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Blast the Fat with Weights

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There are more ways for women to burn fat than just cardio.
Yes, ladies, there is no cardio in that title. A general misconception with weight training is the dreaded ‘bulk’ for the ladies. However, women’s bodies are incapable of building large amounts of muscle, due to low testosterone levels.
 
Whenever we think of fat loss, the first thing that comes to mind is cardio. Whether it is sprinting on a treadmill until your lungs burn, or hitting the bike until the pedals fall off, cardio is not the only way to burn fat. Although cardio has its benefits, it is not sufficient to rely on cardio to achieve that lean look that we all drool over. We must incorporate weights into the routine in order to gain some muscle in the process.
 
How can weight training benefit fat loss? What regimen can you adopt to lose weight while incorporating weights? Let’s find out!
 
1) Metabolism boost:
 
As we build more muscle, we start burning fat more efficiently. How does that work? Well, muscle tissue is called ‘active tissue’. In other words, muscle requires energy to maintain its size. Where does energy come from? Food! Therefore, by just having muscle, your resting metabolic rate is much higher. With the right diet, along with a lean body, your body will start burning fat to supply the muscles with energy. One pound of fat can burn up to 70 calories a day!
 
2) After burn:
 
Yes, cardio can burn large amounts of calories and stored energy in a small amount of time. But once you step off that treadmill, you stop burning calories. However, with weight training, your burn rate keeps going for another hour after the workout! This is because your muscles require more oxygen post-exercise.
 
3) Lift heavy:
 
Many women believe that lifting light weights for more reps is more effective than a few heavy reps. However, this is not true! Heavy lifts are more efficient at stimulating muscle growth. As I said, lifting heavy will not make you bulky if you are a woman.
 
So now that you have the knowledge, how can you apply it into your workout routine? Try focusing on 2 alternating muscle groups per session, and incorporate two cardio days per week if you wish.
 
Here’s an example of a weekly workout routine:
 
Monday: Quadriceps, hamstrings
 
Tuesday: Chest, Upper back
 
Wednesday: Cardio & Abs
 
Thursday: Shoulders & Calves
 
Friday: Biceps & Triceps
 
Saturday: Cardio
 
Sunday: Rest & Stretch
 
It is essential to take one rest day per week. You don’t want to overwork your muscles into complete fatigue! Over-stressing the muscle will cause injury. Here are some circuits to get you started!
 
Monday:
 
  • 5 sets of 5 reps heavy bar squats
  • 5 sets of 10 reps heavy deadlifts
  • 3 sets of 10 reps weighted walking lunges
  • 3 sets of 20 jump squats
  • 3 sets of 10 reps hip thrusts
 
Tuesday:
 
  • 4 sets of 10 reps chest press
  • 4 sets of 10 reps bench press
  • 4 sets of 10 reps cable cross over
  • 3 sets of 10 reps lat. pulldowns
  • 3 sets of 10 reps pullups
  • 3 sets of 10 reps pushups
 
Wednesday:
 
  • 30 minutes of HIIT cardio
  • 3 sets of 20 reps weighted Russian twists
  • 3 sets of 20 reps toe touch crunches
  • 3 x 1 minute plank
  • 3 sets of 20 reps hip plank twists
 
Thursday:
 
  • 3 sets of 10 reps overhead press
  • 3 sets of 10 reps upright row
  • 3 sets of 20 reps weighted calf raises
  • 3 sets of 10 reps side lateral raise
 
Friday:
 
  • 3 sets of 10 reps bicep curls
  • 3 sets of 15 reps tricep dips
  • 3 sets of 15 reps seated cable rows
  • 3 sets of 10 reps hammer curls
  • 3 sets of 10 reps pullups
 
Saturday:
 
  • Cardio circuit x4:
  • 20 burpees
  • 20 jump squats
  • 20 plank jacks
  • 20 high knees
  • 20 mountain climbers
 
This is just a general guide to provide some workout ideas to incorporate into your routine. After a few weeks, mix up the routine and workout different muscle groups together. Increase the weights as you progress. Remember to take it slow, and focus on form rather than getting the reps done faster. Incorporating weights and cardio is the way to achieving that lean and trim body. It is also essential to fuel every workout with a post-workout protein-rich meal, to help the muscles recover faster. Remember, diet is 80% of the battle!
SALMA DAWOOD

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