All women should lift weights. Here’s why I am so passionate about this topic. I fought it for years!!!!
According to Becky Miller from Livestrong.com, “Women begin losing muscle mass around the age of 35, and the process accelerates after menopause, or around the age of 50 unless you strength train regularly. You can preserve your precious muscle and develop beneficial new lean muscle mass by lifting weights. Also known as strength and resistance training, your body responds immediately on a cellular level in response.” If that is not enough reason for you to lift that weight check out these other very important reasons.
1. You will lose body fat more effectively.
While aerobic exercise burns fat AND muscle, weightlifting burns almost exclusively fat, because you are building muscle. Also, you burn calories by doing nothing. As you are reading this, you are burning calories. You can calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate here. Because muscle mass is a huge factor in determining your BMR, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn when you are sitting there doing nothing. Besides the calories burned during your workout, you’ll continue to torch calories for a prolonged window afterward.
2. Your quality of sleep will be increased.
I’m sure you that you have experienced that lovely night-after-a-workout-sleep where you fall asleep fast and stay asleep all night. I love that feeling. Strength training aids your ability to fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake less often during the night. According to the International SportMed Journal, morning resistance training greatly affects the quality of sleep and lengthens the time of sleep the night after training.
3. Your energy level will increase.
As well as increased calories burned, resistance training causes an increase in energy expenditure hours after you train. A study published by the National Institute of Health suggests that “the chronic increase in energy expenditure, even after a minimal resistance training session, may favorably affect energy balance and fat oxidation”. A balanced energy means that you don’t have crashes throughout the day. I know what you’re thinking how does a workout out give me MORE energy. But trust me, give it a try. You’ll have more energy when you need it, and a great night’s sleep after taking on a busy day.
4. Your heart will be happy.
Cardiovascular exercise isn’t the only exercise that helps your heart. One Appalachian State University study found that people who performed 45 minutes of moderately intense resistance training lowered their blood pressure by 20 percent. It also serves to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind of cholesterol), and lower your RHR (resting heart rate). A lower resting heart rate means that the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to do basic day to day tasks.
5. Your bones will thank you.
Weight lifting doesn’t exclusively strengthen your muscles, your bones become stronger and denser too. For example, when you do a bicep curl, your muscles tug on the bones in your arm, which reacts by creating new cells.
6. It prevents the metabolic decrease that comes with age.
We all know that as we age, our metabolisms slow down. If you are someone who envies those teenagers who eat and drink whatever they want and don’t gain an ounce, then weight lifting is the sport for you. Weight lifting can prevent and/or reverse the natural decline in your metabolism (which begins in your late 20s and early 30s).
7. It improves your posture.
There’s nothing worse than a bad posture. It takes a toll on your spine, back muscles, and overall confidence. Luckily, there are awesome exercises that can help improve your posture; deadlifts, squats, planks, and more. The stronger your muscles are, the easier it is for them to hold you up straight.
8. It lowers your blood pressure.
Weightlifting can actually lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Recent studies have proved that it can lower it by two and four percent. According to the American Heart Association, you only need to fit in two or three sessions a week to start seeing positive results. So ditch the treadmill or elliptical for 2 days out of your week and see what it can do for you!
9. It releases endorphins.
Endorphins are neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood, and enhance pleasure. Basically, endorphins make you happy, and who doesn’t want to be happy? Endorphins get released during exercise and resistance training. They are released during long, continuous workouts when the intensity is moderate to high and breathing is difficult. Because you constantly push yourself when you are lifting weights, endorphins are released a lot more frequently than if you were to walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes.
10. You will be stronger physically AND mentally.
“Strength has a funny way of bleeding into all areas of your life, in the gym and out,” says Jen Sinkler, an Olympic lifting coach and author of Lift Weights Faster. Stepping into the male infested weight section as one of the only women, your self-confidence is really tested. Getting past the fear of the weight section is a really awesome feeling. Trying new weight lifting positions and moves feels awesome. Constantly challenging yourself grows your self-confidence in ways you never thought possible.
