Psst. Want to learn my not-so-secret secret?

My secret isn’t about how to get through the holidays without gaining a pound.  (I don’t want to read another one of those articles, much less write one).  It’s not about how to get through the next month without COMPLETELY losing your mind due to stress.  (Here’s that article in a nutshell: deep breaths, don’t try to be perfect, bottle of wine).  Nope.  This post is my not-so-secret secret to getting the most out of your workouts.

Ready?  Here it is ladies:

LIFT WEIGHTS.  OFTEN.  HEAVY ONES.

That’s it.  Short and sweet and totally doable.

Here’s an example: the exercise is a weighted walking lunge for 40 seconds.  One woman picks up 10 pound dumbbells and another woman picks up 20 pound dumbbells.  At the end of the 40 seconds, the woman carrying the lighter weights has completed the exercise easily.  Her heart rate hasn’t increased, her respiratory rate has remained constant, and she hasn’t broken a sweat.  The second woman, by contrast, needed to stop before the 40 seconds was up because she had fatigued her muscles to the point of (almost) failure.  Her heart rate has increased, her respiratory rate has accelerated, and she is sweating.  Who accomplished the most during the 40 seconds?

This is important for two reasons.

First, most of us don’t have the time to spend hours at the gym.  We want to get in, get our workout done as quickly as possible, and get out.  If this sounds a lot like you – LIFT HEAVIER WEIGHTS.

Second, all of those markers (increased heart rate, respiratory rate, and sweat) means you are forcing your body to work.  And the harder you work inside the gym, the more results you will see outside the gym.  Lift heavier weights.

And let me stop you right there.  I know what you are about to say.  “But, I don’t want to get bulky.  I want to be lean.”

Women can’t get bulky by merely lifting weights.  We do not have the testosterone necessary to do so.  The women you see in magazines and in competitions are taking supplements to look that way.

For those of you interested in losing weight, resistance training has proven to be more effective than cardiovascular exercise in burning calories.  COOL!

For those of you who love to eat, (I fall squarely into this category), the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, and the more calories you can eat.  HURRAY!!!

For those of you who think women rule, I really enjoy it when I am lifting heavier weights than the men in my class.  Be a badass and lift heavier weights.

Questions?  Thoughts?  I’d love to hear from you!

Eat well.

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