Girls: Toned and Sexy through Weight Training

Lyen_Wong

Lyen Wong – owner of PEAK PHYSIQUE & PERFORMANCE

A skinny body is not always equivalent to a sexy body. Having the right curves means round buttocks, shapely legs and toned arms. If you have a skinny frame, you can gain weight through natural and safe methods. Exercise is the essential key to a healthy weight gain while still maintaining your curves like Jennifer Lopez and toned arms like Demi Moore.

Most women are afraid of too much exercise and weight lifting because they don’t want to have bulging arms and thighs. The truth of the matter is, women can’t have the same muscles like male bodybuilders simply because Mother Nature does not allow it. Women lack the testosterone needed to build those muscles. Don’t believe in stories about women getting manly arms and legs after exercising. There is nothing to fear. A leaner body is your key to a sexier body with curves in the right places. Celebrities like Miranda Kerr and Jessica Biel know the value of toning your legs, arms and buttocks to maintain their sexy shape.

Why exercise at all?

1. To build muscles

For effective weight gain, engaging in regular exercise will help build muscles, increase your metabolism and burn calories. Not only is exercise important in weight loss, it is also necessary in weight gain. Whether you prefer to work out at home or in a gym, you have to choose an exercise routine or sport to keep your body in shape.

Strength training exercises for weight gain involves resistance training to tone those scrawny arms. Regular exercise and physical activity helps in weight management and promotes a healthier lifestyle.

After an intense workout, you burn calories and use energy in your body. You will feel hungry and ready to eat food as much as you can. Use this time to gain weight by eating foods rich in protein as a muscle building block. The hungrier you get after strenuous physical activity, the more you can eat to gain more weight.

2. To improve sleep

Exercise also helps you sleep better. A good night’s sleep is a requirement to maintain a healthy body. When your body gets used to the strength training exercises for weight gain, you will experience high energy levels to make you want to do more. Boosting your energy will give you the fuel to perform your weight gain exercises. The more sets you do, the faster you can build your muscles and tone your body the way you’ve always wanted.

3. To prevent /reverse fat storage

Gaining more weight doesn’t mean being overweight. There is always a difference between a healthy and obese body. Not many people know that muscle is actually heavier than fat. Eating just about anything in excessive amounts will cause you to gain excessive fat. This is harmful to your health due to a number of diseases associated with excess fat intake. You can eat foods rich in fat but in moderation. Your body will need to use fats and turn them to energy as you exercise.

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Fitness is more important than just weight loss

Lyen at the gym

Lyen Wong at PEAK PHYSIQUE & PERFORMANCE

If you’re slim and lean, you don’t have to do resistance training – true or false? As long as you watch what you eat you’re healthy, right? Most people believe in these and other false “fitness facts”.

Fitness is a product of healthy diet and exercise, sleep and mental well being. “Physical fitness is considered a measure of the body’s ability to function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure activities, to be healthy, to resist hypo-kinetic diseases, and to meet emergency situations” as defined in Wikipedia. Here is why fitness is a far better goal than weight loss in the long run.

Difference between weight loss and fitness

While fitness usually does involve weight loss, all weight loss does not involve fitness. One can lose weight – the unhealthy way – through crash dieting, over-exercising, weight loss pills and several other, equally, harmful quack methods.

Unhealthy weight loss involves losing mostly muscle mass and small quantities of topical fat. Visceral fat, or fat that is stored internally around organs, does not decrease with unhealthy weight loss practices. In fact, it can increase due to the starvation mode set off with unhealthy dieting.

Pursuing general fitness and well being, on the other hand, takes care of the harmful body fat, while giving you a healthier mind and body and, yes, burning, calories. Weight loss is about losing weight rapidly. Fitness is about healthy living and longevity. Fitness is a combination of exercise, diet and rest. When weight loss is your only target, you tend to ignore the other benefits of living a healthy life.

Let’s look at what impact fitness has on the different systems in your body:

Importance of fitness: respiratory and circulatory system

You know the heart is a muscle that pumps blood and oxygen to the body. Exercise helps the heart in circulation of blood and oxygen. That means healthy skin, alertness and a healthy system, among other benefits. Similarly, a healthy diet aids your circulatory and respiratory system by preventing thickening arterial walls and better blood circulation.

Importance of fitness: digestive system

When we are constipated or feeling bloated we look for a change in diet to relieve us from our discomfort. But exercise can help you avoid digestive problems, as well. Walking, running and other physical activities can improve your digestive system.

A poor digestive system leads to a poor well-being and quick weight loss ignores this fact. The result of crash dieting is often Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and plenty of fat gain once you stop the fad diet. Instead, focusing on general fitness through balanced nutrition and exercise will give you a smoother digestive function.

Importance of fitness: lymphatic system

‘”The lymphatic system is a part of the circulatory system, comprising a network of conduits called lymphatic vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph”, as explained on Wikipedia. Stretching, strength training and aerobic exercises improve the lymphatic system. A healthy lymphatic system reduces swelling, improves circulation, metabolism and flexibility.

Importance of fitness: cardiovascular system

Research has proven, time and again, that pursuing fitness is the best way to achieve better cardiovascular health. This means that your cardiovascular system is able to function a lot better when you’re fit, within your ideal weight range, and live an active life with healthy eating.

