3 Reasons Why Women MUST lift Weights to loose Fat and Keep Looking Young!

Nearly every female client I start with wants to loose weight and tone up, sound like you?  However I find most are a bit intimidated by lifting weights or strength training.

I don’t want huge bulging muscles so I don’t like lifting weights’ would be the typical response I get.

Well, I’m going to put this myth to rest once and for all because it is so important for women( and Men)  to lift weights (and not the pink ones)!



fat v muscle

Strength training increases (not bulks up) lean muscle tissue (which includes by the way all the vital internal organs such as the liver, heart, pancreas ect.). This increases your resting metabolic rate which is your body’s ability to burn calories at a resting state.  So when you are sitting at your desk or snoozing away in bed, your body will burn far more calories with every pound of muscle you have.  This in turn equals greater FAT LOSS.  Research shows that with each pound of muscle you gain, you burn around 35 to 50 more calories each day. (1) Muscle is also a far more dense tissue than fat therefore taking up less space in the body.

Above is a model replica of 5 lbs (2.5kg) fat tissue and muscle tissue.  As you can see the muscle tissue takes up far less space. So two people of the exact same weight can look far different if one has more lean mass than the other.




When you cut calories to lose weight without strength training, your muscles will atrophy – become weak and flabby – just the opposite of the vigorous tone look women want.  The same goes with steady state aerobic exercise, ie. jogging or cycling for an hour at the same pace.  According to studies cited by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, adults lose muscle at the rate of 4% per decade until the age of 50.  After 50, muscle loss increases to 10% per decade; so that by the age of 60 the average person will have lost 20%-30% of his/her muscle mass. This loss of muscle, known as sarcopenia, affects both genders and plays a huge role in the loss of strength, form, and function during the aging process. You need to use strength training as a key anti-aging strategy to reduce, delay and even reverse age-related sarcopenia. You will look better, feel better, and be stronger and more youthful if you do.  It also reduces your risk of osteoporosis, standard aerobic training does not have this effect either because it is not weight baring enough.  In fact too much aerobic training actually accelerates the aging process by increasing oxidative stress according to Endocrinologist Dr. Diana Schwarzbein




Unless you train specifically to add bulk, women will NOT BULK UP! This has to do with your genetic makeup as well.  Don’t get me wrong some women may have a tendency to gain muscle quicker (I am one of them, but I don’t think I look particularly big even though I can chest press 20kg dumbbells). Women just don’t produce enough of the hormone testosterone to build size to our muscles like our male counterparts. You will, however, develop muscle tone and definition, which looks both sexy and healthy not to mention the many benefits strength can have on your day to day activities.

I have experimented with both aerobic and weight training over the years and have seen far better results with myself when following a proper resistance programme.  I have gone from 20% bodyfat to 13.5% by giving up the boring cardio work and focusing on my weights and intervals and I must say I have never had so many compliments on how well I look for my age (nearly 46 and I feel 26!) Of course this has to do with your diet as well…but that’s for the next article ….

(1)  In his book Life Fit, America’s leading epidemiologist, Ralph Paffenbarger, M.D., makes the following statement regarding the effects of muscle gain and metabolic change: “Indeed, when you replace 10 pounds of fat with 10 pounds of muscle, your weight remains the same, but you can expect to expend 500 or more additional kilocalories each day at rest.” In other words, Paffenbarger ascribes the resting metabolic requirement for 1 pound of muscle at 50 calories per day