Weight training is so important in your fitness journey. Usually the first thing people do who are trying to “get into shape” is hop on the treadmill for hours. Cardio is an important part of weight loss, but weight training is essential. Many women shy away from weight training because they are afraid to get to bulky, but trust me, it takes a lot to get to body builder status. Weight training should be done 2-3 times per week with at least one rest day in between. If you only have 20 minutes to do a workout, and you have to chose between cardio and weights, choose weights every time.
The four main lifts are as follows:
3. Overhead Press
4. Bench Press
****Lunges aren’t included in this list but are very beneficial as well.
These four lifts are great because they work a lot of muscles at once. Lifts like bicep curl and Tricep extensions only work one muscle at a time.
You do not actually build muscle in the gym. You are stretching and pulling apart muscle fibers in the gym. You build your muscles out of the gym (after your workout). This is why it is so important to take that rest day in between lifting days. You will burn calories while you lift and continue to build calories while your muscles are rebuilding themselves after your workout. This is why weight lifting can be more beneficial than cardio.
Don’t be discouraged if you are not seeing results on the scale during weight training. Muscle weighs more than fat, so most likely, you are putting on muscle weight and losing fat. Testing your body fat percentage before you start weight training and after is a good indication of muscle mass and fat mass in your body.
I usually recommend at least 2-3 days of weight training (as mentioned above) during the week. I usually split up the days by Upper body days and lower body days, but you can do whatever works for you. Cardio can be done 3-4 times per week as well.
The most important thing to take away from weight training is to give your body rest. You won’t build muscle without rest, so be sure to take that day or two of rest in between weight training days. It is OK to do cardio on your rest days or on actual weight days as well.