They say summer bodies are made in the winter. Luckily Mr. Groundhog saw his shadow, so we have more time! The Sports Illustrated Magazine Swimsuit issue just came out, which is great motivation to get to work. One thing we probably avoid the most at the gym are the weights. It can be intimidating to pick up some dumbbells when that side of the gym is crowded with all the brochachos sipping their protein shakes between reps. Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out on the elliptical, but I always see results faster when I hit the weights. There’s more to weights than looking good in a bikini though. I want to share with you a few more reasons why pumping iron is so good for you:
- Muscle boosts your metabolism. That’s a good enough reason right there! Our muscle is the largest contributor to our metabolism. Have more muscle = burn more calories. Yes please.
- Your bones. We reach our peak bone mass during our late teens/early twenties. It is very important to do what you can to maintain your bone mass from then on. Women are at greater risk for osteoporosis than men because we go through menopause (but that’s a biology lesson we won’t get into), and it can run in your family. Weight-bearing exercise stimulates the deposition of bone minerals, keeping your bones strong.
- So you can compete in body building competitions!!! JUST KIDDING. Contrary to common belief, lifting weights won’t make you bulky. A lot of this has to do with the amount of weight you lift, and/or style of weight lifting, and your protein intake. If you’re not looking for serious gains, stick to lighter weights and more repetitions, and consume the suggested amount of protein for your weight. How do you know how much protein to eat? On average, you should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of weight. What?! Lemme show you:
Not sure where to get started?! Pinterest, YouTube, and other blogs are great resources for weight exercises. My favorite way to get some weights in is by taking a Les Mills Body Pump class at my gym. If I’m looking to switch it up I like to find new workouts on Tone It Up. Karena and Katrina (the masterminds of TIU) post new workouts all the time, and they’re simple enough to do in your own home.
Do you have a favorite workout with weights? Share in the comments! I’m always looking for something new to try.