The benefits of weight training

June 07, 2011 05:34 pm | Updated 05:34 pm IST - Berlin

Weight training gives your body muscle tone and makes it shapelier — as long as it's done properly.

“Unfortunately many women use light weights and lots of repetitive movements because they’re afraid of getting large muscles,” says Professor Martina Herget from Germany’s High School of Prevention and Health Management in Saarbruecken. But women need not share this concern as the prerequisite hormonal make-up for large muscles is missing in females.

Herget’s advice is to follow an exercise regime of “maximum strength training.” Experience and research studies show that women in particular can benefit from training with heavy weights and low rates of repetitive movement. A routine like that will firm up muscles and give body shape “without muscles getting much bigger.” The result can be a thinner looking body while wearing clothes and a shapely figure when in a bikini.

Combining weights with interval training, where periods of intense exercise are separated by phases of rest, can also help keep you in shape. But Herget says you must ensure you eat healthily to see the maximum benefit.

Together with a diet of the right types of fat you can switch your metabolism to reducing body weight, according to Herget. “Useful fats to eat are the omega 3 types that are contained in fish oil.”

She recommends a moderate increase in protein intake as it helps keep muscles in shape and reduces energy loss and gives you a full feeling after eating.

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