I'll admit it. I used to be a cardio junkie. I would run 35-40 miles a week. On "rest days," I would get on the elliptical trainer, take a Spinning class, or MAYBE do some Pilates (but only if I was really, really tired.) You would think I would have been in great shape.
Wrong. I was what I like to call "skinny fat." Sure, I was thin, but I had absolutely no muscle tone to my body. I see so many women in the gym doing the same thing - starving themselves and doing constant cardio just to be skinny - and only ending up skinny fat. Why? It simply results in a lack of knowledge of what REALLY burns fat.
Don't get me wrong. I still love my cardio. TurboKick/TurboJam is not something I would ever leave behind! And cardio in moderation definitely helps the weight loss process. But it's not what gives you a lean, firm, symmetrical body. Weight training is the only way to re-shape your body.
Let me rephrase it simply: Muscle burns fat.
I can also puit this way. The more muscle your body has, the more fat you will burn.
So if you want to get rid of the fat on your body, you MUST lift weights and build strong active muscles - not just even if you are a woman, but ESPECIALLY if you are a woman!
- Once you reach adulthood, your muscles stop growing on their own, and muscles actually begin to deteriorate. Ever heard, "If you don't use it, you lose it?" Same thing applies to your muscles. - Dieting and cardio WITHOUT strength training will cause you to lose muscle.
- Pregnancy also accelerates muscle loss. Your body needs additional protein for the baby to develop, so if you don't have enough protein in your diet, guess where it takes the protein needed from? Your muscles!
The news is about to get better.
- Weight training can rebuilt lost muscle.
- Because of the way a woman's body works, weight training won't increase their muscle size much. Women will increase muscle strength and density. (What does that mean? Forget the fear of bulking up - all you are going to do is sculpt your body into a fat-burning machine!)
Just in case your not convinced, allow me to give you a little more info.
- Your muscles are the driving force of your metabolism.
I know I already said but, but I'll say it again. The more muscle you have on your body, the more fat/calories you burn. If you have a certain amount of muscle on your body you can eat a reasonable diet without gaining weight. A good metabolism doesn’t happen by accident. Yes, of course genetics will play a part metabolism can be drastically affected by your life choices.
- Your muscles are active tissue and must constantly renew themselves. This requires energy. And guess what burning calories is? Energy expenditure! It gets better! The primary energy source your muscles use to repair themselves is FAT. Did I mention that MUSCLE BURNS FAT?? Just checking. :)-
- Your muscles are very smart. If your muscles are challenged to the limits of their capabilities, they realize that they need to rebuild themselves even stronger. That way, when faced with that same challenge they will be able to perform at a higher capacity. This is the key to understanding your weight training program. You must find a way to challenge your muscles. Lifting the same weight every time you perform an exercise will maintain what muscle you have, but not change them. I don’t know many people that like spending an hour in the gym to stay exactly the same.
That's why I'm challenging you to embark on a 90-day journey with me beginning May 1, 2009. It's called ChaLEAN Extreme, and you don't want to miss out. It will take 30-45 minutes of your day 5-6 days a week AND it comes with 90 days of recipes for all of your meals and snacks. If you've ever wanted to really change your body, I challenge you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you all of the information you need.