Dear guys,
I tried various forms of weight training, like body pump, for years and I never saw any difference. Nowadays, I just stick to a daily morning run, as it seems to keep my weight in check. Problem is, I look flabby and have wobbly arms and legs. What am I doing wrong?
Sally Henson
Lake Vista

First off, running is a good cardio workout, which I know many people enjoy. However, I don’t want you to give up on strength training completely, so here’s a shortlist of benefits I’d really like you to consider:

Burning 25 percent more calories after you’ve stopped exercising
Cardio burns slightly more calories per minute than weight training; however, you’ll experience a metabolic spike after weight training, so you’ll burn another 25 percent of your workout calories while you’re doing nothing. That is three pounds of muscle (or 10 pounds) a year on an average workout without lifting a finger.

Stopping your muscle loss
Muscles are your metabolic engine; the more you have, the more calories you’ll burn. From your late 30s, you’ll lose an average of one-third of a pound of muscle every year – and gain fat instead. So it’s very important to use strength training to build that muscle back up.

In addition strength training:
• Will stress your muscles with weights to increase your bone density, which also decreases with age, helping to reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
• Helps avoid the repetitive nature of cardio that can often lead to injury. In fact, it teaches your brain to allow muscle contractions quick enough to prevent muscle damage.
• If you do it to the right intensity and duration, you can experience mood elevation, similar to the runner’s high that can be so addictive.
• It doesn’t lead to the bulky, unfeminine look that women often want to avoid. It actually produces a trim, fine and toned physique.
• By doing it into your 50s, 60s and beyond, it improves balance and mobility and therefore independence.

The caveat to all this is that you’re doing the right kind of strength training with the right intensity and correct form. If you can’t work out with a trainer on a regular basis, at least go for one session to learn how to use weights properly to achieve results you will be pleased with. I promise, you’ll be happier!

Billy Katz and Hudson Ellis are the co-owners of Simply Fit gyms. Read more tips from them in Renaissance Publishing’s
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