Are you dieting and working hard but not seeing results?
It could be the fault of your weight loss program. Many weight loss articles impress on women the need to perform high-intensity cardio programs and low-calorie diets – some even appear to work for the short term but most just fail the women who buy them.
A lot of my clients seek advice when they feel like they are at rock bottom having tried everything and failed over and over again. Well, almost everything. Most haven’t tried lifting weights and definitely not heavier weights. Not many people are telling women they NEED to lift more weight.
Let’s flip the mainstream 'weight loss' rules. Firstly, stop aiming to lose weight. Secondly, build lean muscle – to preserve and improve your metabolism. When we decide to ‘lose weight’ we rarely give a second thought to considering long-term benefits of increasing strength for metabolic increases. We should build lean muscle and going for gains – and it should be our TOP PRIORITY.
You need a regular, sustainable resistance program. And when I say regular, that session you did on Monday won’t be producing any results for you on Friday. Weight training improves the lean muscle mass within your body but only if you do it regularly. The benefits are amazing – you’ll create more lean muscle mass over time, and your basal metabolic rate will also increase.
Your happily ever after? The longer and more consistent your training, the better the calorie burning results you get.1
Resistance training is a long-term positive lifestyle plan. For as long as there is a stimulus on the muscle as you continue to train regularly, you’ll continue to use your body as a fat burning powerhouse.
We are bombarded with messages of super-fast results from the multi-billion dollar weight loss industry. They love to promote repeat business by focusing on harsh, short-term programs. But consumers pays the cost.
You have to ask yourself some pretty pointed questions before committing to a weight loss regime. Will that product or program help or hinder your metabolism? Is that program and diet going to lead to burn out or will it promote growth? Will you be affected with food or body image issues? Are the claims proven?
I help my clients achieve amazing results. But real, lasting results take time – realistically between 6-12 months. It’s not a quick fix. The changes start within a few weeks and all the small gains give way to big results. Let your body have the time it needs to create new movement patterns, adapt to your training regime and build quality lean muscle.
There are no shortcuts. Men are annoying (with weight loss at least) and can generate more lean muscle growth than women. Expect to put on between 1-2 pounds (or ½ – 1 kg) of lean muscle mass in a month, and females, we can expect to create about half of that.
Clients are amazed at the changes they see in themselves from being consistent with their training every week. Many clients have gotten better results after 6 months of moderate, consistent training than they have in any other program they have ever done. And the best outcome isn't appearance related at all. They really enjoy their training sessions.
I know moderation doesn’t sound exciting but I can guarantee my clients feel excited when they get their results. Setting yourself a goal, dedicating yourself to reaching it and achieving it mean so much more than starving to lose weight. Working for a lasting result is so much more rewarding for YOU as a person. Imagine how you'll feel when you know you can succeed.
A long-term plan is a lifestyle change. Create good habits, cultivate patience and you’ll sculpt your body. Think about where you’ll be in 12 months – with a few hours training regularly each week, you could celebrate the gains your amazing body has produced.
Spot reduction and body sculpting
Resistance training beats cardiovascular exercise for defining, sculpting and reshaping your body. Cardio training will help you ‘lose weight’ by burning energy. However, this weight loss is a combination of fat (adipose tissue) and muscle. What you’re left with is a smaller version of your current self – not a reshaped version. Resistance training gives you a much better overall transformation than if you 'lost weight' doing cardio.
Ladies, do not make the mistake of shying away from lifting weights, particularly going heavier with them. I have already discussed our diminished ability to produce as much muscle as men above. Women do not produce enough testosterone in our bodies to develop huge muscles training a few hours per week. It does not happen.
Lifting heavy weights will raise the metabolic rate, promote greater fat burning, and help you more definition as you lose body fat. Because of misinformation in many magazines and online articles, what most women fear is what they should do – lift weights!
You need to include some cardiovascular training as part of a balanced program. It is essential for cardiovascular health so don’t overlook it altogether. Get a run in post-workout (after please, not before).
What More Lean Muscle Means for Women
It bothers me that women feel uncomfortable using the word ‘muscle’ to describe their goals.
Choose not to be dictated to by mass marketed information. Build your metabolism by getting stronger and building lean muscle. Stop counting calories in vs calories out and instead focus on getting the basics into your diet like 5 servings of vegetables and 2 fruits each day.
Resistance work increases basal metabolic rate and needs to be the starting point of your weekly routine. Do cardio – as an adjunct (it should not be your primary focus) unless you’re training for a cardio event like a marathon or triathlon. Even then, you still benefit from some regular strength work.
Your body is YOURS. Your body can be in any shape you’d like it to be. You can improve your strength or your performance. If you want to enhance your physique though, hit the weights like an animal.