The cardiovascular system is responsible for circulating oxygen and important nutrients to the body. Opting for fitness, instead of quick weight loss, will help you avoid diseases related to the cardiovascular system like heart attack and stroke. Strength, stamina, and agility also get a boost with a well functioning cardiovascular system. Cardio exercises are the key to a functioning cardiovascular system.

However, many make the mistake of associating ‘cardio’ exercise with rapid weight loss. This usually leads to long hours of cardio that cause fatigue and over-train your body. What does this mean? Over-training leads to more fat storage in your body. So, if you walk/run/jog/swim too much, your body will start craving more food.

Importance of fitness: nervous system

The nervous system includes the brain and the spinal cord. Physical activity helps to keep the brain sharp and alert and improves hand-eye co-ordination and balance.

Mental health is crucial for a healthy life. By pursuing weight loss only, without any thought toward fitness and the right way to achieve it, your mind will experience fatigue and negativity. Those that rely on vanity alone as a motivator tend to drop out of their ‘fitness’ routine. A balanced diet and regular exercise over the long term, because you want to be fit instead of a size zero, is a better idea.

Importance of fitness: musculoskeletal system

This is the easiest association to make. We use muscles everyday, consciously or subconsciously. All aspects of exercising, from resistance training to flexibility and cardio training, and eating right improve the musculoskeletal system.

Importance of fitness: overall health

  • Improves performance and stamina
  • Reduces chances of experiencing lifestyle diseases
  • Promotes longevity
  • Prevents excess body fat
  • Improves mood
  • Improves confidence
  • Induces good sleep

When you focus on weight loss alone, and quick weight loss at that, you ignore your body’s actual needs. A common sign of rapid weight loss is weakness and fatigue. This is because your body loses muscle a lot faster than fat. With muscle loss, your metabolic activity decreases, causing imbalances and increased fat storage. The result: short term weight loss, and long term weight gain.

For the over-weight and obese, fitness does involve weight loss. But this is sustainable weight loss that comes with a shift in lifestyle habits. If your only concern is to look good in that slinky outfit or that wedding dress, then you will set yourself up for failure. Chasing the short term dream by radical, unsustainable means is a recipe for disaster.

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Weight Loss or Fat Loss?

Patrick A. Frey, CSCS

Patrick A. Frey, CSCS

When it comes to weight loss, the scale isn’t telling you the whole story.  The scale is an important tool in tracking progress, as is a measuring tape, but they don’t tell you how much of your loss is fat and how much is muscle.  In order to know if your weight loss has been primarily fat loss, you need to know your bodyfat percentage preferably from skin fold calipers, hydrostatic weighing or DEXA.

I’ve encountered too many people who are proud that they’ve reached their “ideal” weight, but more often than not they achieved it through unhealthy diets.  If they exercised at all, they probably only did aerobic/cardiovascular exercise and left out resistance training.  The result is a loss of muscle mass and they still have an unhealthy bodyfat percentage that can potentially be higher than it was before they started the diet.

When a caloric deficit is created through diet and aerobic exercise, the body will probably lose weight.  Unfortunately, your body would much rather shed muscle than fat so you need to send a message to your body that it needs to keep the muscle it has.  The way to do this is with a properly designed resistance training program.  In addition to keeping the muscle you have, you might also build more muscle which will help you burn even more calories even while at rest.  Plus, resistance training will help increase bone density, reduce the chance of injury, lower high blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes, and the list just goes on and on.

So, be sure to include all of the necessary components in your weight loss program. An incomplete fitness and weight loss program will lead to incomplete and compromised results.

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Article: Effects of rapid weight loss on your body

Magazines and websites everywhere want to tell you how shed weight quickly or, even better, “melt” your fat off either through diet or exercise. But they leave out the negative effect that quick weight loss has on your body. We all want to lose weight in a hurry but we hate to break it to you: the only ‘quick’ solutions to weight loss are usually unhealthy. Are you aware of the effects of rapid weight loss on your body? Let’s find out.

  1. Cellulite – The term cellulite refers to the appearance of dimpled skin on your abdomen, thighs, buttocks and hips. Weight gain and loss are one of the reasons for cellulite.
  2. Weight gain – We may lose weight quickly with intense ‘dieting’, but your body tries to accumulate calories when it lacks sufficient vitamins and minerals. The practice of not eating only does more harm than good.
  3. Malnutrition – This is common sense, lack of a balanced diet will lead to malnutrition.
  4. Makes you hungry – If you haven’t eaten after a long time, do you feel like eating fried and oily food? That’s exactly what happens if you starve yourself.
  5. Lack of energy – fainting – Lack of nutritious food equals lack of energy. Feeling tired? Eat a healthy meal.
  6. Hair loss – Lack of protein and nutrients can lead to hair loss. Your body needs food to regenerate cells.
  7. Depression, lack of sex drive and irritation are some emotions you will face.

Bottom line: Don’t be fooled with quick weight loss diets. Effective weight loss is a combination of exercise and diet, the healthy way. Weight loss is not a piece of cake!

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