Fitness Strategies

Add Strength Training for Lean Muscles

Turn that Weight Loss Weakness into a Strength

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Before Gail Devers won the 100-meter dash at the 1992 Olympics, she spent countless hours on the track. But you know where else she spent her time? In the gym, doing strength training. Not to gain weight, but to keep her muscles strong.

The common fear is that strength training will add bulk and therefore add weight. But this is a myth. Strength training will build lean muscle and burn some of that fat. So in the long run, you not only become stronger, but you can lose weight as well. Women, in fact, are more likely to tone up from strength training rather than bulk up.

So what part of the body should you work? All of it – your upper body, core, and lower body.

Your upper body is made up of your arms, chest, shoulders, neck, and upper back. This is easily the most popular part of the body to work for strength training. Here are some possible exercises for the upper body: The core is very important because you derive much of your balance from the middle section of your body. Plus a strong core allows you to do other exercises better and more effectively. When it comes to your core, almost everyone takes care of their stomachs with sit-ups. But there is much more to your core, including your obloquies, lower back, hips and groin. Here are a few exercises for the core: Last but not least is your lower body. While the legs are sometimes forgotten during strength training, they are also very important. The reason for this is large muscle groups like the ones in your legs burn more fat and help you last longer during aerobic exercise. The key is finding exercises that specifically work your quads, hamstrings, calves and tibialis. Here are a few lower body exercises: Make sure to give your body a rest after a strength workout. Whichever part or parts of the body you work, give it two days’ rest before you work it again. This gives the muscles time to repair themselves and allows your metabolism to do its thing. And before you know it, you will not only be strong, but on the way to hitting your weight goal.

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Member Comments

  • Great ideas in this article that seem doable!
  • MIASIMMONS22
    I'm just now beginning to understand how important strength training really is. I love cardio workouts, but getting in the strength training is important to me too. Great article!
  • Body Pump three times a week. I love it!!
  • LUZ081070
    I do a full body strengthening workout 3x per week. Monday Thursday and Saturday to give my muscles time to rest in between. Love the results!
  • I like muscles on women...that is my personal goal for myself. I just did a full 2 hour body workout at the gym today..
  • MANDYCAT3
    Women who are concerned about "bulking up" or "getting too muscular" have apparently never done much strength training. Otherwise, they'd know only too well how much work it takes just to achieve definition and tone. To bulk up, most of us would have to rely on some sort of chemical juice like steroids and/or work out hours a day.

    Getting too muscular is Number 3,459 on the list of things women should worry about.
  • I want my arms frim not bulky. I don't want to be that muscler.
  • IMSTRONG47
    New to spark and looking forward to losing weight
  • Surely no one has thought lifting weights would bulk them up since the 70's....
  • Is strength training the same as strength training?
  • YOOVIE
  • Is it really recommended by trainers that 2 days rest is the ideal after working particular muscle groups? Because I certainly do not normally do 2 days. 1 day is usually the norm, though I do TRY for 2:)
  • KAYTEETOO
    It would be really helpful if all of the exercises listed had demos here on SP. I had never heard of Bird Dog either!

  • It's annoying that this article showed up on my start page even though it's over a year old and none of the horrendous spelling mistakes have ever been corrected.

    "Obloquies"? Seriously? I want to love this site, but it's getting harder and harder to take it seriously. :(
  • i really wish someone would proofread these articles. the grammar and spelling issues are glaring and really distract from the message.

About The Author

Zach Van Hart Zach Van Hart
Zach is a journalist who regularly covers health and exercise topics.

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