Weightlifting helps you burn fat as lean muscle is metabolically more active than fat and needs more calories to function. <em>*Photo supplied</em>
Weightlifting helps you burn fat as lean muscle is metabolically more active than fat and needs more calories to function. *Photo supplied

FRIDAY, DEC. 28: Colin Ayliffe is a certified Personal Trainer and Holistic Lifestyle Coach with over 10 years experience in training hundreds of clients in London, Dubai and Bermuda. Originally from England, Colin has been on the island for four years as the Head Trainer at Court House Squash and Wellness in Hamilton. Colin graduated from the University of Surrey with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Science and is also a CHEK Practitioner, Golf Biomechanic and accredited by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

‘I don’t want to bulk up’ is one of the most common statements I hear when introducing female clients to resistance training.

Just the thought of a dumbbell seems to conjure up images of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Olympian power lifters when explaining the benefits of a strength training routine.

This is easily understandable as most of the people in the free weights area in any gym are big, muscular men trying to lift as heavy as humanly possible.

But women do not and should not train the same as men. They are, of course, equal but not the same.

Females have higher levels of oestrogen and about 10 times less testosterone which is the hormone that helps build muscle.

Female bodybuilders in fact spend at least three hours a day trying to increase muscle size and some even turn to anabolic steroids to achieve the effect, proving just how hard it is to get mass.

Two sets of 10 repetitions of a Bicep Curl certainly won’t give you arms like Popeye.

Following a resistance training programme has great aesthetic benefits — it will help shape and sculpt your body and firm up the arms, legs, stomach and butt.

All the main areas I get told during my consultations with female clients. Weight lifting helps you burn fat as lean muscle is metabolically more active than fat and needs more calories to function.

Resistance training will also delay or prevent the onset of osteoporosis, increase joint stability and improve posture.

Women tend to suffer more orthopaedic injury then men in most sports in which they both participate.

Lifting weights will strengthen the core musculature which is important as a chronic lack of strength and function on the lower abdominal and pelvic floor muscles is evident in the 47.5 per cent of females at an average age of 38.5 years who suffer incontinence.

All these problems can often be helped with the right resistance training routine. To develop functional strength and stability begin your workout with free weights or body weight that targets the greatest number of muscles and joints.

Exercises like lunges, squats, deadlifts and rows are great examples. Choose four to five exercises in each session and aim to perform eight to twelve repetitions of each exercise. Complete one to three sets with a 60 second rest period.

Using these guidelines will help you carry out an effective strength training routine.

Any fitness professional can help you pick the right exercises and ensure you are executing the moves safely.

Follow this plan and you will improve your body shape, boost your metabolism, burn more calories and fat at rest, and have no worries about becoming a female ‘Ah-nold.’

To contact Colin Ayliffe email: cayliffe@courthouse.bm.