Summer’s siren song of the sun and the sand is calling you. (Give your jaw a bit of a workout with that tongue twister.) But getting the body you want for the beach is going to take way more than aerobic exercise.
Cardio is great for losing weight, and is an absolutely essential part of a serious fitness program. But achieving a body type that dazzles in a bikini requires toning and sculpting, and that only comes with strength and resistance training.
Many women bristle at the mention of strength training and weight lifting, believing that the process will result in a bulky, barbarian-esque appearance. These concerns are almost entirely unfounded, as such mass is made possible only with specific, stringent dietary methods.
Put simply, the importance of strength training should not be ignored or overlooked, particularly if your end game is to be a lean, mean, head-turning machine. It’s also every bit as critical as cardiovascular activity when crafting a quality fitness program. Here are a few reasons why:
- Strength training sheds calories faster: Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, which means maintaining the tissue burns more calories throughout the day. Additionally, when you engage in resistance training, tiny tissue tears known as microtraumas occur. The energy it takes to repair them boosts your resting metabolic rate significantly, so you keep making progress even when you’re doing absolutely nothing at all.
- More muscle means a leaner appearance: Muscle is denser than fat. And here’s a shocker – flab simply takes up more real estate on your body. So working toward a higher muscle-to-fat ratio will ultimately result in a sleeker, more slender shape. Additionally, scientific studies have proven that weight training is imperative in abdominal fat reduction as we age.
- Strength training relieves stress: Lifting weights releases endorphins, which serve as an immediate mood booster, while routine resistance training improves sleep, increases your energy levels, and reduces the effects of aging in the long run, allowing you to enjoy those beach blanket parties well into the future.
The importance of strength training is plain to see. That being said, the true key to a fit and healthy lifestyle is an equal combination of cardio and weight lifting.
Novice lifters should start small and moderately, and avoid making an immediate leap to heavy weights. The personal trainers at Fitness Together Ellicott City recommend 45 minute strength training sessions, two to three days per week, starting with 5-10 lb. dumbbells. It’s a great place to start building your perfect beach body, and we’re eager to help you succeed. Give us a call today at 410-750-2228.