One of the ways I was able to change my shape forever was through weight training. If you want to lose fat or change your body, one of the most important things you can do is lift weights. Diet and cardio are equally important, but when it comes changing and looking better, weight training can get you there.
Weight training is especially important for women to increase bone density. It will also help raise your metabolism by increasing your muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn all day long. Weight training is also important to help you with everyday activities because it will improve your coordination and balance.
Here are some basics for getting started encompassing the following strength training principles. The first principle is muscle overload. To build muscle, you need to use more resistance than your muscles are used to. Think of muscle fibers as soldiers in an army, when the front line goes the second line moves up. But, muscle fibers can build back up quickly, so the principle of rest and recovery is equally as important to build strength. This is also important because the more you do, the more your body is capable of doing, so you should increase your workload to avoid plateaus.
To judge your starting point, you should be lifting enough weight that you can only complete the desired number of reps. You should be able to finish your last rep with difficulty but also with good form. Another principle is progression or changing the exercises to incorporate a different or more diffucult movement.
Remember to always warm up before you start lifting weights. This helps get your muscles warm and prevent injury. You can warm up with light cardio and then stretching before going to weight training.
It is also important to lift and lower your weights slowly. Think about using a tempo of 1,2,3 for the upward movement and again for the downward movement. Don't use momentum to lift the weight. If you have to swing to get the weight up, chances are you're using too much weight.