By Melanie Vovk – Fitness Instructor
Are you someone who prefers cardio and tends to head to cycle class or to the treadmill?
Read this list of benefits and decide if you should be incorporating strength training into your workout.
- Building strength can decrease your risk for certain injuries like ACL tears.
- Weight bearing exercises improve bone density, reducing the risk for osteoporosis.
- Resistance training 2x per week combined with aerobic exercise, can improve cognitive function in elderly women at risk for Alzheimer’s.
- Women who strength train burn more deep belly fat than those who just do cardio.
- Doing at least 2.5 hours of strength training per week can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Full body strength training can help ease chronic lower back pain.
- Strength training with a light load can improve balance in 10 weeks.
- 8 weeks of strength training can improve your HDL cholesterol (your good cholesterol).
- Strengthening the core and lower back can improve posture.
- 12 weeks of strength training can lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, for people with high blood pressure.
The benefits go on and on. Now let’s look at lighter weights with more reps versus heavy weights with less reps. It all boils down to one important factor…. Muscle fatigue. Use a weight that is heavy enough that it fatigues the muscle between 30-90 seconds or between 10-15 reps. If you fatigue in less than 30 seconds. Your weight may be too heavy, and may be causing joint problems.
Benefits of lifting lighter weights:
- Beginner friendly, perfect if you are starting a new fitness routine.
- Injury prevention, perfect on the joints.
Benefits of lifting heavy weights:
- Time efficient, you can perform less reps, so it’s the more efficient way to train.
- Quicker results, developing strength comes from fatiguing your muscles, and heavy weights will do that faster.
Will heavy weights cause you to bulk up?
Being a woman who lifts heavy weights will not make you bulky or manly. Just the opposite. It will tighten and tone your body, burn fat, and shape your curves exactly how you want them.
To wrap it up, If you’re simply looking to improve the overall shape of your body and improve your body composition, then lifting weights is also a very important component of a well-rounded fitness program. If you want to gain significant amounts of muscle mass, you’re looking at four to six days of lifting a week, versus one to three days of lifting for general health.
Group Exercise Classes that provide strength training at The Paseo Club are, Total Body, Weighted Boot Camp, and Cardio Strength. Check out our group exercise schedule on our website, www.thepaseoclub.com.