If you dread spending 45 minutes on the elliptical at the gym before becoming disappointed when you don’t develop the toned physique advertised everywhere, do not despair. It is the all-too-common dilemma: you want to lose weight and tone up but dread spending a monotonous hour on various pieces of cardio equipment. Want to know the solution to a lean and toned body? Weights and strength training are the answer!
It is not recommended to jump directly into bench pressing and squatting in the back of the gym with the bodybuilders. That’s a terrifying prospect even for the most seasoned gym-rat. Start by attending strength training classes that focus on proper form and a high number of repetitions with low weight.
Ignore the Myth: Strength Training Won’t Make You Bulky
A common misconception for women when they hear the term “weight-lifting” is, “Oh my gosh, I’m going to have huge shoulders and thick legs and look like a man!” This is false for a couple of reasons – one, it is naturally harder for women to develop huge muscles due to the low levels of testosterone, and two, it would take endless hours of hard work in the gym lifting hundreds of pounds. Don’t get psyched out of lifting weights due to fear of becoming the she-hulk. The benefits of weights are immense including increased weight loss and confidence!
What Strength Training Actually Does
During strength training, your body is not only burning calories during the workout itself. Instead, your body will continue to burn calories long after you’ve left the gym. Your muscles are an active tissue which burn more energy at rest compared to fat tissue. As you work your muscles through strength training, they will then continue to keep burning energy during recovery. If you initially burned the same amount of calories in an hour-long cardio workout versus a strength training workout, you would ultimately burn more calories by the end of the day through strength training. This is because your muscles still continue working after the fact.
Strength training also increases your metabolism. Your basal metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories. When you slowly increase your muscle mass through strength training, your basal metabolic rate increases. This results in a higher number of calories being burned in a day.
You Don’t Need To Go To The Gym To Strength Train
Don’t have time to get to the gym? That isn’t a problem at all. There is no excuse to strength training at home, even if you have limited space for storing equipment.
A dumbbell kit is a great way to keep strength training equipment close to hand. This particular dumbbell kit from Decathlon contains everything you need to begin for less than £30. It also stores away in its own sturdy case so you can easily pack it up when not in use.
If lack of space and storage is a particular issue, the TRX Home Suspension Trainer Kit is a fantastic alternative. Taking up less space than a home gym or even a rack of dumbbells, this can be packed away in a bag when not in use. Don’t be deceived by its compactness, the TRX Home Training System will put you through your paces with a complete body workout, facilitating better strength, flexibility and joint mobility.
Of course, if you do discover a love of strength training and have the space available, you could add a home multi-gym for under £1000. Then you can have the perfect all-round workout, any time you feel like it!
So are you ready to begin? With a little hard work and dedication, your body will be an efficient calorie-burning machine and will soon start to take on the tone of a Greek goddess!