• Top 10 Reasons Why YOU Should Lift Weights

    May 5, 2012

    Hey you all!

    My name is Annette, and I am excited to be a guest blogger here on Tina’s blog today!

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    I am the creator of Fitness Perks, LLC, and the writer behind the EnjoyYourHealthyLife Blog. I am totally honored to share some of my education, experience, and thoughts with you all today– Tina’s blog is a fun one to read, so I feel lucky to be able to write this post while she is away on a cruise. (Seriously, she is probably rocking a tan and swimming in the ocean. Lucky!!)

    My Story

    A bit of background on who I am: I am a wife, dancer, swimmer, reading fanatic, dark chocolate lover, and total girly-girl. I hold 3 degrees in the areas of exercise science and nutritional science, and in addition, am a certified wellness coach, personal trainer, fitness instructor, and disordered-eating recovery coach.

    For my job(s) I work almost full-time as a health coach for an insurance company, part-time as a fitness instructor & fitness coach, and on the side I run my Fitness Perks business (I coach people struggling with disordered eating habits regain their life, happiness, and health! So if you’re interested, check this out.)

    As a former anorexic, disordered eating survivor, and lover of all things health and fitness, my true ‘recovery’ began when I took lifting weights seriously.

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    I became a BodyPUMP instructor in 2010 after teaching a few lifting classes for a year or so, and boy, I had no idea those several months of training and preparing to teach would have such an impact on my life!

    Since then, lifting weights has become a part of me. And has lifted me (*pun intended, hah), beyond my struggles from the past. My readers know of my intense love for teaching BodyPUMP, but it is more than just that class.

    I truly believe that we are better people when we lift weights regularly! I believe that doing hard things and stepping outside our comfort zones, such as training with medium-heavy weights, does more for us than just sculpt great muscles. If you don’t believe me yet, here are the top 10 reasons why YOU should be lifting weights, and then we’ll see where you stand.

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    (By the way, other names (or phrases) for weight lifting include: resistance training, strength training, dumbbell workouts, barbell workouts, pumping iron, and lifting weights. They all mean essentially the same thing : resisting (and/or using) gravity as the muscles push, pull, extend, or press weight.)

    Top 10 Reasons Why YOU Should Be Lifting Weights

    There are actually thousands of reasons why it is SO important and NECESSARY to lift weights or pump iron, but I’ve compiled 10 great ones, just for you!

    1. You will shed body fat. Guaranteed! When we pump iron, we literally breakdown and build stronger (& more) muscle. More muscle than before = higher metabolism (more calories burned than before). And a higher metabolism means you get to get rid of any extra pudge hanging around. Score!

    2. You will burn more calories overall –Per hour, per day, and per year. If you lift weights regularly, you will burn more calories while sitting at rest than if you had just done cardio (or no weight training at all). Who wants to have their body be so hot it’s on fire?! Well, in a scientific sense, you will do just that if you make weight training a regular part of your routine! Sound good?? Muscle is more highly metabolic tissue than fat, so if you have more muscle, your daily caloric expenditure will be more than a person your same height and weight who has 5 pounds less muscle than you. Cool, eh?

    3. Your clothes will fit way better. Did you know that 5 pounds of muscle takes up SO much less room than 5 pounds of fat? If you want to fit into those jeans in the back of your closet, I highly recommend getting into a regular weight training program. You will lose inches and all of your clothes will fit better. I promise!

    4. Your bones will be stronger. Women have a higher risk of Osteoporosis than men, and as such, it is crucial to take care of our bones in a healthy way! Weight training gives the bones the load and impact needed to stay and get stronger. (FYI: Osteoporosis is the condition that develops from a breakdown of the bone structure—the bones become more porous, or holey if there is malnutrition, lack of resistance or load on the bones, or if bad habits, like smoking, continue.) Because of my anorexic years, I had developed a pre-Osteoporosis state called Osteopenia. After a few more years of disordered eating habits, I finally got into a more serious weight training schedule. When I returned for another DEXA scan, it showed that the training reversed my condition of Osteopenia! Lift weights to have strong, healthy bones!

