We’ve all heard that strength training (also known as weight training) is important in helping us achieve our health and fitness goals. So why is it that many people continue to devote so much of their workouts on cardio? This is one of the biggest mistakes I see people make in the gym, particularly Women. People are spending up to an hour on cardio while the weight room is virtually empty. Whether you are unsure on how to strength train or still not convinced you will see results from weight training, read on for a few of the many reasons this essential component of exercise will help you to reach your goals.
1) Increasing Metabolism – Have you ever heard that muscle burns more calories than fat? Well it’s true! Muscle increases your metabolism therefore your body is able to burn more calories while at rest. Fat does not burn any calories on its own; it just sits on your body taunting you. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn meaning you will reach your fat loss goals faster.
2) Fat Burning – While cardio does burn calories, it is not as effective at fat burning as weight training is. With cardio you burn calories while you are doing it, but once you stop your body does not burn any more calories from that cardio. Weight training is different. Not only do you burn calories while doing weight training, your body also burns calories up to 48 hours after your workout. You’d be crazy not to include weight training in your program!
3) “Toning” – Weight training helps build toned and defied muscles making your body look firm and fit. You will not achieve this from cardio alone.
4) Increasing Strength – It is important to maintain overall muscular strength so that you can continue to perform daily activities. This is especially important as you age. While cardio improves endurance and is important for your heart and lungs, it does not increase overall muscular strength.
5) Improving Posture and Core Strength – Maintaining a good posture and core strength is important for back health and reducing shoulder, neck and back pain. Building muscle and strength in your back, shoulders and core helps to keep a proper posture, minimizing injuries and stress in these areas.
6) Increasing Bone Density – Bone density is especially important for females, as 1 in 4 women will develop osteoporosis in their lifetime. Weight training helps to build and maintain strong bones, which is essential for preventing osteoporosis and related diseases. Even with this statistic it is surprising how many women do not include weight training in their program. Many women are afraid of weight training, thinking they will build too much muscle or become “bulky”. No matter who you are and what your genetic makeup it is impossible for a woman to build too much muscle without taking steroids or intentionally doing so. Trust me!
There are many other reasons why weight training is essential for everyone. Of course it is important that you perform the exercises correctly and you are doing the right exercises for you. For questions and more information on weight training please visit www.krissyadams.com.
Krissy Adams-Schofield, PtD, PTS, BScAHN is a Certified Personal Trainer, Professional Dietitian and owner of Achieve Fitness and Nutrition, a personal training studio and nutritional consultation business in Halifax, NS. She has been working as a personal trainer for the past five years and since her passion is fitness and nutrition she is dedicated to helping others reach their health and fitness goals. Krissy is also an Advanced Genetics sponsored athlete and enjoys competing in fitness and physique competitions. To find out more about Krissy and her services please visit her website at www.krissyadams.com.