It’s a common misconception shared by women that lifting weights will make them bulky and somehow they’ll magically transform into Jay Cutler! For this reason, women go for fitness routines such as Aerobics, Yoga, Pilates, Jogging and other activities that hardly include any form of resistance training. Now, how is weight training important for women to lose weight and sustain this weight loss? Is ‘type’ of workout important? Isn’t it all about moving around and doing anything physical without having to care about what it is! Read on for the perk!
To start off, let’s take a look at a much talked about topic; the BMR. What exactly is the BMR? To understand BMR we need to underst
and a few basic rules about Calories and how we burn them throughout the day.
Total calorie needs are determined based on a number of factors, including basal metabolic rate, gender, age, muscle mass, exercise, and voluntary movement.
- Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories that you need at rest for those functions that are not under your voluntary control. This includes your heart rate, digestion, respiration, maintenance of blood pressure, and body temperature.
- BMR is responsible in most of us for approximately 60%–75% of the calories we need per day.
- Your muscle mass determines your BMR, so men have a higher BMR than women because men have more lean muscle mass.
- Another source of calorie burning is the thermic effect of food, which means the calories it takes to digest your food. Depending on what foods you eat, this makes up about 10%–30% of your total energy expenditure.
From the above discussion, it becomes clear that the lean muscle mass has an important role to play in the expenditure of daily calories you gain from food. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you need for daily maintenance.
The problem is that gaining muscle mass is very hard. To gain muscle mass, your muscles have to go into overdrive. This means that they have to be overburdened in some way so that your body adapts to this muscle overdrive by producing more lean mass. This is exactly what weight lifters and resistance trainers do! But the question is that is it recommended for women? Definitely YES! Women have a very different anatomy when compared to men. It is actually very unlikely of them to get buffed like most male body builders. So don’t worry, you’re safe; hit the weights and hit them hard, but make sure that you follow a good routine that comprises of a variety of exercises that hit different muscle groups each day.
The surprising bit is that increasing your lean muscle mass by 10 – 15% will actually increase your daily caloric expenditure by approximately 200 – 300 Calories! What does this tell you? Lean muscle mass can actually give you a liberty to eat more without getting fat. The best part is that there’s no downside to it. 10 – 15% gain in lean muscle mass is not even noticeable but do remember that it’s lean muscle mass and not weight itself. You may have to go to your physician to get a checkup in order to determine whether you’ve gained lean muscle mass or not. So, simply put, weight training can help women lose weight and sustain it, by causing an increase in their lean mass and by increasing their BMR.