Health & Wellness Blog

Did You Know By Lifting Weights You Will Look Years Younger & Have Less FAT?

 

 

By Darren Bain

The inspiration to write this article came from one of my long time clients who I trained for 10 years; she recently had her 30 year school reunion and was overwhelmed by the compliments from her old class mates on how good she looked. They all wanted to know what her ‘secret’ was to looking a lot younger with a better body. Of course the fat lazy ones said “you’re so lucky you’ve got good genes, you’re lucky you don’t have my genes.”

Of course it wouldn’t have anything to do with her 10 years of consistent strength training and eating healthy now would it…?

There is no doubt that the biggest bang for your buck form of training is weights. Ladies if you’re serious about looking & feeling younger than the best thing you can do is lift weights. Now when I say lift weights I’m talking about a well designed strength programme that is catered to YOU.

To get the hormonal response you want from lifting weights you must follow the parameters of traditional strength training… This means your best results are going to be achieved with multi joint exercises using barbells and dumbells, selecting a load that is going to challenge you and then perform that load at a high intensity. Generally selecting a weight that challenges you to get in the 8-15 repetitions range is recommended, selecting light weight with high reps does not get the hormone response required for improved body composition.

If you’re following a well designed programme that has you lifting at the right intensity and density you will produce large amounts of growth hormone. Now don’t be scared off ladies,  you’re not going to get big and massive, you don’t have the hormonal profile of a male, specifically testosterone – your testosterone is minimal compared to a male.

Now back to growth hormone, this is the good stuff ! It will make your hair, nails and skin look fantastic, make your body burn LOTS of fat and will help build lean muscle which in turn will help you lose more fat.

Is it a coincidence that males and females that lift weights consistently look younger than their piers that don’t lift weights? I think not…

Still not convinced about weight training?

A study by Tufts University found that the two leading predictors of lifespan are; How much lean body mass & strength you maintain over the course of your life.

Weight training even becomes more important as we age unfortunately if you don’t lift weights you are going to increase your chances of osteoporosis and a decreased quality of life. Simply the main reason is that the central nervous system is responsible for activating muscle fibres and firing them – Effectively if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

Most ladies I’ve done consults with have two main areas that they want to improve on their bodies are the “tuck-shop arms (triceps) & muffin tops”.

From a training perspective weights training is going to have the greatest impact on these areas.

TUCKSHOP ARMS (TRICEPS): Lifting weights is going to increase your natural level of testosterone which will be evidenced by less fat on your triceps. Testosterone is the main reason why males usually drop fat easier than females, so ladies the little bit you do produce you want to maximise.The good thing is by increasing your natural testosterone production you will  have more confidence and feel better about yourself.

MUFFIN TOP: From a training perspective the key to getting rid of your muffin top is to increase your insulin sensitivity. If you are training hard and consistently with your strength sessions you are increasing your insulin sensitivity – your blood sugar will be used to replenish your glycogen stores in your muscles and liver to aid in the recovery process from the training session, instead of finding its way to fat cells and in particular fat cells on your hips/muffin top.

WEIGHT TRAINING WILL NOT HAVE ‘MASS GAINING EFFECTS’

Here are the facts and your motivation to get strength training.

After the age of 20 adults who do not strength train lose between 2.2kg-3.2kg of muscle every decade. Aerobic exercise does not prevent the loss of muscle. Only strength training maintains our muscle mass & strength throughout our mid life years. Muscle is very active tissue, in fact 1kg of muscle requires 50-100 calories a day to function, so the loss of muscle can dramatically reduce the amount of energy you burn therefore increasing the chances of fat accumulation & decreasing your metabolic rate – Your metabolic rate is the amount of energy your body requires to function at rest, 70% of the total energy you burn off during the day is from your resting metabolic rate. After an aerobic exercise like a bike ride or run your post energy consumption will be elevated for around 30minutes to 2 hours, depending on the intensity of the session. Where as your post energy consumption after a weights session will be elevated for 24 hours plus, again depending on the intensity of the workout.

There is no bout of cardiovascular activity that will burn more calories than your RMR. So it makes sense that your training structure should be designed around activity that is going to give you the biggest RMR response.

The more muscle you have the higher your metabolic rate will be – you will burn more energy at rest and during every bout of exercise you perform. Your body will be a more efficient fat burning machine than if you did not lift weights.

Weight training also offers us a way to battle some of the negative consequences of aging. As we age we lose bone & muscle increasing our risk of problems associated with aging such as poor balance, osteoporosis & skeletal fragility.

Strength training can reduce risk factors associated with heart disease such as, lipids & cholesterol levels, blood pressure, body fat levels & glucose metabolism.

SUMMING UP..

 If you want to get ‘toned’ and look and feel younger then you must strength train at least twice a week.

 By the way when you are referring to ‘toned’, whether you like it or not you are asking for more muscle and less fat.

I hope this has motivated you to get strength training tomorrow.

References

1. Scafoglieri, A., Porovyn, S., et al. Direct Relationship of Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference with Body Tissue Distribution in Elderly Persons. The Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging. 2011. 15(10), 924-931.

2. Andreoli, A., Celi, M., et al. Lon-Term Effect of Exercise on Bone Mineral Density and body Composition in Post-Menopausal Ex-Elite Athletes. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012. 66(1), 69-74.

3. Why Women Should not be Afraid of Gaining Muscle. By Poliquin Group™ Editorial Staff 2012. Retrieved From http://www.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/909/Why_Women_Should_Not_Be_Afraid_of_Gaining_Muscle_M.aspx

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