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weight lifting for beginners female weight loss

weight lifting for beginners female weight loss

Weight lifting for beginners female weight loss


weight lifting for beginners female weight loss– Many people who want to lose weight spend hours on cardio equipment each week thinking that this is the best way to lose weight. I would be lying if I said that long cardio training does not work, and I am not a liar!

Cardio vascular training does work, but how do you want to look after you lose weight? Below are some pictures of people who do A LOT of cardio.


Weight training is a better option. Here’s why.

Retention of muscle mass!

Above is female power lifter Vilma olsson who can squat 177kg. She only weighs 72 kg and is very slim.

When you lose weight you can lose muscle, water weight and of course you can lose fat. You will find that weight training will help you maintain your muscle mass which will help keep your metabolism fast.

For every pound of muscle your body has you will burn 80 calories, so another way of putting this is that if you do a lot of cardio and lose 5lbs of muscle for every stone you lose, you will lose the capacity to burn 400 calories!

Weight training will make you look good when you shed the weight!

Cardiovascular training makes you feel good, but weight training makes you look good. Just check out the picture above of a long lean female weightlifter. If you want to know why she is so long and lean then read on.

The metabolic effects of weight training

You can think of your body in the same way you think of a car. If you own a car with a 1 litre engine, and you replace the engine with a 3 litre engine your car will burn more petrol than it did before.

Well it’s the same with your body; if you increase the muscle composition of your body you will see an increase in your metabolism meaning that you will be burning more calories.

Metabolism is something that decreases as we get older, so it is important that we do what we can to maintain or increase our metabolism.

A case study in weight lifting for female weight loss.

Cardiovascular training does help to burn fat, but weight training is more effective. I once trained a woman who weighed 56 kg, and all she wanted to do was tone up.

I trained her for over 6 months, and her weight remained exactly the same, but she dropped two dress sizes in the time we worked together.

People who saw her thought she had lost weight, but what had changed was her body composition. She actually improved her muscle and lost body fat, which gave her a leaner, slimmer and fitter appearance.

The hormonal benefits of female weight training for weight loss

Weight loss is more complicated than just counting calories. We can actually control our weight better, if we can control our hormones.

One key hormone to control is a hormone called cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Cortisol is actually needed by our bodies for many bodily functions, and we can release this hormone as much as needed as long as it is balanced out by periods of rest and relaxation.

However, when we spend more time responding to stress and stressors we produce too much cortisol, which causes us to crave sweet things, which ramps up our appetite and causes us to store fat around the belly.

However, it has been found that increasing testosterone levels can lower cortisol levels and therefore reduce belly fat.

Nurcan Taylan, 48kg body weight

Why is testosterone important for female weight loss when weight lifting?

Testosterone is a key hormone in building muscles, and weight training is the most effective way to increase testosterone levels.

We need to weight train to maintain or increase our testosterone levels because it has been found that a reduction in testosterone levels causes an increase in cortisol levels, a decrease in sex drive, a loss of muscle mass, elevated cholesterol and an increase in abdominal fat.

This reduction in testosterone is why many women start to lose their curvy waist line and why men start to gain that middle age belly.

Our testosterone levels start to drop after the age of 30, and by the time we reach 45 we will produce half the amount of testosterone that we did when we was younger.

This loss of muscle mass is balanced with a declining metabolism, which causes us to gain weight as we age. Weight training will increase muscle mass, increase testosterone, reduce cortisol levels, reduce abdominal fat and give you a longer, leaner, sexier physique.

Julia Rhodes

This picture of Julia Rhode is a great example of the type of long lean figure that can be achieved by weight training. Julia is a 53kg weight lifter who is capable of lifting close to double her bodyweight while maintaining a very feminine and attractive physique.

You can lose weight and increase strength without size

Strength is the body’s ability to produce maximum force at a given velocity (speed) in a single contraction. For many sports improving strength without bulking up is an advantage, but most people don’t understand how to do this.

Also, there are many people who still believe that any form of weight training will build unnecessary bulk, which just isn’t true.

Why Bodybuilding increases strength and size

Bodybuilders do not have the proportional strength of power lifters. Although body builders are bigger, they are not as strong as power lifters because the type of training they do is for size and not strength.

When bodybuilders train they work with in the repetition range of 8-12 repetitions (60-80% of maximum effort), and take very short rest periods of 1-2 minutes and they consume a lot of calories post work out.

The short rest period of 1-2 minutes does not allow the muscle to fully repair between sets which causes maximum break down of the muscle.

Studies have shown that a higher repetition range (8-12) with shorter rest period causes a larger release of testosterone and growth hormone, which are two hormones needed for muscle growth.

This explains how and why bodybuilders get such a specific result, and this type of training should be avoided if you are a sportsman, unless you want to get bigger for your sport.

weight lifting for beginners female weight loss

What’s the difference between bodybuilding and other forms of weight training?

The types of strength that can be improved by weight training are strength endurance, which is your muscles ability to produce force over a prolonged period of time; an example of this is rowing, running and cycling.

There is also elastic strength, which is the muscles ability to produce a large force quickly in a short period of time like in jumping, punching or throwing.

Lastly, maximum strength, which is the maximum force the muscles can produce in one contraction and is used for strong man training. We will look at strength endurance and maximum strength.

2 methods I recommend for females weight lifting to lose weight

Strength endurance

Although the repetition range is high and the rest period is short the hormone release after a workout is really low. This is because the intensity of each repetition is lower.

This is an excellent choice for endurance athletes. The repletion range is between 15-30 repetitions (30-60% of maximum effort), with rest periods of 30-45 seconds, and you may perform 15 sets of different exercises per session.

You can do this type of strength training without gaining bulk.

Maximum strength

The video above is of Valentina Cambei who is the 49 kg (7 ½ stone) European weightlifting champion of 2023. She may not look it, but she is one of the strongest women in the world for her weight group.

She trains in the 1-6 repetition range (80-100% of maximum effort) with a rest period of 3-7 minutes, which is normal for maximum strength.

The intensity of weights used during maximum strength training is far greater than the intensity used by bodybuilders, but the difference is that the rest period is far longer.

When the rest period is longer it allows the muscles to recover fully, and the intensity of the weight lifted places a great demand on the nervous system.

The nervous system
It is important to realize that it’s not just the muscle we train; the nervous system is also trained. It is your nervous system that decides how many muscle fibers you recruit when you lift a weight.

For example, if you wanted to lift a book off the floor you may only need to use 10% of your muscle mass. However, if you wanted to lift 100 kg of the floor you may recruit 90% of your muscle mass.

It is believed that even highly trained strength athletes still are not able to voluntarily access the nervous systems full potential in accessing the vast amount of muscle fibers at its disposal.

By training  maximum strength you will improve your body’s ability to recruit muscle fibers.  This weight training method is also useful for endurance athletes.

However, before you can work at this intensity you must have been training for at least 2 years.

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Hi, I'm Gerald

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Gerald has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise, Nutrition & Health. He is an NASM qualified behaviour change specialist, and a qualified personal trainer. Gerald has developed his own C.H.A.N.G.E method, which he uses to help his clients lose weight.

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