Benefits of HIIT vs Cardio
Whether you are looking for a strength training program for female beginners or advanced, I have got you covered.
There are so many benefits of strength training. I can’t imagine my life without lifting. I have gone months without training due to a difficult pregnancy, moving houses, or traveling back and forth to my home country, you name it.
But I always feel better when I am following a strength training program. I feel better I eat better, I sleep better and most importantly I have more energy with my girls.
So what are the benefits of strength training for women?
First, let’s mention the physique related benefits.
I am referring to your look! Your overall appearance.
Here are the key benefits to know.
Improved Body Composition
The first of the main benefits is improved body composition. It is very common when strength training is performed, that your body weight could actually go up. Especially among new individuals who haven’t ever performed strength training before.
The main point to know is that your body weight may be increasing, but your total body size is likely decreasing.
In other words, you will gain lean muscle mass while burning body fat.
This is a very good thing.
Fat mass takes up far more volume on the body compared to lean muscle mass, therefore those who have a higher total percentage of body fat will look much larger to the eye than those who are leaner and contain more dense muscle weight.
As an example; two people who both weigh 150 pounds standing side by side, one has 35% body fat and the other just 20%.
That person who is 20% will likely look like they weigh less than just 150 pounds.
Your look or size is not determined by a scale per se, but rather by a body fat percentage.
This must be kept in mind whenever scale weights are being utilised as a measurement of success. They really don’t tell the whole picture and the bigger benefit of strength training is not weight loss, but rather, fat loss with muscle gain, or becoming stronger than yesterday!
Disclaimer: Healthy comes in different sizes and body fat percentage!
Enhanced Metabolic Rate
Improved metabolic rate is the second good benefit of strength training.
This basically refers to how many calories are being burned at rest on a day to day basis.
When you do strength training you will burn fat hours after your workout!
You could also increase your RESTING metabolic rate if you are able to build more lean muscle!
Muscle is highly metabolically active with one pound burning up to 20 calories per day just to exist on the body.
So if you build 10 pounds of lean muscle mass, you could increase your total daily metabolic rate by up to 200 calories.
This means you can eat 200 calories more food each and every day without fat gain.
If you are someone who likes to eat ( like me), this is helpful.
In addition to this, for those who are ageing and worried about the weight gain that typically comes along as one gets older, strength training is the best way to combat this.
Strength training for those over 50 is definitely one of the best ways to ensure they continue to lead a high quality of life.
Improved Muscle Tone And Definition
The overall look aesthetic benefit that strength training gives you, is improved muscle tone and definition.
As you start building up lean muscle mass tissue while also losing body fat, you are going to notice your muscles taking shape better.
They’re going to feel curvier, fuller, and more defined – basically, you will start to really look fit.
And what’s wrong with that?
Contrast this to someone who just does cardio training. Cardio training does very little to actually help you build muscle or even gain more muscle definition, therefore it typically leaves you looking just as you are now – possibly a smaller version if you do manage to lose weight.
With strength training, however, you can entirely reshape your body, looking like a brand new you.
I have shapen my body so many times with bikini fitness competitions. Now no you don´t have to train like a bikini fitness athlete or try to look like one, but isn´t it fun to take a challenge and try to shape your body and feel stronger?
Strength training is the only form of exercise that will actually allow you to make a full body transformation, looking much different than you ever have before.
So for those who may be happy with their current body size and weight but unhappy with how they look, strength training is the way to improve this.
The most important: Health-related benefits of strength training
There are too many health benefits to write them down.
I will mention a few here, that I think you should know. However, keep in mind this list is by no means exhaustive and there are still many other health-related benefits you will reap from taking part in a strength training protocol.
Improved Muscular Strength
Obviously, you will improve your muscular strength, you can perform everyday tasks easier! Which mama would not want that! Carrying the little one around without getting back pain, having enough energy to play with your kids on the playground. This is priceless.
I love playing, sprinting, jumping, whatever I have to do on the playground with my daughter.
And I love that I am in good shape to do that.
As you go about doing a strength training program for women, you should start to notice that things that used to feel hard – carrying in groceries from the car or lifting up a heavy box and carrying it across the room, start to feel easier.
This indicates that strength improvements are being seen and this is one of the best ways that strength training can enhance your quality of life.
Housework will be a lot easier!
As you get stronger, you’ll also excel with any other activities you may be doing, be it team sports or just your regular walking with the stroller.
Improved Bone Strength
Along with improved muscular strength, you’re also going to see improved bone strength as well. Since there is virtually no exercise that is as ‘weight bearing’ as strength training is, it really helps with the bone remodeling process, helping you rebuild your bones back stronger than they were before.
Again for those who are ageing, it’s also a great way to help prevent osteoporosis or other bone-related problems associated with the ageing process.
Improved Heart Health
Most people think cardiovascular training whenever the term ‘heart health’ comes up. They believe they need to hop onto a treadmill, bike, or elliptical in order to reap heart health benefits from their workouts.
Get out of this thinking pattern.
In fact, a good strength training protocol can easily offer even more benefits to your heart health than cardio training did. If you are doing a set of walking weighted lunges across the room, see if you aren’t getting your heart rate up higher than you would in any cardio session you’ve ever done.
Heart health is a very essential consideration, especially if you are someone who is currently battling a weight problem, so take comfort in knowing that your strength training workouts can help to improve this.
As your heart grows stronger, you’re also going to notice that your circulation will increase as well. Your blood will flow throughout the body better than before, delivering nutrients and oxygen to the various tissues of the body.
This can help you recover faster from all the workouts you do and also help to keep your body in an overall healthy state.
If circulation is low, this means tissues may not be getting all that they need in order to stay as healthy as possible.
Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Finally, the last of the key health benefits to note from strength training is that it will help to boost your insulin sensitivity.
I think everybody knows somebody today that has diabetes II.
This refers to how well your cells are responding to insulin, which is released from the pancreas whenever you eat a carbohydrate-rich meal.
The better your insulin sensitivity is, the better you are able to handle any carbohydrates consumed, using them as a fuel source rather than converting them into body fat storage.
Have you noticed sometimes when you eat maybe 2 or more ice cream balls, soon afterward you start feeling tired?
That´s the insulin going down.
Your body is not using these calories and fuel you gave it and therefore it makes you tired instead.
So following a strength training program can also help you sidestep the risk that you may begin to suffer from diabetes down the road.
And, if diabetes is already present, a good strength training program is one of the best ways to control the unwanted symptoms that may be experienced.
The health benefits of strength training cannot be overstated enough. This really is the most effective form of exercise compared to all other exercises out there.