If you go to any commercial gym you will quickly notice a clear gender divide. While the men generally work away with the resistance machines and free weight women prefer to focus on the cardio machines and make greater use of the various fitness classes which many gyms now offer. However, this really means that for many women they are missing out on a great opportunity to tone and tighten the parts that they are really most wanting to improve.
Many women never do weight training for a fear that they will bulk up and look more like a female bodybuilder than a fit and healthy women. However, this simply is not the case. The only reason why men naturally gain larger muscles than women is because men have a lot more testosterone which helps muscles to grow. Female athletes, such as track and field athletes especially, who are muscular have to work very hard and take dietary supplements to developer larger and stronger muscles.
An average weight training routine for fitness does not lead to a huge amount of muscle development. What it does do is tone and strengthen muscles which helps to give shape. For example, squats and leg presses work the largest muscles on the body, the glutes. These are the muscle which give shape to the butt. Women who do a lot of squats as a part of their fitness routine will tend to have a more pert behind. Likewise exercising the arms can reduce the likelihood of developing “chicken wings” as the triceps muscles are strengthened and help to tighten the skin in the upper arms.
As well as toning, weight training helps you to burn more fat as increased muscle mass means increased metabolism. The reason why many women gain fat as they grow older is because they lose muscle mass and this lowers their resting metabolism. The result is that the same number of calories consumed leads to weight gain in the longer term.
The best way to incorporate weight training into a fitness routine is to take the main exercises, of which there are around 20, and incorporate these into your current gym workout. Weight training should really be done after the cardio workout. If you take 3 or 4 exercises you can spend 15 minutes after a cardio session doing a short weight training routine. A simple routine could be barbell squats, calf raises, chest press and pull downs. These four exercises work each main muscle group and will give a good healthy and lean look in time, without ever making you look too muscular.
You can learn more about beginning weight training at MotleyHealth.com, which is a community dedicated to helping people of all ages to get fit and healthy. In addition to weight training there are many fitness workouts, diet and nutrition tips and some insights into how celebrities stay in shape. What is best about the site is that you can ask any question on fitness and diet and they will help you find a solution and guide you, all for free.
Take a look over at the BHI Store for all your weight training needs!