But I don’t want to get bulky and manly!
The only ways for women to build significant amounts of muscle, to the point where they start looking manly, are to:
take HGH, testosterone, or other hormones (other than things prescribed by your doctor)
have abnormally high levels of natural testosterone, which is extremely rare and you’d be aware of it if you had it
Don’t believe me? Here are some pictures of women who lift.
Here is my FAVORITE lady weightlifter. How can you not be inspired?
Now, this person REALLY inspires me? Wait who is that?????? Yes, that is me lol. I might not be as toned as the ladies above but I am getting stronger and more confident each day and I love myself for staying in the game and never allowing myself to quit. Each day might not be stellar but each time I push play.
Believe me yet? Good, now go pick up some dumbbells and experience the health benefits for yourself and if you need another article check out this one on why HITT workouts can be one of the best things you do for your body.
Tony Horton is a serious trainer but he also delivers serious results. If you are familiar with Tony’s workouts then you might be a little surprised by this one. The program is not out yet but I did have the opportunity to try one of the workouts on the program the other weekend and I fell in love with it. It was very different than Tony’s normal goofy style. With Beachbody’s 22 Minute Hard Corps, Tony takes on a no-nonsense kind of attitude. I am not sure if you are aware of Tony’s dedication to our military. Tony Horton spends a lot of time traveling to different military bases every year helping our military stay in shape with free workouts.
Here is what Tony Horton has to say about 22 Minute Hard Corps. “If you can carve out 22 minutes a day to exercise — and believe me, everyone can — you have all the time you need to lean out and muscle up,” says Horton. “This program is fast. It’s furious. And it only requires a few key pieces of equipment. I don’t care how many times you’ve tried and failed to get in shape in the past — if you want to be leaner and stronger than you are right now, this program will get you there.”
Here is what I love about what I have seen with Tony Horton’s 22 Minute Hard Corps:
Minimal equipment is needed
You can get an amazing workout in the 22 minutes
They have a wonderful modifier for those moves that are a tad too difficult for you ( yes I modify too :-> )
The moves are repeated so you can pick up on the moves easier
The exercises are different than his normal moves but familiar enough to other moves you have done so you can master them quickly
I love the military style of motivation. It’s encouraging and motivating without me wanting to scream at the TV
It is designed for every fitness level, male or female. Individuals just starting out on their fitness journey will not be intimidated by Tony anymore 🙂
The meal plan is easy, covers recipes for common allergies, and provides you with plenty of recipes to maximize your results. Check out this dish from his meal plan.
The program consists of eight routines that alternate between total-body cardio and resistance workouts — one a day, six days a week. “This is a pretty big departure from P90X,” says Horton. “The workouts are shorter, the pace is often quicker, there’s more user participation, and most of the moves are easier to pick up. It’s back to basics for mind-blowing results.”
Here is a preview of this fun “Let’s Get It Done” workout
It’s Fast, It’s Simple and It’s Effective. Do not forget I am here to support you on your journey.
The other day my daughter Kellie and I were chatting about college life. During the course of conversation, Kellie reminded me of the struggles she had with the Freshman 15. I thought her story would be helpful for others so I asked her to write her story. Below is a guest post from my daughter Kellie:
College. Words and phrases that come to mind when someone hears that word are: tests, “poor college kid”, tuition (sorry mom and dad!), all-nighters, parties (again, sorry mom and dad) and most importantly… the FRESHMAN FIFTEEN *dun dun dun*. If I have learned anything in my three years at college, all I know is the Freshman Fifteen is real. These days, a hard fact of life for these hard-working college students is that the Freshmen Fifteen has friends, and their names are Sophomore Slump and Junior “Jesus Where Did All This Weight Come From?”. And I never wanted to meet them. Luckily for me, I have a set of parents, who are arguably the most health enthused parents I have ever come across, who set me up with a head full of health and nutrition knowledge before sending me off on my merry way… only to ignore everything they ever taught me and consequently still put on the Freshman 15 (and again, sorry mom and dad!).
