Ignition Fitness

Published Oct 17, 2012 « Back

The Facts

The truth is, I could rant on about the subject of weight training for page after page. But I don’t want to bore you so I will just be skimming the surface!

First off, I’m going to hit you with some powerful knowledge. According to Tufts University (an american based research uni) the two leading predictors of lifespan (how long we live for) are:

  1. How much lean body mass you maintain over the course of your lifetime
  2. How strong you are

This puts into perspective how important weight training is to live a healthy and long life. But I doubt you train to prolong your life, you probably are thinking more short term...

If I had a pound every time a female client queried if doing weight training would make them more “bulky” then I would be a rich man!  This ancient and ludicrous myth couldn’t be more wrong for the following two reasons: a) When it comes to muscle growth whilst working on a weight training programme, testosterone is the hormone that makes the muscle bigger (over time).

b) Women have extremely low levels of testosterone hence why woman will not get “bulky” whilst following a resistance programme.

For Example

Marilou Dozois is a female weight lifter who finished top ten in the Beijing Olympics. I can already see the image popping into your mind!  The image of a sumo sized woman with a huge frame lifting weights. You couldn’t be more wrong.  Ms Dozois has a perfectly trimmed frame with a tiny waist most women would die for (that’s according to my female clients)! . Ms Dozois weighs just 53kg (8stone 5lbs) despite lifting weights of 87kg.

(Marilou Dozios - olympic weightlifter)

 

Due to this fear of becoming “bulky” a lot of woman become cardio queens instead! All they do is cardio, thinking its going to create the lean/toned look they are after. This just doesn’t happen. In my article/blog named ‘Fat Loss Myths’ I go into more detail of why becoming the cardio queen can cause issues with losing weight/lowering body fat and can cause many problems.

 

Positives of Weight Training

There are so many positives when it comes weight training the list can go on and on and on, however, I will name just a few.

Weight training creates growth hormones in your body. These hormones tell your body to “burn fat quick and hard” and for your body to build and maintain lean firm tissue (muscle). This hormone happens to be brilliant for looking after your skin and hair. People who lift weights perpetually look younger than their peers. If you were to look at a marathon runner (who mostly does aerobic training) and a sprinter (does a lot of weight training) the sprinter always appears to look younger and seem to look fresher in their appearance.

 

The increase of insulin sensitivity is also a benefit of weight training. Food (blood sugar) can either go into fat cells which will make them even fatter or can go into the liver and muscle cells to be stored as glycogen. If you are to weight train on a regular basis the blood sugar will go into you muscle cells to help them recover from training, which in returns means blood sugar will not have such a negative result in your fat cells.

 

Keep Away From The Cowboys

When performing weight training it is important to get the correct intensity. You should pursue the help of a trained professional to guide you in this. Eventually you want to progress to lifting a heavy weight relevant to your strength and weight. There are some ‘fad’ weight-loss programmes on the market from celebrities etc. One of which involves doing extremely high repetitions such as 50 - 100 per set. In my experience I have had a number of clients who fall into this thinking that they are working the muscle more, therefore, it will result in more fat burning. This isn’t the case, when performing a programme like this over a sustained time a phenomenon called atrophy will be released into your body. Atrophy is a tissue-wasting phenomenon where in this predicament the tissue that will be wasting is muscle. Due to the high repetitions it is like your muscle cells going through a marathon which will eventually lead to tissue neurosis or cell death. To learn more about this Google tissue neurosis and be horrified by the effects your poor muscles go through if you partake in these fad programmes!

Looking at these high repetition programmes goes to show that just because you appear healthy on the outside it doesn’t mean you’re healthy on the inside.

 

        

(To the left is a 5lbs of fat. To the right is 5lbs of muscle - note that the muscle is tight whilst the fat is "flabby" )

 

There are many aspects that you need to do when creating a sculptured body of a goddess. Im not saying you must become and olmpic lifter to become lean, but simple weighted exercises will help you reach your goal and function in day to day life.

To conclude:

  1.  Having a weight programme is key to obtain a sculptured healthy body inside and out!
  2. Don’t fall into the fad programmes and become another ‘cardio queen’!
  3. Make sure you use the correct weight for your strength and size.
  4. Weight training WILL NOT make you ‘bulky’ due to the low levels of testosterone in females

 

Have fun and train smart!