Health

Friday 19 September 2014

Siobhan Byrne: Waking up to weight training

Last week, I discussed how difficult it can actually be to develop even a small amount of muscle tone. Weight and strength training is probably one of the most misunderstood sports out there.

It never fails to amaze me how wrong people get it. Between bad technique when training, the general misconception (especially from women) that training weights makes you bulky and a lack of knowledge.

The most important thing when deciding to take on a strength or weight training programme is to try and get as much good knowledge as you can to allow yourself the best opportunity to get in great shape.

It's like anything else – if you don't know what to do find out, and make sure that knowledge is coming from someone who knows what they are doing.

If weight training was a person, it would be the most misunderstood person in the world.

Can you really afford not to use strength training in your weekly training plan when these are the benefits?

It increases muscle tone. Increasing your muscle tone even slightly will mean you will be burning extra calories even when resting (how can that be a bad thing?)

It increases your metabolism. Again, an increased metabolism means burning more calories.

It helps to increase bone density.

This may not be something you think about now, but as we age, our bone density decreases, leaving us susceptible to brittle, easily broken and deteriorating bones, and its never too late to start with a strength-training programme.

Some of my top tips for getting into the best shape of your life are:

Eat frequent, small meals throughout the day. This should be three meals and two snacks.

Don't stress. Unfortunately stress can be a major factor in storing fat. It increases certain hormones, which will slow down fat-burning.

Make sure your workouts always include some compound exercises, functional and isolation, to get the best from your training.

Control the nice stuff. Sugar, alcohol and processed foods won't help you achieve the best shape of your life, so limit or cut them out and replace with healthy lean meats, veg, essential fats and eggs.

Next week I will be looking at why so many women have the misconception that weight training makes you bulky.

  • Twitter: @Mrsbodybyrne

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