Being a woman has amazing advantages, naturally, but women are also more prone to weight gain than men. The reason for this is because men (not all, but most) received the natural inheritance of having a faster metabolism due to a larger bone structure and organs. What this means for you is that those problem areas are not just a figment of your imagination i.e. the lower abs, upper chest, upper arms, and of course the glutes, or butt. However, with some proper steering, you can gain lean muscle and burn fat in order to get your body back to the way it was years before.

Fear Strength Training No More!

Strength training is often misconstrued as being a type of exercise regimen for large muscular growth, which would be something that a bodybuilder performs. This is one of the reasons that you may have avoided adding in some weighted exercises to your cardio training. Strength training does build muscle, that is correct, but muscular growth does not mean bulging biceps necessarily.

Your muscles need to grow and strengthen in order for your body to start burning fat at a more rapid pace. Research shows that muscles burn excess fat even throughout the night while your body is at rest. This lean muscle tissue regulates your bodyweight and keeps your fat gains in check. Another aspect you should consider is that when you gain fat you lose lean muscle, and without creating more lean muscle tissue you open the door for more fat particles to make themselves nice and cozy within your problem areas.

Strength training merely means you are placing resistance against your muscles and bones, which in turn leads to lean muscle growth. Equipment normally used for this technique are dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, and pulley/cable machines. The best method for you to use would be low weight workouts with a high amount of repetitions.

Exercises in this category to consider are:

  • Triceps Curl – Targets the underside of your arms.
  • Biceps Curl – Targets upper-front area of your arms.
  • Pushups and Dumbbell Chest Press – Targets upper chest region.
  • Leg Curl – Targets the backside of the upper legs.
  • Leg Extensions – Target the front of your upper leg region.
  • Calf Raises – Targets the lower-backside of your legs.
  • Squats – Targets your buttocks, calves, abs, and pretty much the rest of your hip and leg regions.

Are Weights a Necessity?


No, exercise machines and weights are not needed at all, but are great to use if you have the convenience to get a hold of them. Bodyweight exercises are just as meaningful to lean muscle gains. This form of exercising is as the name implies – you use your bodyweight to create resistance. The top reasons to love bodyweight training are because you can perform them anywhere you go, and because you can perform the exercises every day a week without having to perform “rest days”.

People often use the excuse that they are going out of town, or that they cannot afford a gym membership. However, these are excuses you should keep out of your head. You can lose fat and tone your body by merely performing five to eight different exercises within 15 minutes, which means they are performed without much breaks taking place. No extra weight means more repetitions to get your blood pumping. Is 15-30 minutes out of your day really that hard to put aside when it comes to your future?

Then there are the rest days you see everywhere online within forums and personal training websites. This rest is needed only because you have used weights that cause more microscopic tears within your muscles. However, this step is not necessary since you are not using anything but your natural bodyweight. Think of a monkey. The animal never needs to take a rest day and constantly uses its arms to swing throughout the trees and climb. You can reach this example point once your muscles get used to the exercises you perform throughout each 15 minute period.

Cardio is Still a Necessity


Cardio refers to cardiovascular exercises, which in short means a specific exercise that increases your heart rate to allow maximum blood flow. This process increases your metabolism and burns excess calories rapidly throughout your entire body. Take running for example. You might think it is just for fat loss, but in reality running also targets numerous muscle groups, which creates lean muscle gains.

Your legs will become strong and eye catching, the butt will become firm and less saggy, plus your abdominal muscles get an amazing workout due to the constant breathing taking place. Swimming and bicycling are a couple of other great cardio exercises to consider. Swimming is also categorized as being low-impact, which means your skeletal structure undergoes little pressure during training.

Running constantly on a daily basis can cause potential injuries to your knees, ankles, feet, and back over the years since force is being applied up your legs every time your feet hit the ground. Swimming, on the other hand, does not require your bodyweight being driven into the ground, and only requires the use of your appendages to keep your body afloat and moving. Bicycling is another alternative to either change up your cardio routine, or perfect if you have problems running.

Eating Healthy Does Matter!


You have probably heard the saying that losing fat is 30% exercise and 70% dieting, well, it is absolutely true. Everything you consume determines how much body fat is burned throughout the day. Usually if you think you are eating something you should not be eating, chances are you know it is unhealthy for you. A reward for your hard efforts is not bad, let’s face it, we only get one life so enjoy it with a dessert every now-and-then, but just not excessively.

There is just too much in depth factors that determine the amount of calories you should be consuming daily. Reading an article stating you should only consume 1,000 calories a day is fruitless since every person is different. Your overall weight, height, and body fat percentage is what determines your daily food consumption. Take the time to consult a nutritionist or personal trainer to get an accurate chart of what your body needs in order to survive, burn fat, and build lean muscle.

Brian Pankau

Brian Pankau is a health and fitness writer that has contributed to notable websites such as Ask the Trainer and Livestrong, and is a certified fitness trainer and sports nutrition specialist. As a former Marine Corps infantryman, Brian learned from an early start in his career to always give 100% effort in everything that he is tasked with.

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