I was talking to one of my friends the other day, telling her she should come along to one of our "lifting and shifting" classes that primarily focus on barbell lifts (Squats, deadlift, cleans etc). Her response was typical, yet quite funny. "I don't want to look all muscly and gross". I pointed to my arms and said "look at these skinny things, I lift as heavy as I can 5 times a week and I look like this..... how much weight are you planning on lifting!
Lifting weights is a great way to loose fat and gain muscle tone, yet like my friend, many people think fat loss and toning occur from hours strapped to a treadmill wondering why they are not getting the results.
Today I want to explain why squats are a girl’s best friend and why steady state cardio as a primary form of exercise may be hurting your development and overall body composition.
The squat pattern is a compound movement by nature, requiring you to utilise a number of muscles (glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and even your hip flexors) under tension, within the correct lifting protocols of 6-20 repetitions, muscles will grow. The key point that a lot of women don’t quite understand is that muscle is actually a good thing! Muscle when recruited creates metabolic activity, boosting the fat burning male sex hormone testosterone in the body. This boost in testosterone as a result of lifting weights, burns fat and allows lean muscle mass to grow. So if we simplify things. Squatting = more muscle which = fat burning in the areas surrounding the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and even your hip flexors! It’s a no brainer if you ask us!
Having lean muscle allows for the desired “toned” look that every women wants to take shape. It all starts and ends with resistance training. Now, why is steady state cardio potentially hurting you? LISS (Low intensity steady state) training keeps the body in the ideal “fat burning heart rate zone” this is great for burning calories and fat if used strategically in a resistance program. This type of training becomes an issue when it is the only type of training women use on a day-to-day basis. When there is little lean muscle mass, LISS will reflect slower results and burn fat as well as muscle away. This does not allow women to get the toned look they are looking for. Rather, they get skinnier and no closer to the desired pear shape.
The answer to all of this? Get squatting!
For more information on how to intelligently program the squat pattern into your program feel free to send us a m