Not only is Freshman year hard on the body, it’s hard on the mind. It wasn’t until my second semester of college that I realized, “WOW, where did my passion for fitness and health go? This is not who I am, and absolutely not who I want to be.” So just like that, I stopped using the Freshman Fifteen as a way to justify how crummy I was feeling, and I took my health back into my own hands. Let me tell you, it was not easy, but boy was it exciting.
The first thing I got back in check was my diet. Up to this point I had chosen to ignore my gluten allergy and had been binge eating pizza, Cup of Noodles, Coca-Cola, chips and queso, and my personal favorite, chicken nuggets. I can hear my mom gasp from here. After evaluating all the crap I was putting in my body, I chose to cut out soda first (baby steps, right?) and let me tell you, the headaches were unreal. I needed something to help me curb my ever-present cravings and flush out all the bad stuff in my body. So, I turned to Shakeology. My parents, and I at one point, drank this stuff religiously, and thankfully I had not forgotten that. Shakeology is packed with superfood after superfood, antioxidant after antioxidant, and a whole lot of digestive enzymes to gently eliminate the many toxins creating havoc in my body. Right off the bat, replacing my normal breakfast of Lucky Charms with a chocolate Shakeology shake helped me lose about five pounds in less than a month. This alone lit a small match at the end of the tunnel that was my Freshman Fifteen, and trust me, I saw that little light. And I ran to it.
My next step was getting my fitness in check. For this, I turned to one of my favorite fitness past times, TurboFire. If you are looking for a workout that works then any of Chalene Johnson’s Turbo Fire workouts are the ones for you. TurboFire isn’t a typical “in the gym on the treadmill for 45 minutes and where are my results” workout. It is a dance party. With lively pumped up music and energetic dance moves, this workout will make you want to get off your butt and get dancing. Not only was I jazzed on this workout video, my sorority sisters were too. All of us, ready to ditch our extra lbs in the most healthy way possible, hit the ground running with this program. We made an event out of it every time. We dressed up. We invited friends. We made videos. We made it fun and got it done. Something Chalene said during one of her TurboFire workouts was “make time for friends who make you better”, and we all looked at each other with smiling faces because we knew we already had. And just like that, the person I had always wanted to be but was too scared to be, was front and center for the world to see. Beachbody, and their life-altering products, brought back my passion for health and fitness. Now, this match at the end of the tunnel was a huge open window right in front of me with a view so incredible it made me realize that this path, while terrifying and exhausting at times, was the path I wanted to be on for the rest of my life.
I began drinking Beachbody’s Energy and Endurance formula (similar to pre-workouts you see on the market, only so much better) and taking on Tony Horton’s p90X workout program with enough energy to run a marathon. This program is not for the faint of heart, but I was dedicated and motivated to shed those last pounds and get back to the lean and fit woman I once was. So every morning I got my happy butt up and dedicated an hour and a half to the hardest workouts I have ever done. And I loved every second of it. I started my day with E & E, a Shakeology shake, and Tony Horton happy voice motivating me to get through countless challenging exercises at 6 in the morning. Day after day I got up and did this as part of my routine and just like that I looked around and saw how far I had come. I turned around and I saw that the tunnel I had been stuck in for so long was 50 feet behind me. I turned back around and ran, and never once looked back.
Now, the only remnants of the insecure person, cursed by the Freshmen Fifteen, that I had become were the pictures of the countless amazing memories I had made that year hanging on my wall, next to the picture of Shaun T’s Insanity that I kiss every time I pass it (just kidding). Long story short, Beachbody helped me change my life and get on a path I never thought I would be on, and boy am I happy to be on it.
