Lift to lose
Want a leaner, fitter body and a sense of prowess to boot? Step into the weights room…
A heavy weights workout to torch those calories.
Many of us have had this moment: looking at a heavily-stacked barbell the instructor has placed in front of us and picturing Arnold Schwarzenegger in
Pumping Iron. But get this – research shows that lifting heavy weights won’t make us girls bulk up. Instead, experts agree that lifting more pounds will help us to lose more pounds. Don’t believe it? One study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that women who lifted heavier weights for fewer reps (85 per cent of one rep max, eight times) scorched nearly double the calories after exercise than they did when lifting light weights for more reps (45 per cent of one rep max, 15 times).
‘I’m so desperate to break the rumour that lifting heavy weights will make you bulky,’ says Laura Hoggins, coach at The Foundry (foundryfit.com). ‘Sure, it’s important to get the technique right, as well as set progressive and challenging sessions, but, combined with smart nutrition and conditioning, heavy lifting is the best way to achieve fat loss and a lean physique.’
It’s all down to the intensity of training and effect that overloading the muscles has on your body: ‘Heavy strength training stimulates your anabolic growth hormone, which boosts your immune system, increases fat metabolism and promotes growth in your muscles, tendons and ligaments,’ adds Hoggins. ‘Paired with the correct nutrition, you could use strength training to transform your body in a matter of weeks.’
A smaller waistline, defined look, better bone density, stronger body and sense of empowerment are just a few of the results you can look forward to reaping by following a heavy strength plan. Don’t know which moves to do? We asked Hoggins for her top weighted moves. Get your training gloves at the ready...