Ellie Goulding does it. So do Khloe Kardashian, Chelsea Handler, and Ashley Graham. Alison Brie and Emma Stone both did it to get into super serious shape for their roles in "Glow" and "La La Land," respectively.
We're talking about weight training. And these celebs are not pumping out bicep curls with 5lb dumbbells either -- they are lifting heavy. Like, 400-lb hip thrust heavy.
Despite heavy lifting being more popular than ever, there are still a number of women who shy away from strength training. Reasons for staying away from the weight room are numerous, including being afraid of getting injured, looking foolish in the gym ("I don't know what I'm doing!") or -- the most common excuse of all -- "bulking up like a man."
However, the benefits of strength training --particularly heavy lifting -- outweigh (no pun intended) the fears surrounding loading up at the Smith Machine in the gym, for example. If you're looking to amp your workout, here are reasons why you should try doing some heavy lifting.
It Helps Torch Body Fat All Day Long
When you work out hard on the elliptical machine, your calorie burning is done once you hop off. However, after a heavy weight session with squats, hammer curls, hip thrusts, etc., you'll be killing calories all day long. That's because weight training actually boosts your metabolic rate, which in turn makes your body more efficient at burning fat when you’re not even exercising. Studies have shown that the calorie torching effect is increased when the weight lifted is increased, which means the heavier you lift, the more calories you'll burn post-workout.
You'll Get Those Sculpted Arms
First thing's first: due to low testosterone levels, women will not bulk up with heavy lifting. So whether you're desiring sculpted arms like Jessica Biel or a firm Kardashian-like booty, heavy weight training will give you the muscle definition you crave. Only serious strength training, not cardio, will bring out those most-wanted curves. That's because an exercise routine based largely around cardio will cause you to lose not only body weight, but also muscle mass. Want a toned body? Lift heavy (or do a heavy weighted wall sit like Goulding).
It Improves Your Overall Health
Research has shown that strength training helps with the maintenance and improvement of bone health, with evidence suggesting consistently lifting heavy weights not only maintains bone mass but can even build new bone. Additionally, weight training helps strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints, which will help prevent sore hips and creaky knees.
Another perk? Studies have also demonstrated that an exercise routine that includes rigorous resistance training can greatly improve sleep quality, including the duration of solid ZZZs.
You'll Feel More Confident Than Ever
A strong body is a confident body. Pumping serious iron, including being able to lift heavier weights than you'd ever imagine lifting, will undoubtedly leave you feeling empowered. Being a strong, muscular badass will not only show through your lean, toned body but through your new confident attitude.
Feeling strong isn't about just losing weight -- or even adding more weight to your routine -- but feeling strong in body, mind, and attitude. Adding heavier weights to your exercise routine could "lift" you up in more ways than you could imagine.
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