Friday, April 24, 2009

Light Weights vs. Heavy

I wanted to expound on the subject of strength training making women bulky. As I said Wednesday, many women are afraid of lifting heavy weights. The problem is if you lift too light of weights you're wasting your time. Hugo Rivera says this about the subject, "As far as the lifting of very light weights, this is just more nonsense. Muscle responds to resistance and if the resistance is too light, then there will be no reason for the body to change." *

Paige Waehner explains why you have to lift heavy to increase your muscle density and thereby increase your metabolism. "You know that losing fat involves increasing your metabolism. What you may not know is that muscle plays a huge role in raising metabolism. A pound of muscle burns about 10-20 calories a day while a pound of fat burns 5 calories. That means any growth in your muscle tissue is going to help you burn more calories all day long. In fact, strength training has all kinds of great effects on your body like:

  • Increasing resting metabolic rate so you burn more calories, even while at rest.
  • Making you lean and slim--muscle takes up less space than fat so, the more you have, the slimmer you are
  • Strengthening bones and connective tissue, which can protect your body from injuries in daily life
  • Enhancing balance and stability
  • Building confidence and self-esteem

However...this only works if you're using enough weight to stimulate that muscle growth. In other words, if you can lift the weights you've chosen (for most exercises) more than 16-20 times, you might not see the kind of fat loss you would if you increased your weight." **

If you need more convincing, read the articles below. If you're hooked, try to increase the size of your dumbbells next time you lift. You should be tired after 6-8 reps and unable to complete more than 10-12 reps with good form. Make sure that the weight you are lifting is manageable, you can keep good form, lift without jerking, and lower the weight slower than you raised it.

* Myths of Women's Weight Training and Female Bodybuilding By Hugo Rivera - http://bodybuilding.about.com/od/womensfitnesstopics/a/womenmyths_2.htm

** Are You Lifting Enough Weight?

Use it or lose it! By Paige Waehner, About.com

http://exercise.about.com/od/exerciseworkouts/a/liftingheavy.htm

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