Friday Feature: It’s all about strength

by Jemma Andrew-Adiamah on July 29, 2011

in Friday Feature Posts

Happy Friday my lovelies!  I hope you’ve all had a  great week!

Firstly I just wanted to say a huge HEYYYYY! to my new readers, thank you for taking the time to stop by on my blog.  I love new blog readers and would love to get to know you more so feel free to comment on my blog…don’t be shy now!

This morning I couldn’t resist purchasing The New Rules of Lifting For Women that I have read about everywhere in blog land recently.  Damn that Amazon one-click system!  I’m not going to complain though because I’ve read some amazing reviews about this book and I cannot wait for it arrive. :)

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The past few weeks I have changed up my weekly workout routine by incorporating an additional strength workout as well as my beloved Body Pump classes.  Until my book arrives I have formulated my own strength workout that I have been doing in the gym and found pretty challenging.

10 minute warm up on the cross trainer or bike

Set 1

  • squats with bar bell x 20
  • sumo squats with bar bell x 20
  • lunges with bar bell x 20
  • reverse lunges with bar bell x 20

Set 2

  • bicep curls with bar bell x 20
  • tricep dips x 20
  • tricep raises x 20
  • wood chop with dumb bell x 10 on each side

Set 3

  • standing side crunches with dumb bell x 20
  • v-sit twists with dumb bell x 20
  • reverse crunches x 20

Set 4

  • reverse fly on stability ball x 15
  • dead lift with bar bell x 15
  • repeat set x 15

10 minute cool down on the cross trainer or bike slowly reducing speed to finish.

The benefits of strength training for women are immense and not only great for muscle tone, but it is also a great as a form of exercise in it’s own right.

1) Increased lean muscle mass

Many women are under the impression that they will bulk up if they start to lift weights.  Sure if you are slogging it out for hours in the gym lifting weight like a hard core body builder, without a doubt you will build muscle mass.  However, by lifting weights as part of your regular gym routine you shouldn’t bulk up at all, but simply increase your lean muscle mass.

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2) Increasing  bone density

Strength training is a great way to restore bone density and prevent osteoporosis, which is very common amongst women.

3) Prevention of injuries

Women that incorporate strength training into their routine benefit from stronger muscles and tendons.  The stronger your muscles and tendons are then the less likely that they are going to be prone to injury as part of an active lifestyle.

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4) Facilitates recovery after injury

Not only can strength training prevent injuries but it can also aid rehabilitation and recovery.  By strengthening our muscles and making them stronger in pretty much most cases it means a speedier recovery.  Strengthening your muscles can also act as a for of treatment as physiotherapists often advise and prescribe exercises build the quadriceps and calves in the case of a knee injury.

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5.  Improved performance during exercise

Overall one of the major benefits of strength training as well as muscle tone is our abilities to do things with more ease, due to the strength that has been built whilst training, meaning a better quality of life.

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6. Improve balance and posture

Building up lean muscle builds up a strong foundation for the body.  By strengthening our core muscles, legs and arms it provides a great basis for good balance and co-ordination.

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Incorporating strength training in to your weekly routine has also been shown to decrease body fat and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and so much more!  :D   Not only are their physical benefits of strength training, but their are also mental benefits too.  After a weight workout I personally feel a sense of achievement and so strong within myself. 

Have you purchased The New Rules of Lifting For Women?  What did you think?

Do you incorporate strength training into your workout?

Do you think strength training is more important than a cardio workout?

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Faye July 29, 2011 at 6:25 PM

AHHHH!! I am so excited to see this post!! I have the NROLFW, the programs in it are really good, sometimes these books include too many different moves and it can be difficult to remember what you’re doing, but this one includes just a few of the major lifts. I’d also recommend female body breakthrough by rachel cosgrove, not for the exercise program but for all the information.. she knows how to speak to women! Excited to hear about your experience with it! :)

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jranolajoyce July 29, 2011 at 6:34 PM

The book sounds great! I do think strength training is an important aspect of fitness and I want to be more knowledgeable.
Thanks for this post; it was helpful and informative! :)

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jranolajoyce July 29, 2011 at 6:39 PM

oo! I figured out how to link to blogs and I added you to my blogroll! :) love your blog. ah!

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IHeartVegetables July 29, 2011 at 6:43 PM

I could definitely use some help in the strength department! I’ve always been a cardio junkie and have just recently started really pushing myself with weight training!

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Rachel July 29, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Hey there! I’m a new-ish blogger, stumbled on your blog a little while ago, and I love it!

I’ve read so much about this book, I feel like it’s almost calling my name. But, I really like my current strength workouts, so I think i’m going to stick with it for a while. I’m a huge fan of designing my own workouts, but a little guidance is always nice. We’ll see how long it takes before I cave and buy this book!

