Tag Archives: burn fat

Choosing a Weight Lifting Program for Women

Author: Emile A. Jarreauwoman weightlifter

One of the most effective activities for getting your body into shape and losing weight is something that many women are scared to try. Weightlifting can be a daunting activity for a beginner especially in a crowded gym environment. Seeing the scores of overly muscled men as they throw about ridiculously heavy amounts of weight can scare many from the weight room and keep them happy and comfortable hovering over their exercise bikes or treadmills. This is not always the best place for someone who is trying to lose weight and get in shape however and building true muscle should be part of anyone’s exercise and fat loss regimen. Muscle helps to burn fat and muscle also helps shape the body… so choosing a weightlifting program for women can be extremely helpful for them in achieving their goals.

But how does one go about choosing such a program if they are a beginner? Well, as is the case with beginning any new activities the wisest advice is to simply take it slow. You don’t have to rush in and pick up the heaviest weight or advanced program you find out about to start making progress. In fact, this is probably the easiest way to impede your progress. Your goal is to get in shape, not hurt yourself. In addition, you don’t even have to lift free weights to build significant amounts of muscle.

In any gym environment there are usually a number of machines that you can use in your weightlifting program. One of the trainers on-site or members of the gym can surely help you get acclimated if this is your first time. Your goal as a beginner should be to incorporate as many muscles as possible into each movement you make. For instance, first-time weightlifters are probably wasting their time by doing sets of bicep curls. Instead, choose a compound movement like dips or pull ups using a machine that recruits many muscle groups at the same time. Performing these exercises will allow you to work your biceps, triceps, delts (shoulders), upper back, trapezius, and the muscles of your entire forearm. In the same amount of time it would take you to do a few sets of curls to just hit your biceps or push downs you’ve worked a good portion of your entire upper body.

The same is true for your lower body. Many women assume that a weightlifting program must include such singular exercises as leg extensions or leg curls. Instead, a few sets of high rep body weight squats will provide you with much bigger bang for the buck. Body weight squats are simply performed by standing straight up and squatting down until your thighs are about parallel with the ground making sure to keep your knees behind your toes. This one exercise can work your glutes (butt), leg biceps (hamstrings), quadriceps, calves and believe it or not, even your abdominals. Add a couple of sets of push ups to these exercises already mentioned and you have worked your entire body.

As you can see, developing a weightlifting program for women to help them build muscle and burn fat is not as difficult as once perceived. Taking it slow and simple can be your key to a healthy and effective weight-loss program.

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Five Easy Ways to Burn Fat!

Author: Grace SoongMartial arts fitness

Estimates show that up to 60 percent of our society is  overweight .  Americans, on average, gain about five pounds a year once they hit that 30-year mark. We all know that the best way to avoid getting fat is to not let excess calories cross those lips in the first place. However, what can we do to help us balance exercise and food consumption?  Here are 5 simple and easy ways to do that:

1. Cardiovascular Exercise

Doctors and fitness gurus have praised cardio-vascular or aerobics exercise as key to effectively burn fat.  To achieve weight loss you must participate in at least three weekly cardio-vascular workouts. This can be interpreted into 20 to 30 minutes of intense physical activity that gets your heart to beat at an average rate of 60 to 90 percent of its maximum.  As a rule of thumb, you can calculate your maximum heart rate by deducting your age from 225.  For example, if you are 45 years old, your maximum heart rate is 180 beats per minute; 60 to 90 percent of this would be 108-162 beats per minute.  The type of exercise isn’t as important as its influence on your heart and breathing rates. Cardiovascular exercise involves working the major muscles of your body in a continuous, flowing fashion. Choose activities you enjoy such as jogging, brisk walking with your dog, biking and dance-fitness classes such as  Jazzercise .

2. Strength training

There is a lot of confusion regarding  strength training , even among people who train on a regular basis. When you lift weights you challenge your body against a controllable form of resistance. If done correctly your muscles will adjust and grow stronger as it anticipates a more difficult workout.   This muscle growth will take the form of a sculpted and more toned figure.  Depending on your age and gender, it will usually not turn into big, bulky muscles. Unfortunately you may not see results right away because of that layer of fat that floats over every inch of your sculpted body.  However, an increase in lean muscle, no matter how little, will result in an increased basal metabolic rate.  Basal metabolic rate is the number of calories you’d burn even if you stayed in bed all day.   Almost 90% of the calorie burning take place inside muscle tissue, it’s logical to assume the more muscle you have — the more fat you’ll burn just to exist. Therefore, when accompanied by a steady decrease in food supply and a 24-hour-a-day increase in demand for fuel this will result in major fat loss.

3. Flexibility Training

Flexibility training such as yoga or Pilates increases the productiveness of the rest of your fitness routine. One, it minimizes injury and recovery time.  Two, it reduces next day soreness. Three, it improves balance and speed of movement.  This allows you to carry out more work in less time.   Inserting stretching exercises into your strength training routine will keep you moving between sets.  This will mean an increased calorie consumption of your workout. Many fitness enthusiasts and body builders, who at one time wouldn’t be caught dead in a “plank” pose, now find themselves attending regular yoga or Pilates classes — and still remain lean and fit as ever.

4. Sleep and Rest

You’ll be surprised at how lack of sleep (or rest) is the cause behind many failed weight loss efforts. Remember, too much of a good thing is also not commendable. When you put together a fitness and weight loss plan, make sure that you get back to normal between workouts. Wait  at least 48 hours between full body strength training sessions and cut back cardio-vascular exercises to no more than 3-6 hours per week. Do not over-train. Your body will break down, you’ll lose lean muscle mass (which you’ve been working so hard to gain) and eventually get fatter.  Go to bed earlier, wear earplugs or do anything to get a good night’s sleep.  The body’s recovery processes goes into high gear during sleep.  Get at least 7 or 8 hours of thorough, restful sleep every night.

5. Stress Reduction and Meditation

Meditation has been known to decrease the body’s reaction to stress.  It alleviates several stress-related health problems. Few people recognize that it can raise the body’s DHEA level, an anti-aging hormone. DHEA is a predecessor of testosterone, which is necessary for muscle growth. Unfortunately, DHEA and testosterone levels decline with age. Independent tests conducted on people who meditated daily revealed that DHEA levels were restored to more youthful levels.

On the flip side, stress has also been found to generate high levels of the naturally occurring hormone cortisol.  This hormone is produced by the adrenal glands. When cortisol is secreted, it causes a failure and malfunction of muscle protein.  This leads to the release of amino acids into the bloodstream, and raising blood sugar levels.

Any form of stress reduction can balance this hormonal imbalance. Try to visualize how you’d like to look, or imagine yourself pursuing activities you once delighted in. This visualization technique has been discovered to relieve stress and increase your odds of achieving goals you’ve set.   I

f your fitness goal is to lose fat, take these five simple suggestions and combine them with a sensible eating program.  You’ll be on the road to a lean, healthy and contented fitness routine that you’ll be able to maintain for a lifetime.