I was training a client the other day and in the middle of her session she stopped what she was doing and turned to me with a curious and confused look on her face “What is your back ground in?”. The question left me a little confused but once she clarified that her question was in reference to exercise, I was able to tell her that I have been lifting weights since my late teens and in my early 20’s I was doing some recreational power lifting and have played hockey since a young age. I turned back to her to ask why she was so curious and her reply was what caught me off guard. She was confused about why someone who wants to lose weight was doing so many squats, deadlifts, pull ups etc.
I find that most women begin a weight loss program with good intentions, but quickly get worried they are going to build large muscles and end up looking like Arnold. Trying to convince them otherwise is very difficult.
The truth is, for the amount of work it takes to build quality lean muscle, most women don’t lift weights heavy enough to do so. In fact, women in general typically don’t have enough testosterone to support building large amounts of muscle. I know there is always a few exceptions to every rule, but in this case I am speaking for the majority of women. One point women need to realize about weight loss is that the more resistance training you do and the more muscle you build, the greater your chance of burning fat. So don’t be scared off by doing squats or deadlifts. The great thing about these exercises are that they prepare you for the real world. When ever you bend to get something out of your trunk, you are doing a deadlift. When you crouch down to pick up a parcel or your child you are doing a squat.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, when it comes to weight loss there is no real magic formula. Hard work and consistency are what will make you successful in reaching your goals. Of course there requires a certain amount of planning when it comes to creating a workout, and choosing the right foods to eat. If you are smart about your food choices and rely on the knowledge and experience your trainer has, you should lose weight.
Back to the client I was training the other day. I have trained her for 2 months now for 1/2 hour sessions twice per week. I have incorporated some basic compound movements with weights, some high intensity intervals, and a bit of cardio into each session. Because I need to leave at least 10 minutes for a proper stretch she is actually only working out for 20 minutes. In that time I make sure there is never a minute that she is standing still.
After she had asked me that question I realized she was doubting her progress so I suggested we take measurements and have a weigh in. To her surprise she has lost 9 pounds and a total of 61/2 inches since we began 2 months ago.
How has she been so succesful in such a short period? When she is not in the gym, she makes quality food choices and always eats before she gets hungry. She has increased the amount of water she has per day as well as her fruit and vegetable intake. She is consistent about making it to her appointments with me twice a week regardless of how busy she is. And most importantly, she has made herself a priority. She takes time for herself on the weekends to go for a run or a short hike, has learned to cook new healthier recipes and has tried to make it regularly to local farmers markets.
If you are on a journey to lose weight, I suggest getting guidance from a trainer. They will set you up on a productive weight loss plan, give you nutritional suggestions and can even put you in touch with a qualified dietician if you are looking for meal plans. What are you waiting for? Get started today!