounds. If the body is accustomed to holding 8 pounds all day, then it won't burn much energy grabbing 5 pounds at the gym.
Many women express that they are afraid of “bulking up” through strength training, however many men have a hard time adding muscle and they have 10 to 30 times more testosterone than most women. Women have testosterone, just much less than men.
Engaging in a properly designed strength-training program would probably build some muscle on most women. The bigger deal, however, is strength training, especially at higher intensities, promotes something called the “afterburn.” It increases your metabolism and allows the body to burn additional calories up to 72 hours after strength training.
The more lean muscle mass you have relative to your overall body composition, the greater your potential to burn more calories. To take advantages of “after burn” use heavier weights. Aim for 8 - 12 repetitions for each exercise. If you feel like you could have done a couple more repetitions than add weight. While cardiovascular training burns calories during the exercise session itself, it does very little to promote after burn. If the goal is to look better in a bathing suit, strength training should be first on the list.
For more information, or for personal training appointments, contact Answer is Fitness.
Tahoe Daily Tribune
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