    5. Your diet will improve! When we strength train regularly, we get into a habit of treating our bodies better. This positive influence rubs off on our eating habits and if we listen up, we no longer really want that donut after our gym time. We often reach for higher protein foods, and thus, our fat loss increases as well!

    6. You will be able to get FIT (and possibly your most FIT ever) quicker. Muscular endurance and muscular strength are 2 very important components of fitness, and as such, you would reach your fitness goals that much quicker if you put strength training as a priority. No athletes just train in their one sport. I promise you, they hit the weights regularly. And hard.

    7. You will be a happier more confident person. When we lift weights, we improve our body composition and our mood. It is an incredible feeling to be strong, powerful, and effective with our bodies. And it feels good to be able to lift heavy boxes, help carry a young child, or lug groceries all the way home. These small acts build up our confidence and make us feel better about ourselves. If you schedule in weight training regularly, you will be amazed at how happy, confident, and content you’ll feel! Besides, endorphins are real (chemicals in the brain that are released during physical activity such as weight training), and they really do make you happy. J

    8. You will be more productive and efficient. In all areas of your life: work, personal, family, fitness, and hobbies. When we strength train, we also improve our brains-the connections and ‘hardwiring’ that takes place there. These new (and stronger) connections aid us in other aspects of life–like when you get to the office–and you will find that your work load may just seem that much lighter. If nothing else, lift weights to be more productive at work!

    9. You will be faster in running, agility, and HIIT cardio. Once again, my readers know this about me, but I used to run at a comfortable 6.0-6.2 mph pace. Now, my ‘comfortable’ pace is right around 7.0-7.1 mph. I run less than I used to, but I’ve strength trained more. When we pump iron we build muscle (see #1), that stronger muscle results in better and faster running. Sounds like Tina knows exactly what I mean here, with her latest PR and all! If you are a runner and are looking for ways to get faster, drop the stop watch, jump off your treadmill, and pick up some weights. Stat.

    10. Your heart will be healthier, happier, & more efficient and you will live longer! Research proves time and again that a resulting drop in blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels are seen in those who regularly weight train. If you want a preventive measure from heart attacks and strokes, pump iron on a regular basis. You will not only enjoy life more, your heart will thank you, and you just might live a longer, healthier life than your non-iron pumping friends!

    *my personal experiences, clientele work, research, and ideas from a Women’s Health magazine article formed this list and may not be all inclusive or all encompassing.

    I can personally say that all of the above are true, but they really only come to pass when regularly weight lifting and when lifting medium to heavier weights.

    Make it a goal this week to schedule in those sessions–they don’t need to be long–and feel the benefits come quickly! (Or go to a BodyPUMP class or other group exercise class that allows for regular weight lifting–or come to one my BodyPUMP classes! J)

    Go target those major muscle groups with some exercises (optional workouts found here) 2-3x this week.

    Happy weight lifting!

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    And thank you, Tina, for this fun opportunity! Bring back a tan for me, will ya?!

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    Which of the above points would YOU want in your life now?? Have YOU felt any of these benefits since regularly weight lifting??

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    { 28 comments… read them below or add one }

    Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio May 5, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Fantastic post!! I love all of your advice and tips.

    Weigh lifting is just about my favorite thing and I wish more woman would try it out. I know their is a fear of getting big and bulky, but I just can’t explain how great your body will feel when you tone up and lean out. It’s pretty awesome! Thank you again for your post! I loved it!

    Reply

    Annette@FitnessPerks May 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    @Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio: Thank you :) And AMEN. No bulking going on here! hehe.

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    StoriesAndSweetPotatoes May 5, 2012 at 9:40 am

    I couldn’t agree with you anymore about the vast benefits of lifting weights, from the physical to the mental. I didn’t know you coached people in ED recovery. Your career is very inspiring! Great post :) There isn’t anywhere around here to get to a BodyPump class but it’s been at the top of my list for a long time.

    Reply

    TeriLyn [a foodie stays fit] May 5, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I’m completely agree with all those reason! I’ve been a runner for years but it wasn’t until I started adding weight training in the past 2 years that I noticed real changes in my body. The scale didn’t change but my clothes did fit a lot better and I just felt way more confident and strong! Workouts became about something so much more than burning calories!