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Amanda @ Running with Spoons July 29, 2011 at 7:18 PM

Girl you’re going to love NROLFW. I have it, and I absolutely adore it. I’ve been following the workout plan, and I’m seeing great results :D As for the strength vs cardio thing… I think it mainly comes down to what someone enjoys doing more. I used to be a cardio junkie, but I’ve really fallen in love with strength training, and find that it’s giving me more of the kind of results that I want, without making me feel like my body was taking a pounding, as I often felt was the case with running.

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vegansunshine July 29, 2011 at 7:29 PM

I have been seeing that book everywhere in the blog world! i’ll have to check it out!

Whitney

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Maria July 29, 2011 at 7:56 PM

I really like the sound of it, and Emma at sweet tooth runner did tell me that you can do a home workout version (as I do not belong to a gym) but the equipment needed does put me off a little. But I love body pump, and the feeling of strength, so it is something I am still thinking about. Looking forward to seeing how you get on with it.

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~Jessica~ July 29, 2011 at 8:47 PM

I don’t have ‘New Rules’ as I’m so attached to Body Pump and Jillian Michaels DVDs that I don’t think there’s much room in my day for any more strength training!

I think the benefits you’ve listed are great: in my opinion strength and cardio are equally important, and it’s better not to get too hung up over one at the expense of the other (men generally overdo the strength, women are more cardio-centric, at least at my gym. Aside from a couple of amazingly strong lasses at Body Pump though!)

xxx

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Laura @ box run eat July 29, 2011 at 9:26 PM

I haven’t got the book but I am a big believer in strength training! We do a lot of strength circuits at the boxing gym I go to so I do most of my strength stuff there.

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eatinglikeahorse July 29, 2011 at 10:00 PM

I never used to do any strength work because my arms are quite muscly from riding and horse stuff and I didn’t want huge bulging biceps! But then I realised how good it was, started Body Pump and love it!
I didn’t realise the bit about preventing osteoporosis too which is great and the building core strength and improving balance will be great for riding! Thank you for this :-)
Oh, and thank you again for the Munchy Seeds – they’ve arrived and are delicious!

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Mary @ Bites and Bliss July 29, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Yeah, girls really don’t realize just how important weight training is. I see them doing SO much cardio and only 5-10 minutes of light arm weights. Not that I blame them, I used to be the exact same until really embracing what it does for us!

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lactosefreelizzie July 29, 2011 at 11:17 PM

I’ve never tried lifting before! It’s getting so popular and seems like fun so maybe I’ll give it a go!!

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thequirkykitchen July 30, 2011 at 12:09 AM

Yup…..the one click system got me too!! I have the book and I’m really enjoying it. Can’t wait to start on the workouts. :-)

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Lenna (veganlenna) July 30, 2011 at 7:22 AM

I donΒ΄t follow that book, but I have seen a lot of bloggers talking about it. I like to make my own workouts, though. I believe that strenght training is very important. I used to omit it completely, but ever since IΒ΄ve started with strenght training, my body looks so much better and I feel much better as well.

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Sarah(everydaysapicnic) July 30, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Great informative post :-)
I’ve not read this book, but I have heard a lot about it on other blogs. At the moment I’m trying to do some kind of strength training twice a week – perhaps the 30 Day Shred once and then another strength routine in the gym or at home. I don’t love it as much as running, but I know that it’s a really important part of overall fitness.

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vegan aphrodite July 30, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Hey :)

That book is really taking over the (blog)world ;)After all Ive read, I want it too! Cant wait to hear what you think about it!
Im pretty basd at getting my strength training in. I just find it a bit boring.. I know I should do some though! Mostly i just run and do yoga!
I wish you a wonderful weekend :)

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Lauren July 30, 2011 at 1:44 PM

I’ve just got this book in the last few weeks, am excited to start the workouts!

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peanutbutternutter July 30, 2011 at 8:28 PM

I bought NROLFW around 3 years ago and thought it was a great read, it definitely made me realise I should lift heavy weights and not worry. I’m sure you’ll like it!

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Tessa at Amazing Asset July 30, 2011 at 10:15 PM

This is an absolutely great post, so helpful! I really want to read this book. I have seen this book all over the blog world and am so intrigued :)
This information is rather helpful m’dear

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Errign July 30, 2011 at 10:57 PM

I haven’t checked out the NRFWL just because I don’t think I’ll use it enough. I do strength train – I currently shoot for 2-3 days a week. I do full body workouts each time, in the gym with a combo of machine & free weights (though, all free weights now that my gym at my apartment is crap!). I have some routines under my strength training tag, to give you an idea, but they’re nothing special. I do like to strength train, though I like cardio better!

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Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen) July 31, 2011 at 3:30 AM

I just found your blog and I loveee it! :D

Wow, after reading this I’m even more happy that I do weight lifting :) I had always done it because I like it and I wanted to be a bit stronger, but now I’m finding that there are even MORE benefits! It’s always a good sign when you like something AND it has benefits ;)

Hmm I don’t know which is more important – strength training or cardio. I usually tell myself strength training because, well, I like it better ;)

<3

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