Beachbody’s Body Beast Program blew me away, I just got to tell you all friends. When this program came out a few years ago I was sooo not interested in it. I was happy with the 21-day fix and Insanity. I was making good progress with my fitness goals so I really did not focus a lot on this new program. I had a lot of customers and other coach colleagues that were loving it (men AND women) and I was happy for them but it still was not my thing. I did buy it for Mike though because I know how much he loves weightlifting. Mike has been pushing me to lift weights for years and honestly, I think that might be part of the reason I was not interested. I hate when that man is right all the time. I know how important it is for women to lift weights and honestly I don’t think I was afraid of getting BIG or BULKY I just did not know much about this trainer and so I just did not get amped over it. I was lifting weights with the 21 Day Fix so I thought I was doing all I needed to do in regards to lifting weights.
Well call me a fool. One day I heard Mike laughing his booty off in the gym while working out and I was like “who laughs like that while working out?” I went into our gym and listened to Sagi on the DVD and was hooked. I was mesmerized how he motivated me and I was not even working out with him. The next day (after Mike went to work of course, I could not let him know that I was trying this program hee hee) I went in a pushed play and did the bulk chest workout. I was blown away at how much I loved it. I actually started to crave working out to this program. I can’t really explain it but it was a little different than the way I was lifting weights with the 21 Day Fix program. To this day, I’m not sure which workout routine I like better but Body Beast was a change that I think my body needed. I have to admit I have not done the whole Body Beast workout routine from beginning to end because I love to bounce around but I truly love Body Beast and I am now here to encourage you to give it a try. Below is a little more about the program.
• 12 cutting-edge workouts that fuse the best of old-school resistance training with a new breakthrough in sports science called Dynamic Set Training®.
• Designed to help you shed fat, pack on lean muscle, build strength, and get incredible definition in just 90 days.
• Developed and hosted by the champion bodybuilder and clinical nutritionist Sagi Kalev who’s helped professional physique models, actors, and bodybuilders get cut fast.
Body Beast is for:
• Men and women looking to build a head-turning physique
• Graduates of other extreme fitness programs who want to focus on weight loss and building lean muscle mass
• Men and women who work out but aren’t getting the results they’ve hoped for
• Weight-lifting enthusiasts looking for a comprehensive at-home program
Customers can stream Body Beast workouts:
• If you purchase Body Beast and become a Premium Team Beachbody® Club member, you’ll get unlimited access to Beachbody® On Demand, where you can stream Body Beast and hundreds of proven Beachbody workouts via any desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device—wherever you have an Internet connection. Just look for “Purchased Programs” in Beachbody On Demand to access Body Beast.
Tools to challenge advanced users:
• The Base Kit comes with 12 raw, take-it-to-the-edge workouts. You’ll also get a Program Guide, including an extensive Nutritional Plan with recipes and supplement instructions, two workout calendar options, a free mobile app, and a network-exclusive workout DVD “Lucky 7.”
• The Deluxe Kit includes everything in the Base Kit. Plus, you get a 30-day supply of both Beachbody Hardcore Base Shake and Beachbody Fuel Shot, the bonus DVD “Tempo,” and the network-exclusive workout DVD “Lucky 7.”
• The Ultimate Kit includes everything in the Base Kit. Plus, you get a 30-day supply of Beachbody Hardcore Base Shake, Beachbody Fuel Shot, Beachbody M.A.X. Creatine, and Beachbody Super Suma, the bonus DVD “Tempo,” and the network-exclusive workout DVD “Lucky 7.”
• The creator of Body Beast
• Competed in numerous bodybuilding competitions, and won two Mr. Israel titles, among others
• Holds a degree in physical education with a minor in nutrition from the University of Central Florida. Is a clinical nutritionist and a functional medicine expert.
• Certified Nutrition Specialist CNS, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition expert, PROPTA Master Professional Personal Trainer, and a Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor
• Has spent many years training physique models, actors, and other bodybuilders for competition, and used this experience as the foundation for the Body Beast program
Now here is why I love this program so much:
He is stinking hilarious
He motivates me in a non-threatening way
The workouts are very fast-paced but not to fast I can’t follow the moves
He is very good about explaining good form
Did I say he was hilarious yet?