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    Luv What You Do May 5, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Great post!
    It is super important to add strength training to your workout, especially for women! I forget this sometimes and your post reminded me of why I should be doing more restistance. I definitely need to shed some body fat! And I think the other benefit of weight lifting is a strong core which helps prevent injury. I also feel stronger which helps me make other healthy decisions throughout my day.

    THANKS! Have a good weekend!

    Reply

    Annette@FitnessPerks May 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    @Luv What You Do: You’re welcome!

    I agree about the strong core! Great point :)

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    kristle May 5, 2012 at 9:57 am

    wow, this is a great, eye-opening post. it just reinforces all the things i was hoping that adding a kettlebell into my workout rotation would bring to my life and fitness levels, especially as i’m training for my first 5k! i am assuming kettlebell counts as lifting weights.

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    Alex @ therunwithin May 5, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Great guest post! I loved reading the benefits of strength training!

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    Katie @ Peace Love and Oats May 5, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Love this!!! Thanks for the reminder to step up my weightlifting!!

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    mary @ minutespermile May 5, 2012 at 11:43 am

    thanks for the tips! always looking for a way to fit into those jeans and get faster. neat blog too!

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    Annette@FitnessPerks May 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm
    MigraineMe May 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Great guest post! I never really lifted until the last year and I couldn’t believe what a difference it made!

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    janebird May 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    THIS is A+! We all know we are supposed to, and feel better after a training session or pump class, but these rock solid, practical reasons for doing it are such strong motivators – thank you!

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    Annette@FitnessPerks May 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    @janebird: You’re welcome :) Thank YOU for reading!

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    Kristen @ notsodomesticated May 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    More motivation for me to get back into lifting … I’m so inconsistent with it!

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    Beki @ MissWheezy May 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Hi Annette :-) How frequently would you recommend adding strength training to a workout? I do a Body Pump class on a Sunday once a week- is that enough or should I be looking to do more weights throughout the week too? Thanks for a great article!

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    Hayley May 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    @Beki @ MissWheezy: Try to get up to 3x a week!

    I do New Rules of Lifting for Women 3x a week, I love it.

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    Annette@FitnessPerks May 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    @Beki @ MissWheezy: Hi Beki! It all depends on your goals, but a great guideline to follow is about 2-3x per week of a full-body routine (45-60 minutes). So if you had BP on Sunday, you could add in 1-2 more days of either BP or training on your own. Have a lovely day :)

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    Beki @ MissWheezy May 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    @Annette@FitnessPerks:
    Thanks for the replies! I’ll try and follow your advice and up the frequency of my weight sessions :-) enjoy your weekend!

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    Jill (Lady Lazarus) May 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I just started using two sets of dumb bells a few weeks ago. They are fairly light in the grand scheme of things (3 lb set and 5 lb set), but heavy for me. I really started using them because my arms need serious work, but this post makes me appreciate them in a whole new light!

    Reply

    blackberry May 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Thanks for this post! I just started Body Pump and love it! Is 2x per week often enough to see results?

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    Annette@FitnessPerks May 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    @blackberry: Yes it is! However, if you ever feel like it’s ‘getting easy, I would encourage you to try to add weight to 2-3 tracks. Enjoy :)

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    Sam @ Fit for My Fork May 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I’ve only been lifting weights for about six months but I love it. I love how strong I feel and I like the changes I can see in my body. Thank you for this post!

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    Strength Train At Home May 5, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Get off those treadmills, out of the cardio room and into the weight room. Not only will your workouts be shorter, but you’ll lose fat faster.

    Reply

    Annette@FitnessPerks May 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm
    Bob May 5, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Annette,

    Awesome post! Nothing like weights and nutrition to make you healthy and happy. Thanks!

    Reply

    Gabrielle @ Marathons and Macarons May 6, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Great post! Can we get the same (or similar) benefits from doing workouts that use body weight to strength train, like pilates?

    Reply

    Annette@FitnessPerks May 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    @Gabrielle @ Marathons and Macarons: You can get similar benefits using body weight, yes. For a well-rounded routine, I would suggest mixing both (using free weights and doing moves that require just your body. Strengthen + tone = balanced fitness!

    Reply

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