Women engaged in the battle of the belly fat bulge will understand just how difficult this abdominal bulk is to budge. Of course, having some fat around the hips is natural for a woman, as emphasized by super size-zero celebrities with hip bones that jut out and concave rather than toned and flat stomachs. In the past many women have pumped up the volume of cardio workouts to push out plumpness, but new research reveals pushing up some weights might be the best way for women to lose belly fat!
Weight training studies on the waistline
Recent University of Pennsylvania and Harvard studies support the idea that weight training makes a difference in your waistline. The Harvard Study involved 10,500 male participants over an eight-year period and concluded that spending at least 20 minutes a day on weight training led to a substantially reduced waistline gain. In fact, more weight was dropped with weight training than when participants focused solely on aerobics.
And weight training works equally well on women’s waistlines, according to the University of Pennsylvania study. Kathryn Schmitz, a weight loss expert explains, “We did a two-year intervention study in pre-menopausal women who did only twice weekly weight training. We didn’t ask them to do any aerobic activity or to make any dietary changes. We found that twice weekly weight training substantively prevented increases in belly fat in women who got the intervention versus those who did not.”
Building a more powerful body
While some women worry about adding bulk and looking bigger as a result of strength training, the right program does not have to lead to extreme muscle definition or pecs like Popeye. Indeed, what strength training does is help make the bones stronger, which is a real plus point for women who are at greater risk of osteoporosis.
The right level and amount of strength training increases muscle mass. Your muscles become toned and lean and this adds power to your internal engine. In turn, this efficient, powerful body requires a greater amount of energy to run.
The result? Greater fat burning as metabolic rate is improved and increased. Then you really see your body working at optimal performance. Think of your body as a runaround car for local errands being souped up to supercar status!
Perceptions of strong women are changing
Much of the antipathy to strength training is ingrained in traditional, outmoded views of women as having to be physically weak to be feminine. Ironically, weight training, rather than creating a mannish body, adds feminine tone. Women who feel physically capable can tackle such issues as weight loss and enjoy other types of training more easily, such as resistance training and bursts of cardio with high intensity interval training. Being a strong woman, both physically and mentally, is desirable to modern women and is about taking control of yourself and feeling good about being fit and healthy.
Aerobics and strength training work well together
Women just starting out with weight training should look at lifting between 5-10 lbs and focus on a couple of muscle groups each time, with training sessions taking around 20 minutes. You really want to integrate strength and weight training into your exercise regime and remember that our muscles do not behave the same as men’s. And don’t worry! Our bodies lack that hormonal charge to really create the macho muscle look that many women dread.
Put your weight behind losing your belly fat and start a training program with us. Drop us a line and find out how to beat belly fat without the bulk!