You can burn more fat by adjusting your workout routine to sculpt your best body. It requires that you lift more frequently and with heavier weights. And, guess what? You still won’t get bulky!
Women traditionally lift lighter weights or no weights at all (i.e., cardio queens). If you will tweak your weight training workouts, you’ll get better fat loss and weight loss results. Your muscle mass will be toned and not ripped and rugged.
First, do three weight training workouts a week. On your Monday and Friday workouts, you should do full body circuit training with light (but challenging) dumbbells or bodyweight exercises. Your repetition range for each exercise should be 8-15. This type of weight training increases growth hormone in your body.
Growth hormone elevations during this type of exercise have been shown to decrease body fat and increase protein synthesis after exercise. Growth hormone helps promote tissue repair and muscle mass growth from lifting weights.
In a study from the European Journal of Applied Physiology, human performance researchers from the University of North Carolina compared the growth hormone response of aerobic exercise and strength training. When compared to a 30-minute cardio session, the strength training workout resulted in significantly more growth hormone release.
Intense exercises such as sprints and squat jumps also increase growth hormone release. These types of exercises would be perfect for your interval cardio workouts on Tuesday and Thursday.
A less common way that women 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. Of course, this will help you build muscle mass.
So, how much weight is 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.
Concentrate on compound (multi-joint) exercises like squats, deadlift, bench press, rows and pull-ups.