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Lose the Freshman 15: Benefits of Weight Training


Happy Tuesday!

Today marks one week since we began this challenge! Yesterday I weighed in and have lost a whopping 1lb.  Although that number isn’t very impressive, I am proud because I know a number doesn’t show the entire picture.  Just the fact that I have so much more energy, my clothes are fitting better, my skin is clear (I have been trying to fix this for like…10 years), and I have adopted so many new healthy habits that I really don’t want to ever give up.  I have lifted weights 3 times this week along with my cardio, and we all know muscle weighs more than fat ;) Sign up with me here to do it! The food is amazing and so are the workouts.

Getting down to business. As you may know, I am a group exercise instructor at the Student Recreation Center on campus.  Through training to become a group exercise teacher, I learned how important strength training is for women, and so many still are cardio queens.  You know who you are….

Yes ladies… I am talking to YOU!  I know it is hard to give up watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills while barely breaking a “glisten”, but taking your training to the weight room has some major benefits. Resistance training of any kind, whether it be medicine or kettle balls, TRX Suspension, with dumbbells, resistance tubes, body weight, etc., is not only so good for your health – but for the shape of your body.  I could write on and on about it – but since we all love lists, here it is:

Benefits of Weight Training:

·      You will gain more lean muscle – increasing your resting metabolism.  Translate: you can sit and watch 5 seasons of gossip girl and burn more calories then you would before you had that muscle

·      More calories burned = more fat loss.  You will get leaner & tighter!

·      When you build muscle, you build curves in all the right places ;) 

·      Weight training burns calories for up to 48 hours after your workout is complete!! Compare that with only 1-2 hour extra burn from a cardio  session

·      Women will gain with NO bulk! Women have way less testosterone compared to men, which makes it easier for them to gain muscle.  Those women you see that are huge just may be using something. 

·      Decrease risk of osteoporosis because you increase the mineral density in your bones

·      If you’re an athlete (as Nike says, “If you have a body, you are an athlete” so yep, you) you will improve your athletic performance! You will be able to do anything you do, better.

·      Lifting 5 bags of groceries from your car to avoid making a second trip? Easy- peasy now since you will be so much physically stronger!

·      If you move fast enough through exercises, you will actually get a good cardio session in (See workout below!)

·      Reduce your risk of diabetes, because not only will you be fitter and leaner, but also your body actually improves the way it processes sugar…Amazing.

·      Less moody- blues: A Harvard study found that clinical depression symptoms were reduced even more than standard counseling!!

·      More confidence? Yes. Feel like a badass? Yes.

So….where to start?  The workout I did today was a full body workout that is very simple & basic, but works every muscle in the body.  It took me about 50 minutes, but our gym was packed at the time.  Try it out!



·      Do some form of cardio (walking, jog, bike etc) for 5 minutes (I ran to the gym)

·      Once in the gym, start warming up the muscles by doing 10 air squats, 10 pushups, 10 lunges, and 10 pushups again.  This will get all your muscles ready.  (don’t skip this!!)

Workout: Do each pair of exercises 3 times through.  Take a minimal break in between to keep the heart rate up.  That will give you a cardio workout too – you should be breathing hard.  I used lighter weights for my arms just because it hurts my hands to grip really heavy weights, if you don’t have that issue – go big and do only 12 reps instead of 20.    By the end of your reps, your muscle should be fatigued.  If not, increase the weight. 


**If you are new, I highly suggest hirinig a personal trainer at least once to get proper form for your safety.  If not, check out www.bodybuilding.com to see videos of proper form.  If you have any questions about these exercises, or how much weight you should start with, feel free to ask me in the comment box below!**

Pair 1:

·      Bicep curls: 20 reps with light weight (5-10lbs)

·      Squats: 12 reps with heavy weight (start with a 35lb bar & go up from there to see what you can do)

Pair 2:

·      Tricep Kickbacks: 20 reps with light weight (5-10lbs)

·      Dead lifts: 12 reps (start with 10lb dumbells in each hand, to get form correct – go up from there)

Pair 3:

·      Single arm row: 15 reps with medium weight (5-12lbs)

·      Lunges: 10 each leg – hold dumbells from above in hand

Pair 4:

·      Overhead Press: 12 reps with medium weights  (5-12lbs)

·      Chest Press: 12 reps with medium weights (5-12lbs)

Pair 5:

·      Pushups: until failure!! try at least 12

·      Front arm raise: 12 reps with medium weights

Abs: Do each for 30 seconds 2x through:

·      Plank

·      Side plank each side

·      Tummy tucks (in a plank position, bring your knee to outside of elbow)

·      Crunches with feet bent

·      Crunches with legs lying flat

·      Side crunches to the right

·      Side crunches to the left

·      Russian twists

·      Bicycles

Stretch for at least 5 minutes!

After you have done the workout, make sure to refuel with a water and healthy meal or snack that includes a good combo of protein and carbs.  A greek yogurt with berries, a turkey sandwhich on whole wheat bread, a whey protein shake, a bowl of quinoa and steamed vegetables (my favorite ;)) etc. 

Try this workout and let me know how it goes.  Please feel free to ask me any questions below or at my twitter or instagram @britthayley.