Weight training can give you SO MANY benefits as a woman that go beyond just looking good. Feeling strong, empowered and accomplished are just a few of the other incentives training with weights offers! Check out this post that IFBB Figure Pro Nicole Wilkins just posted:
“As a woman, I weight train not only because I like the way it makes me look and feel but also because I love feeling strong. I can’t imagine not being able to move furniture, carry a heavy suitcase upstairs or put heavy boxes/glass dishes up on a shelf. I lift weights to be able to take care of the daily activities that I may not be able to accomplish if I wasn’t strong enough. It’s extremely empowering not to have to rely on a man all the time ;)” - Nicole Wilkins
I’d love to be this strong.
Always Use Free Weights
Sometimes machines can build muscle better—for instance, when you need to isolate specific muscles after an injury, or when you’re too inexperienced to perform a free-weight exercise.
If you can’t complete a pullup, you won’t build your back muscles. So do lat pulldowns to develop strength in this range of motion, says Greg Haff, Ph.D., director of the strength research laboratory at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.
The real expert says: “Initially, novice athletes will see benefits with either machines or free weights, but as you become more trained, free weights should make up the major portion of your training program,” says Haff.
Free-weight exercises mimic athletic moves and generally activate more muscle mass. If you’re a seasoned lifter, free weights are your best tools to build strength or burn fat.
7 Good Foods to Improve Moods
Stressed: Eat Chocolate (particularly dark chocolate)
the Journal of Proteome Research, found that eating just a smidge of dark chocolate (about 1.4 ounces) has the power to lower the stress hormones cortisol and catecholamines in the body, reducing your anxiety and giving you a better chance to get the job done
Sluggish: Have a Spinach Salad
Eat folate-rich foods like spinach and other leafy green vegetables as well as potatoes, fortified breads and cereals, beans, peas and mushrooms.Cranky: Eat an Apple with Peanut ButterCrankiness can be a sign that your body needs fuel. Just be sure to refuel the right way: with foods that don’t leave you with a blood sugar crash an hour later, setting the crankiness cycle in motion all over again.Carbohydrates are a great source of energy that quickly burns out. Adding some fat or protein will slow the digestion process, causing your sugar and energy levels to remain stable for a longer amount of time
Anxious: Eat a Salmon Burger
Salmon is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient that may help tame your anxiety.
Dr. Ilardi says it’s best to stick with fish: “The specific form of omega-3 that most strongly boosts mood is found most abundantly in coldwater fish such as salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel.”
Angry: Sip Green Tea
Green tea contains theanine, which calms you and helps you maintain clear concentration and focus
Sad: Eat Whole Grain Cereal with Low fat Milk
Vitamin D helps in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter known as the “feel-good hormone”.
If you’re low on vitamin D, you may be affecting your body’s ability to stabilize your mood and reduce feelings of depression. To boost your intake of vitamin D, turn to lowfat fortified milk, fortified cereals or mushrooms.
PMS: Eat an Egg-Salad Sandwich
If your go-to PMS meal usually comes in the form of comfort food (mac ’n’ cheese, potato chips, ice cream) consider making an egg-salad sandwich instead. In the days before your period, it’s normal for women to begin craving carbohydrates. Carbs help your body boost its serotonin levels, in turn helping you improve your mood.
Opt for whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, and for extra PMS-zapping strength, pair them with tryptophan-rich protein such as eggs, sunflower seeds or turkey, which may enhance the release of serotonin.
Tip: Cut the mayo and mix your diced hard-cooked eggs with a teaspoon of fat-free or lowfat plain Greek yogurt and half a teaspoon of whole-grain Dijon mustard.