That’s how I work-out today. I admit that I never used to work-out with weights. I was the woman spending my life doing dumb workouts. Cardio. Running for hours in a day, wearing out the treadmill, the elliptical trainer, the spinning bike. Spending hours a day in the gym on aerobics. Then there was the dieting. Skipped breakfast. Eat less. Go vegetarian. Count calories. Even anorexia! There was weight loss, then weight gain. The cycle went on and on. That sound familiar to you? On my 40th birthday, with the help of a personal trainer, I changed my routine. I wasn’t convinced about it at first, but decided to stick with training with weights “for a while”. Tomorrow is my 42nd birthday. I’m not thin. My abs are 6 pack (at least I can see them). I get praises from people for my toned arms and legs. Best of all, I eat as much as I need to not be hungry! I am, with this blog, advocating only what I have gained from personal experience, and recommending only books that I have bought and read, exercise things that I have used myself, and my favorite YouTube videos that inspire me to work-out regularly. This lens is not about weight loss. Neither is it just about dieting or exercise. We all know proper diet and exercise is necessary to be healthy, stay young, and look beautiful. This is about THE right way to exercise, and THE right way to eat.
Every woman will benefit from exercising and eating the right way.
The beauty of strength training is that it is accessible to all women. It will benefit young girls and women of all ages. If you are thinking now “nah! I’m too old…” or “I got this or that reason why it won’t work” … WAIT. Read on… Later in this lens, I will share with you videos of ladies in their seventies who lift weights. Some of these women started working out properly only after their fifties.
The Importance of Muscles. Muscle cells are the power houses in your body that burns fats 24/7.
Muscles tissue, more than any other cells in the body, contain the highest concentration of a sub-cellular particle called Mitochondria. Mitochondria is where the biochemical process of energy conversion occurs in the cells. Exercises that build muscle ultimately create more muscle cells with more mitochondria, and thus more calorie burning facility in the body. A body that burns more calories, is able to burn more fat effectively and is less prone to putting on the flab. The more muscles you have will mean that you have more calorie burning cells that use up energy even when you are at rest. Hence there should be 3 main goals for us to achieve from our work-outs and diet, and this is in order of importance: 1 Gain muscle. 2. Gain fitness for strength and anti-aging. 3. Lose excess fat. Thing is, when you achieve goal no. 1, which is to gain muscle, you will automatically achieve the other goals. Your body is really a calorie burning machine. We use the energy from the calories to maintain life processes like cell growth, repair damaged tissues and move around.
Foolish Workouts: Burn away muscle along with fat and you hit a plateau.
Foolish workouts do not build muscles. In fact most of it actually burns away precious muscles. With less muscles, the body burns less calories at rest. Worse still, these workouts causes the body to get used to it and adapt to the exercises till they are no longer effective. This causes the exerciser to need to exercise more and more to maintain the same weight. Workouts that burn muscles ultimately bring you diminishing returns are. For example: 1. Running for hours daily on a treadmill or road without any strength training. 2. Cycling on a stationery bike at constant speed for hours. 3. Using any machine in the gym — elliptical, bike, rowing machine, treadmill — at intensities that allow you to go on for hours. 4. Spending hours going from one aerobics class to another.And all this, without any strength building exercise.To clarify further, cardio exercises have their use. It helps to build endurance. However, they have to be balanced with sufficient weight training and proper nutrition supplements in order to maintain muscle mass. Most of us who love cardio, do only cardio and do it for hours. That’s foolish.One reason why I call them “foolish” is purely the amount of time one has to spend on them.Unless you are a sportswoman, there is no need to spend half your life in the gym and the other half frustrating over diets! I used to be the expert at this. Sometimes we call them “cardio” workouts. They are addictive because they give the impression that they work, because they give instant result when you start. But then, you’ll find that you got to do it longer, and faster, and you eventually hit a plateau. Once this happens, you think you need to diet and eat less. Lack of nutrients stun muscle repair and growth leading to less muscle an lowered metabolism. Hence a vicious cycle of exercising more, eating less and getting nowhere! As we get older, we think it is purely because of age. Wrong.
Exercises to build muscle strength and density.
Smart workouts build muscles so that the body is built up to keep burning calories even at rest, and gain strength at the same time. They include all kinds of weight and strength training. These workouts are short in duration of not more than 40 minutes. We are also encouraged to carry as heavy weight as we can (and not barbie weights). This is so that muscles are inspired to grow stronger. These exercises also need to be changed around, and we have to do a variety of exercises and not stick to the same old moves. Changing moves will prevent the body from adapting to it, so that the short workouts will always show result.All the latest studies prove that strength training, not aerobics, provides the key to losing fat and building a fit, strong body.
There is really only one book I’d recommend.
Lift Like A Man Look Like A Goddess
I have read countless exercise books and diet books. This is the only book that made 100% sense to me. I followed the message and it worked for me. The message is invaluable. The authors Lou Schuler, Cassandra Forsythe, and Alwyn Cosgrove give brilliant, interestingly written insight into the theory behind weight loss, exercise and good nutrition. In it presents a comprehensive strength, conditioning, and nutrition plan destined to revolutionize the way women work out.
Strength Training Will not Bulk You Up
Muscles are far too hard to build for you to look like the Hulk!
There is a misconception that women will “bulk up” if they lift heavy weights That is not possible even if you wanted it to. This is because women, unlike men, have lower amounts of the necessary hormones required for that. One of the hormones is called testosterone. Muscles need to be strengthened to achieve a lean, healthy look. Properly conditioned muscles increase metabolism and promote weight loss. We need more muscle mass to hold our skeleton in place and maintain posture. Good solid muscles provide necessary strength to do everyday jobs. As we get older these muscle tone and function are even more important and life saving, as we get the chance to maintain good balance and prevent injury.
Too old to Workout? Watch Ernestine Shephard
For working out without going to the gym. See Zuzana Light.
Her workouts are intense. But look at her physique. Her videos is inspiring and has lots of followers.
A Word about Nutrition
Eat enough protein!
Notice I used the term “nutrition” and not “diet”. Starvation dieting is a dirty work and is really a foolish way to control weight. All we need to do is to build muscles. Muscle is made of protein. Hence we HAVE TO EAT sufficient amounts of protein daily to keep the muscles. The book I recommend has information about nutrition and why we should eat more lean meats, fish, eggs, milk and legumes and fresh vegetables. If you have a problem getting enough protein in your diet, either because of time schedules or vegetarianism, it is not a bad idea to take some protein shakes as supplements.
This website is a compilation of workouts that I have found useful. You can change your body if you work out right and work hard.
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