After reading about 3 million chat board conversations and constant blog posts on all of the health/ exercise sites that I visit I finally purchased this book:
The New Rules of Lifting for Women.
Now let me start by saying that pretty much EVERY single thing I heard/ read about this book was positive. The few negative reviews about the book all said the same thing which was essentially: my gym is too busy to do these workouts as mentioned. I can understand that complaint. But if you workout regularly you know that it is pretty common to have to find ways around switching up your workout when certain machines are being used.
I go to the gym between 4:30-5:00 am and generally it isn't too crowded (though you might be surprised by how many people are there). There doesn't seem to be any reason I couldn't do what is mentioned.
Mostly this book says things that make a lot of sense to me. It debunks the myth that woman should only lift "barbie" sized weights to avoid bulking up. This is why so many women spend hours at the gym and still look the same.
It give you seven stages of workouts and if you follow the program exactly, that is about 6 months of training. The idea is to lift heavier weights and to do workouts that get more challenging as you go along. It also talks a lot about how many exercises people do that really don't make sense...like the hundreds of bicep curls or the millions of crunches people log in every day at the gym.
Mostly I like this book because it is giving me a push to lift heavier weights. Lifting heavier weights is the ONLY way to build muscle tissue. And building more muscle is scientifically proven to be the best way to burn fat and boost your metabolism and to make you look toned. I mean who doesn't want those sleek looking arms that don't jiggle in the least when you react them over your head?
It makes a whole lot of sense to me. When you think about the fact that spending an hour on the elliptical at a decent incline and resistance MIGHT burn 500 calories (and that may be a stretch) and then you hop off after that long, boring, miserable hour and you mostly stop burning. OR you can do a 10 minute warm up on said elliptical and then spend 40 minutes lifting..which will have your heart rate at the same level, if not higher. You will burn 300+ calories just from increasing your heart rate and moving BUT you will also build major muscle mass and this will go on to burn calories for you all day and night. ***Of course these are just ball park numbers.
Now of course it is great to get your body moving no matter what you are doing. I still plan to do cardio and all that. The program stresses the value of interval training in shorter lengths, rather than going out and running for 2 hours (which is great for me because I freaking hate running).
I will keep you posted on how it goes for me. This week I am just going through all of the exercises in the first 2 stages that I haven't done in a while. I am not officially starting until we get back from vacation. I may skip stage 1, only because I have been lifting and I think stage 1 is a bit easy for what my body is used to. It did feel good to use the squat bar again..I hadn't done that in a while.
Wish me luck...maybe I will be able to do a real push up and have arms slightly thicker than spaghetti noodles when I am done!