Importance of Weight Training

posted by Jennifer

I was part of a conversation the other day that spurred this blog post into existence. Three women were discussing weight training.  A few of the comments were, “I’d rather look good in my clothes than naked,DSC_7272_B&W and lifting makes my jeans tight;” and,  “I just bulk up, and that’s the last thing I want to do.”  Being the “Nonconfrontational” person that I am, I just loosely and awkwardly commented at the end of their dialogue that I weight train.   Looks of bewilderment filled their eyes and then the next comments come. “Well you are just built different than us.” “We aren’t naturally thin like you.”

It literally hurts me, when I hear these things, because it is nothing but misinformation, misperception, and, improper weight training and nutrition.  When I was in college I started weight training with a girl that I thought was educated and knew what she was doing.  Back then(in the old days!) diet and nutrition was ALL ABOUT FAT FREE, so I thought if it was fat free then it was fair game.  I was basically “carb loading” and lifting heavy weights.  GUESS WHAT?  I exploded!  My thighs couldn’t fit into my jeans.  My calves were monsters!  I was misguided and misinformed.

Mayo Clinic’s Benefits to Weight Training:

Boost Metabolism

Increased muscle actually boosts metabolism causing you to burn calories  even while you are in a state of rest.   The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reports that ladies who did an hour of strength training burned around 100 calories MORE the day following the workout than they burned if they didn’t lift weights. Burn, Baby, Burn!!!

Control Weight

Increased metabolism and burned calories means pounds diminish. Ladies, 100 extra calories a day calculates to about 4 or 5 pounds a year without even changing your diet.

DSC_7172_B&WPreserves muscle mass

Unfortunately, our muscle mass decreases with age, but you can counteract this effect through strength training.

Reduces risk of osteoporosis

I am passionate about Osteoporosis, because it runs in our family.  Mayo Clinic reports that because of hormonal changes that women experience as they get older, they naturally lose bone density, putting them at increased risk for developing osteoporosis. Routinely lifting weights slows bone deterioration and can help your bones grow stronger, maintain strength, and reduce your chance of developing osteoporosis or slow down its effects.

Decreases Risk of Injury

When you build muscle correctly, you are building a cushion and protecting your joints.  Stran and his trainer, Dodd Romero refer to it as building a steel belted radius around your joints.

So what are the KEY TO LEAN TONED Muscles?

High Repetition Program

Whether you use free weights, machines, bands, or simply your body weight, high reps/low weight program a key for lean muscle mass.  I always do 2 sets of 21/15 or 3 sets of 21/18/15 for upper body. Lower body may be much high….  50 squats or lunges.  If it seems way too hard, go down in weight, not reps. Build up to your goal.

High Protein Diet

It is important to feed your muscles.  We have a general rule around the house set by Dodd to drink a protein shake within 30 minutes of a workout.  Replace as many carb snacks with protein snacks as possible.


When you stretch, you are lengthening the muscle.  Before I had back surgery, I stretched when I had time,DSC_6991_bw which was hardly ever!  Even though Dodd emphasizes it with us, It was always the last thing on my agenda.  I get kiddos ready for school or get 100 other errands done.  I got a huge wake up call when I was rehabbing my back.  I had no choice, but to stretch because it was all I was cleared to do.  I can tell all the difference when I am on a regimented stretch program.  We have what Dodd calls, “stretch class.”  It’s a family affair.  Kids love it! HA!

Don’t Abandon Cardio

I am not advocating abandoning cardio.  We bike, run, and ride the elliptical.  Even when we are only weight training, we warm up to get our heart rate up. Our fitness guru, Dodd Romero says, “If you stop, you STOP.”

Stay Strong!

If you would like a good read, Miriam E Nelson, Ph D has a great line of books about the importance of women staying strong.

Strong Women Strong Bones

Strong Women Strong Slim

Categories: Fitness and Nutrition, Life

1 Comment

  • Lyndzie Pierce says:

    Are you able to share some of your “stretching class”? I’ve been trying to recover from a back injury for over a year with no improvements. Your input is very much appreciated!

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