Ladies, put your pink dumbbells aside for a minute and hear me out. You have a crazy schedule trying to balance work, family, and a modest social life with very little time left to squeeze in workouts? You’re not alone. Long story short, let’s take a look at why you should choose weight training over cardio as a woman. Myths included.
Real reasons to choose weight training over cardio as a woman
Before we dive into the subject let me just say I’m no expert but I did try a whole lot of workouts over time and I did my homework. I’m also the type that can easily gain weight from overeating and while I’ve been chubby at the most, I can definitely relate to weight loss struggles.
You’ve been doing cardio for a while and still pack extra pounds
So you’ve seen other women queue at aerobics classes and/or jogging in the park every morning? That’s because most of them think “Cardio burns the most calories and that’s what I need”.
Well, it does burn more calories than weight training but that’s only if we’re talking about the workout duration alone. Unlike cardio, weight training helps you gain lean muscle mass and the more you have it, the higher your Resting Metabolic Rate will be.
This means your weight training efforts will be rewarded by increasing your metabolism on the long term, and you will keep burning more calories to support your newly gained muscles even in your sleep.
Ideally, we should all be mixing cardio and weight training but most people barely have the time for 3 workouts a week. As a result, if you’re looking to burn more fat,, the time-effective solution is to choose weight training over cardio as a woman.
That post-workout she-wolf appetite
Are you turning into a starving animal after your spinning class? Studies come with mixed results when it comes to cardio vs strength training post-workout appetite. However, it looks like women are experiencing an increased appetite compared to men after a workout session. Because things have to be more difficult for us, right?
If you are feeling ravenous after your cardio sessions even if you were careful enough to have a balanced pre-workout snack to keep you fueled, you might want to give weight training a try.
Yes, you will still be hungry even after lifting weights (even if not right away), but that post workout meal will feed your muscles. And what happens when you gain muscle mass? Say it with me: you’re increasing your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate), which means you’ll burn more calories from stored fat throughout the day (q.e.d.).
You’re afraid lifting weights will make you look “bulky”
Why? You looked at some photos of female bodybuilders and thought they look hideously masculine?
Here’s the thing. Those women are professionals that dedicate a whole lot of time to weight lifting, their diet and taking steroids, hormones and supplements. Compared to men, women lack the right combination of hormones to gain muscle mass easily (testosterone being at the top of the list).
Men have been gifted by Mother Nature with everything they need to gain muscle mass. But life is cruel, and the primary purpose of a woman is to reproduce, a.k.a. make lots of babies, so we’re primed to store fat which is why we’re having such a difficult time getting rid of it. And it’s just as difficult (or even more) for a woman to naturally increase muscle mass compared to a man.
As a result, there’s no need to be afraid to lift weights, even when you reach that point when you’re actually lifting hard. To gain enough muscle to make you look “bulky” and loose your feminity you will need to eat a ton of food (muscle needs calories to grow), take hormones and other supplements, and workout 5-6 days a week.
So just leave your fears behind, and hit the gym knowing you will still look like a woman even if you progress to lifting like a man!
But my aerobics trainer looks great…
Yeah, she(he) does! But do you think your trainer is working out three times a week? No. They likely have at least 2 classes (sometimes as much as 4 or 5) from Monday to Friday or even Saturday. Do you have time to jump on that trampoline twice a day, 5-6 days a week?
For someone that’s short on time and has a sedentary job, sticking to just cardio likely won’t make them look anywhere near their trainer. When you create a workout schedule and plan, you need to be realistic. You need to ask yourself how many times a week can you workout and can you actually stick to the plan?
If you’ve been too impatient or lazy to read all of my ramblings here’s your take home message. If cardio alone isn’t working for you, consider switching to strength training.
You can achieve great results with 3 weekly weight training sessions and if you don’t want to ditch cardio completely you can have 2 strength training workouts and 1 cardio workout a week.
Even if you opt for 3 strength training workouts a week, you can still perform light cardio in your free time. Things like walking, biking, hiking and swimming are great activities even if you just do them occasionally, and a wonderful way to get quality family time while keeping your children active.
And no, you won’t end up looking like a man if you choose weight training over cardio as a woman. Eat right, get enough sleep, make the most of your workout sessions and you will achieve your best-looking version of yourself.
Have you found a workout routine that helped you improve your body composition and feel like a million bucks? Share your thoughts in the comments section.