Feel Fitter, Slimmer and Healthier! The Benefits of Resistance Training.

Women are often nervous about starting a resistance training programme as they are worried it will make them bulk up too much. The reality is though that it increases your metabolism, helps you get those flat abs and ultimately makes you feel healthier – and happier. What is there not to love!?


Most of us don’t aspire to have bulging biceps or thunderous thighs, but we do want to tone up, burn fat, reduce stress and have a healthier heart. Lifting weights doesn’t spring to mind when thinking about these improvements, but these are just some of the benefits resistance training can provide. Sadly, lifting weights has fallen victim to a stereotypical image that has discouraged the average woman from taking up the discipline.


Myth busters Myth: ‘Weight lifting will result in a bulky appearance. I don’t want to look like Arnie.’

Truth: When you lift weights, your body builds muscle – true – but the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn and (this is the best bit) those calories continue to burn even when you’re sitting on the sofa, because muscle cells burn more calories than fat cells.


Myth: ‘Muscle weighs more than fat, so I’m going to get heavier.’

Truth: Muscle is actually much more compact than fat and actually takes up less space because of its density. Clothes will therefore fit better and you won’t be piling on the pounds due to increased muscle mass.


Myth: ‘It’s very time consuming.’

Truth: Strength training can actually be one of the fastest workouts and less time consuming than running or walking. Two to four 20-minute sessions a week can change your body in a positive way.



It’s a given that elite runners these days lift weights as part of their training regime. Paula Radcliffe, Kelly Holmes, Jo Pavey – they are all proof that resistance training makes you faster. Strong muscles will not only protect your joints from the impact of running but other benefits of strength training are injury prevention, correction of muscular imbalances, increase in stride length and improvement in core stability. It also delays fatigue – as the muscles are stronger, each stride has less impact on the body, resulting in a better posture for longer when running.



Many studies have demonstrated that regular resistance training can have a positive effect on a woman’s health, by showing reductions in the rate of insulin resistance, blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and even cancer. Strength training also helps to increase bone density – hugely important for women because we are more susceptible to bone diseases, including osteoporosis, as we age. There are also many reports of women feeling more secure, accomplished and strong after a resistance-training session.



(1.) You will lose weight and body fat: As your muscle density increases, so does your resting metabolism, so you burn more calories all day…yay!

(2.) You will gain strength without bulk: Researchers have found that, unlike men, women typically don’t gain size from lifting weights.

(3.) You will be stronger: This will benefit both your running and general wellbeing. Runs will feel easier as your bones become stronger and general chores will feel less cumbersome.

(4.) You will reduce your risk of injury: Resistance training strengthens your muscles and tendons, and the stronger you are, the less your chance of injury. This is especially important through pregnancy and as you get older.

(5.) You will reduce your risk of heart disease and osteoporosis: Lower cholesterol and blood pressure can be directly related to lifting weights, while increased bone density will help ward off bone diseases.

(6.) It will help you fight depression: Studies have shown that consistent strength training can kick symptoms of depression, and women who do resistance training commonly report feeling more confident, happy and capable.

(7.) It helps you recover from injury: Strengthening the muscles around your joints is one of the best ways to prevent and recover from an injury. For example, the best way to recover from a knee injury is to strengthen your quads and calves.

(8.) It will improve your running performance: A study published in the journal Medicine & Science In Sport & Exercise showed that maximal strength training over an eight-week period which meant they increased running economy and could run for longer.

(9.) Your diet will improve: Exercise helps you stick to your diet plan and the better you feel about your body, the more natural it will be to eat well.

(10.) It’s never too late to benefit: Women of all ages can lift weights. Studies show strength improvements are possible at any age – and the older you get, the more you need it in order to counterbalance the decline in muscle strength.


Spring is the perfect chance to start a new fitness programme in the great outdoors and now you have no excuses ladies!!



Don’t worry if you didn’t exercise throughout your pregnancy and have a fit pregnancy, you can still lose the baby weight, strengthen your core and pelvic floor and get your body back with the correct nutrition and post-natal exercise. For more information about the True Vitality 4 Mums 12 Week Transformation Programme please email laura@truevitality4mums.com xx