Summer has finally arrived and the time has come to display some flesh.
Usually, it's the thought of revealing what has been expertly concealed for months under knitwear and leggings that inspires us to take action; and so begins the annual diet and exercise plan.
In a bid to get in shape for summer, hoardes of colourful, lycra-clad ladies file out into the streets after a hard day at the office to pound the pavements, or descend upon the gym to join other like-minded women in Zumba, Spinning or Pilates classes.
Some women, however, have a better idea. These savvy ladies will be ditching their yoga mats to join the guys at the gym in the weights room.
These women aren’t bodybuilders or athletes, but part of a growing community that has discovered lifting weights as one of the best ways to lose body fat and firm up. Even celebrities are catching on; stars leading the trend include Cameron Diaz and Kelly Brook who both use weights to keep their trim and toned physiques.
Maybe, like many women, you avoid using weights out of fear that you might leave the gym looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Weights are often used by men who want to build muscle, so it's natural to think the same will happen to you. However, the results for women are entirely different to those of men. We do not end up looking muscular because we lack adequate levels of the male hormones required to bulk up.
In reality many women find that once they start lifting weights they end up in the best shape of their lives - tummies flatten, arms firm up and healthy curves develop in all the right places. If that isn’t enough, over time weight training increases our metabolic rate, meaning we burn more calories even at rest so no more crazy diets.
A growing number of women are using weight training to stay in shape, and to improve their confidence and health. Celebrities like Kelly Brook (pictured) and actress Cameron Diaz both preach the benefits of lifting weights in the gym.
Weight training for women is not just about the body beautiful either; as we grow stronger we experience a sense of physical achievement, which can be immensely empowering. This makes it highly effective when it comes to eliminating stress and increasing self-esteem. Ladies who lift may also notice a reduction in aches and pains and an improvement in bone density, posture, flexibility and over-all health.
If you are keen to get in shape for summer then a weight training plan could be the answer to getting you that body you have always wished for. Not only will you discover that you gain strength, decrease body fat and look fantastic, your confidence will grow both in the gym as well as in your everyday life.
Take it from me my strongest client is usually my leanest!
Louise Appel, Personal Trainer.
Louise Appel Personal Trainer, St John's Wood & Personal Trainer Maida Vale offers customised, individual Personal Training and Pilates at Lords Cricket Ground, St John's Wood. Personal Trainer Harpenden & Personal Trainer St Albans is located at EsTR Fitness.