I saw results within the first week of doing the program
I know lifting weights is good for me at my lovely ago of 50
The workouts vary in length from 27 min- 55 min
I would seriously like to ask you to give this one a try friends. I really do not think you will be disappointed. You also get a free gift with purchase this month. ( Beachbody’s performance line) I love helping people reach their goals and I will be with you every step of the way if you would like it. I am always doing challenge groups and would love to have you join our next one. I also run a PRIVATE free eat clean, train mean, get lean group on Facebook and would like to encourage you to join us there as well. It is a great group of people and the only requirement is you are looking for some support on eating clean and working out ( you do not have to own a Beachbody Program to join)
As head over heels I am in my new position at All in the Balance I struggle sometimes with muscle and joint stiffness because I sit at a desk a lot during the day. I have often found myself caught up working on a project and not noticing that 5 hours has just passed. This is not good on the ole body. I am now doing these 6 stretches every two hours and I feel so much better. In addition to these after my lunch break I go into our gym and foam roll a little. I can not tell you the difference it makes. Sitting at a desk for long periods of time can cause muscular tension, but you can prevent the buildup of stress in your muscles by taking a few minutes to stretch. Do not wait till it is too late and you are stiff and rickety.
Try these 6 easy exercises when you need to reenergize, or throughout the day to keep your muscles relaxed.
1. Head tilt. Put your right hand on your left shoulder. Tilt your right ear toward your right shoulder. Hold for five seconds. Switch sides.
2. Neck roll. Roll your head to the right, down to the front, then left. Do this slowly and smoothly, in both directions.
3. Shoulder circles. Make circles with your shoulders—up, back, and down. Switch directions. Do at least five circles in each direction.
4. Side stretch. Stretch your arms to the right side, then clasp your hands overhead. Keep your head straight forward but lean your upper body to the right side. You should feel this down your left side. Hold for five seconds. Switch sides.
5. Shrug your shoulders — to release the neck and shoulders
Inhale deeply and shrug your shoulders, lifting them high up to your ears. Hold. Release and drop. Repeat three times.
6. Leg and Abdominal — Grab the seat of your chair to brace yourself and extend one leg straight out in front of you so that it is parallel to the floor. Flex and point your toes five times. Release. Repeat on other leg and do three to five times.
Here is a great article taken from our Beachbody site. I thought it had some great advice I wanted to share with you. I really believe it!
Spoiler alert: The answer is both, done together.
Only work out and you’ll have a hard time losing inches or pounds. Only diet and you might end up skinny-fat. Together, they have a symbiotic effect. It’s not just doubling your results, it’s turbocharging them. Let’s break it down so you can explain to your roommate, spouse, coworkers, or barista why you can’t skip your workout and why you’re passing on the muffins. And so you don’t talk yourself into thinking eating them is a good idea when your willpower is flagging.
The Impact of Eating a Healthy Diet
I hate the word “diet.” It makes me think of ordering off the part of the menu that has the iceberg lettuce and the cottage cheese. It isn’t appetizing (OK, admittedly I really hate cottage cheese) and it feels like punishment. What I mean by “diet” is the way you eat. What you put in your body is your diet. A healthy diet generally means eating clean and staying hydrated. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, lean proteins, and lots of water. And, of course, the occasional real treat—like real chocolate, full of sugar and fat and deliciousness. It’s not a diet; it’s your diet!
Let’s look at a few reasons you should make your diet healthy.
You’ll be Happier and More Productive
Your diet has a bigger impact on how you feel than you might think. By eating the right foods—particularly complex carbs, iron-rich foods, and foods high in omega-3s—you can boost your serotonin levels and energy levels so you feel happier and more equipped to handle what life throws at you. The reverse is also true. A study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Young Women’s Hospital found that women who ate a diet high in saturated fat performed the worst of all groups on memory and cognitive tests. Other research has revealed that low omega-3 levels, too little iron, and a diet high in simple carbs (sugar) may correlate with depression.
