How Much Weight Do Women Need To Lift To Lose Weight?
Why You Need To Forget What You Read In The Magazines
By Pete Sisco, PEERtrainer Contributor
Weightlifting is the secret weapon in the battle of fat loss. Not only does it burn calories when you do it, the muscle it stimulates burns calories while you sleep. If that isn’t enough, muscle also represents every desired curve women want on their bodies; a tight stomach, firm arms, firm thighs, etc. Achieving those goals is not just about removing fat; it’s about stimulating muscle.
Recently I sent an e-mail to the subscribers of my website’s mailing list that was entitled, “Tips for Bigger Shoulders, Chest and Triceps”. I soon received an e-mail from a female subscriber who asked if I had any tips for women.
This illustrates a huge problem that prevents women from reaching their goals.
The muscle physiology of men and women is virtually identical. Yes, women have less testosterone and, on average, less muscle per pound of bodyweight, but the techniques to improve muscle tone, add muscle mass and increase functional strength are all identical. The best chest exercise for a man is also the best chest exercise for a woman, and so on.
I responded to the e-mail by restating the above and saying that if we changed the article title to “Tips for Toned Shoulders, Firmer Chest and Great Arms for Women” it would have contained the same tips and exercises. I never heard back from her. Perhaps she thought I was just using a marketing ploy to trick her. I wasn’t.
Frankly, women’s magazines are the worst offenders in this area of telling women they need to train differently. How many times have you seen a photo of a flawlessly beautiful model with a 22-inch waist holding a pink 2-pound dumbbell? Trust me, that dumbbell did not give her that body. It can’t. The truth is a light weight like that will never, ever force a change in your body. You tone, shape and build a muscle by forcing it to perform exercises near the maximum limit of its ability. There is no other way.
Can you get a tan under your car’s dome light? Of course not. That weak intensity of light will not force your skin to tan. Likewise, a light weight will not transform your muscles because it doesn’t deliver the high intensity of overload needed to tell your brain to tone, shape or build muscle. (By the way, toning, shaping and building muscle are all the same thing, but I can only debunk so much per article.)
If you want results in the gym that will transform the look of your body you need to lift what are – for you – really heavy weights. So the next time you visit the gym try some of your favorite exercises with a weight that is so heavy you can only perform two or three repetitions. That’s a good starting place to discover what you are really capable of and what it will take to deliver changes you can see in the mirror.
Pete Sisco has been innovating efficient, productive training methods since 1992. He is the inventor of the Power Factor, Power Index and Relative Static Intensity measurements and has written many strength training books. He is also the author of several bestselling strength training e-books including Train Smart 2009 – The World’s Fastest Workout, available at this link.
Sisco’s training methods have been featured in Men's Journal, Golf Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, Ironman, Martial Arts Training and many others. His training is exclusively featured in Tony Robbin's Ultimate Edge program as the best method to achieve peak results quickly.