Many women cringe at the thought of weightlifting, imagining
themselves with a bulging, masculine figure. Nonetheless,
resistance exercises are becoming more popular with women
realize the benefits: increased lean body mass, decreased
body fat and increased calories burned. While a good deal
of research has been done on the effects of weightlifting
in men, fewer studies have addressed women, who have less
muscle mass and lift lighter weights than men.
little research has been done on excess postexercise oxygen
consumption (EPOC), an indicator of total calories burned,
in women who lift weights.
A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
determined the effects in women of 45 minutes of resistance
exercises on EPOC and calories burned during the two hours
following exercise. Ten women, aged 24-34, who occasionally
exercised were observed for energy expenditure before, during
and for two hours after exercise.
After weight training, more calories were burned for at least
one hour than were normally burned during rest. The experiment
showed that fat burning was “significantly elevated” during
the last half-hour of the two-hour recovery period following
exercises, compared to fat burning following rest. Also, although
the total calories burned were not much different than normal
during the final half-hour of recovery, 79% more fat was burned
after exercise than after rest.
These findings suggest that weight training can increase
the number of calories burned even after you’re done lifting
weights. On top of that, these extra calories burned are primarily
fat stores, as opposed to carbohydrates in the body. So don’t
be afraid of lifting weights! Your body will thank you for
Additional information on women’s health can be accessed
on line at http://www.chiroweb.com/find/tellmeabout/women.html.
Reference: Binzen CA, Swan PD, Manore
MM. Postexercise oxygen consumption and substrate use after
resistance exercise in women. Medicine & Science in Sports
& Exercise 2001:33(6), pp 932-938.