Testosterone is not a bad word for women, especially if you are trying to “lean and tone” your body.
One way to build muscle mass is through heavy weight lifting. “Heavy” is relative to your body weight and strength. According to the research, doing this type of weight lifting will give you exercise-induced testosterone increases. This will help you build muscle mass.
To lift heavy enough, your repetition range for exercises should be between 3-5 (you would have a difficult time lifting these repetitions). You would typically do 4-5 sets of each exercise.
Rotate heavy lifting days with light lifting days (10-12 reps per exercise, 3-4 sets). Do circuit weight training with the lighter weights (little or no rest between sets). You will need more rest between sets when you lift heavy (1-2 minutes rest between sets).
Women can also burn more fat by increasing exercise-induced growth hormone. Yes, your body can produce more growth hormone without any illegal drugs. Growth hormone is important for building muscle and burning fat.
Intense circuit weight training and interval cardio workouts will increase your body’s growth hormone. Research has also proven that the benefits of anaerobic exercise (like sprint interval cardio) is superior to aerobic exercise for fitness and heart health.
The progression of your cardio exercise should be low-intensity aerobics to moderate/high-intensity aerobics to high-intensity anaerobic exercise. Rest 20 minutes between sessions if you do weight training and cardio during the same workout.
Doing a second workout during the day (even a short one) keeps growth hormone levels high throughout the day. This will give you even more fat burn.
According to research, growth hormone in your adult body works great to produce the fat-burning results you want. If you want to burn even more fat, do more weight training exercises that test your balance, coordination, strength and flexibility.
Try some of these weight training exercises:
1. Incorporate one-legged exercises such as step ups, single leg squats, single leg good mornings, single leg medicine ball exercises, etc. These types of exercises are more intense than two-legged exercises.
2. Include exercises with your eyes closed to improve limb position sense (proprioception).
3. Exercise your body in all 3 planes of motion to improve multi-planar balance. An example would be a grouping of walking lunges, side lunges and transverse lunges.
4. Do combinations of one-arm and one-leg exercises such as single leg squat-to-single arm shoulder press.
Balance training also improves your core strength.
Challenge yourself more with weight training and your body will burn fat and lean out!
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Her Fitness Hut