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Dont Be Afraid of Lifting Heavy!

As a personal trainer I work with women every day and one of the most common things I hear is: “I don’t want to lift heavy weights because it will make me bulk up.”

Listen up ladies!! Muscles are you friends when it comes to fat loss!

MYTH: Weight training makes you bulky and masculine.

FACT: Women don’t have the testosterone levels to build big muscles. I’ll give you an example: If lifting heavy weights would make you big – carrying your shopping bags and kids would make you huge! What usually happens is when you start lifting weights you lose body fat and can see more definition – don’t confuse this with bulking up.

MYTH: You should do cardio and lift light weights for high reps to lose weight.

FACT: Research shows that light load resistance training can lead to loss of muscle mass and reduction of resting metabolic rate – the amount of calories you burn at rest per day. This is what you don’t want.

It is estimated that for every pound of muscle you gain you burn an extra 50 calories per day – the more muscle mass you have the more calories you burn. Weight training also increases levels of growth hormone which burn fat in the body. Not to mention your mental well being.

I started olympic weight lifting three years ago. This means a lot of my training consists of lifting heavy weights for low repetitions. Contrary to what people would think weight lifting has made me leaner and more defined – not bigger. Another bonus is that all the squatting has given me a bum lift. And most importantly- it has made me strong. Trust me – boys are a lot more impressed by a girl who lifts up a heavy dumbbell instead of a 1 kg one!

So what should you do?

- Throw away your scales! When you take up weight training your weight might not change but your shape will. Instead of staring yourself blind on the scales use a measuring tape or check how your jeans fit. In the end it’s the number of your jeans size you want to go down – not the number on the scales.

- Change your exercise program every 4-6 weeks – try new exercises, change your sets and reps. Perform better without changing your program is like expecting to become better at maths and doing the same calculation all the time

- Do compound exercises when you train. This is exercises that involve more than one joint and muscle group ie. overhead press, rows, chest press. AND! Squats and lunges. These are the leg exercises that will give you a great bum and gorgeous legs!

- Progressively increase the weight – lifting the same weight every time won’t give you results!

Lifting heavy weights will carry over to so many aspects in your life. By getting stronger you’ll feel more confident and you will have a healthy looking body with definition. Playing with your kids or lifting up that box to the shelf over your head will be a lot easier.

Lift heavy weights and get closer to the achieving the body you want.

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Finland born Anna-Maria has a background in sports coaching, health promotion and weight management, having graduated with a Bachelor in Sports Instruction degree, before continuing her impressive qualification’s with KX. Anna-Maria believes that health is a combination of physical, mental and social health. “Exercise should be fun!”
• KX Personal Trainer
o Strength & Conditioning
o General Fitness
o Pre & Post Natal
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Health, Conditioning

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