Get Healthy

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

WAIT!!!! Weight????

Lifting weight...losing weight...gaining weight...waiting...  In some way, shape, or form we all wait, but we should weight!  I speak with many women who avoid lifting weights because they're afraid that it will cause them to "bulk up", I'm here to tell you that the opposite is true!  It is inevitable that you will bulk up if you don't lift weights.

I have to admit that, once upon an time, I too had that mentality.  Thankfully while studying for my Personal Training certificate, I was enlightened.  There is study, after study, touting the importance of lifting weights for weight loss.  Now, when I speak of lifting weights, I'm not talking about the heavy stuff that the "meat heads" lift.  I am a huge proponent of body weight exercises...the use of resistance bands, hand weights, and your own body weight.

Let me try to convince you of the importance of lifting:

It is scientifically proven that muscular capacity decreases dramatically with age, BUT only in non-strength training individuals.  On average, we lose 5 pounds of muscle with every decade of life.  While this may sound good...I mean, who wouldn't want to lose 5 pounds every 10 years, simply by doing nothing?  The body is composed primarily of two components:  fat mass...or lean mass.  So, if you lose muscle, it's being replaced by fat...yep, FAT!  Let's take a closer look at how this works:

Let's say I'm 30 years old (actually, I say that often...LOL), let's also say that I weigh 120 pounds (I WISH), and that I have 20% body fat (maybe when I was 16!)  Given this hypothetical scenario, my body composition would consist of 24 pounds of fat, and 96 pounds of lean mass (I won't bore you with the mathematics behind these numbers, you can send me a private message if you really want to see the mathematical equations).

So, let's fast forward 20 years...I am now 50 years old, and have lost 10 pounds of lean muscle mass over the last 20 years.  Essentially, this changes my entire body composition, because I would have replaced that 10 pounds of lean muscle with 10 pounds of squishy, yucky FAT!!!!!  For the sake of this blog, let's just say that I did manage to maintain my weight (120 pounds), given my aging body composition (loss of 10 pounds of lean muscle), my body would now consist of 34 pounds of fat mass, and 86 pounds of lean muscle mass, which would equate to an increase in body fat to 28.3%.  I would be wearing a larger size, because fat is...well,'s fluffy, and takes up a large amount of space in our bodies, but muscle is very dense and compact...filling up a much smaller space.

Okay, so here's what I want you to know:  strength training doesn't have to take a lot of time in order to reap HUGE benefits!  I recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of strength training, 3 days a week, with a rest day in between workouts.  You still need to keep up your cardio, and you should be doing a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous cardio at least 5 days per week.  That's really not a lot of time...think of it as an investment in your health, and your life!  When something is important to you, you WILL make time for it...when it's not important, you'll make an excuse not to do it...the choice is yours!  YOU ARE WORTH taking the time for YOU!  Make an appointment with yourself if you have to, but do it!!!  Your body will thank you!  Be blessed!  Be well!  Be fit!!!