Your Digestive System Will Run Better
The Standard American Diet is high in saturated fat, refined carbohydrates, and low in fruits and vegetables. The body responds to this in a variety of negative ways, and one of them is with sluggish digestion. Fried foods and foods high in fat can slow down your digestive system. A lack of fruits and vegetables results in not getting enough fiber for everything to move down the digestive tract, and if you’re not drinking enough water (a good gauge is half your body weight in ounces), then everything can get…stuck. The result is constipation. On the other hand, when you eat a healthy diet, your digestive tract runs like clockwork.
You’ll Get to a Healthy Weight
“You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” “Abs are made in the kitchen.” You’ve heard these classic, clichéd adages before, and they’re true. When I spoke with the 21 Day Fix’s Autumn Calabrese recently, she touched on this as well. “I see it all the time, people who go to the gym five to six days a week. But they don’t eat right and they’re all still overweight. They all still look the same as they did three years ago when I saw them. You can undo a good workout with one wrong meal.”For example, this morning, I did the stairs near my house. They were hard and I felt like I had exerted myself. When I looked at my fitness tracker, it showed me I had burned 300 calories. That seems like a lot, so let’s put this into perspective. It’s fewer calories than 22 of the 30 items on Taco Bell’s new breakfast menu, and the same amount of calories in a chocolate croissant from Starbucks.
The Impact of Regular Exercise
You need to exercise. It doesn’t matter if you’re at your goal weight or not. The human animal is built to either move or fall apart. Here’s what the CDC recommends at the very minimum:
150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity (jogging or running) or an equivalent mix of the two every week. That’s 10 to 21 minutes a day.
Muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups two or more days a week.
This isn’t very hard. Do any Beachbody® workout program and you’ll surpass those recommendations. Even if you’re doing the Ultimate Reset®, which recommends only gentle exercise, you’ll still exceed it. And it will change your life in so many ways. Let’s look at a few.
You’ll Feel Less Stressed and Happier
Like diet, exercise can help reduce the amount of the stress hormones floating around in your bloodstream and boost your serotonin levels so that you feel happier. And you don’t even have to get a “runner’s high” for that to happen. Even low levels of exercise can help alleviate and may, in some cases, prevent depression. Additionally, those who work out regularly often experience high levels of self-esteem and an improved body image. Who doesn’t want that?
You’ll Sleep Better
Sleep is when the body recovers, muscles heal, and performance-enhancing hormones are released. When you sleep, your body’s leptin levels recover, which is a hormone that tells us we’re full so you’re better able to have the mental wherewithal to say no when someone passes the chips. Exercise helps you sleep in numerous ways, the simplest being that it breaks down tissue, which makes you tired because your body knows that it’s the best time period to make repairs. Thus, it’s not surprising that studies have shown regular exercise helps cure insomnia.
You’re Less Likely to Get Sick
Though sometimes it seems a new exercise routine can bring on a mild cold, exercise actually increases your lymph circulation in the long run and the result is improved immunity against getting sick. According to the National Institute of Health, exercising can help flush bacteria from lungs, purge the body of cancer-causing cells, and “trigger the release of hormones that ‘warn’ immune cells of intruding bacteria or viruses.”The long-term results are even cooler, where exercise has been shown to boost your overall energy levels, improve bone density, lower cholesterol, and decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases.
It Can Help You Lose Weight
To really see results on the scale, you need to create a caloric deficit. By existing you burn X amount of calories a day. To maintain that weight, you need to eat that many calories a day. To lose weight, you need to eat less. Eat more and you gain weight.
You’ll Tone Up
If you can help it, you want to avoid being skinny-fat because a muscular body ages slower. You don’t need to be a bodybuilder, either. All exercise keeps your muscles toned, but for the toned “look” of sexy, defined arms, legs, back, and abs, you’ll want to resistance train.