In the corner of almost every gym in South Africa is a free-weights section. On the plus side, it`s an area generally filled with men but why else would women venture there? We asked fitness expert Sam Murphy for five more good reasons…
1. IT’LL SHRINK A POOCHY TUM A general weight-training regime reduces abdominal fat, as it’s ‘more mobile than fat in the hips and thighs, and seems particularly affected by weight training,’ says Murphy.
2. YOU’LL LOOK SLIMMER Weight training swaps fat for muscle, which is denser, firmer and means you’ll fit into clothes better.
3. IT BURNS KILOJOULES, EVEN WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING OUT Strength training is intense, so your metabolism will stay revved long after you’ve stopped exercising. Says Murphy, ‘You keep burning kilojoules while your body cleans out the by-products of exercise, and restores itself to its pre-exercise state.’
4. YOUR BODY WILL LOOK YOUNGER THAN IT REALLY IS After you reach 30, it’s all downhill in terms of muscle mass – with your bum, breasts and upper arms joining the slump. Weight training fights the age-related decline in metabolism and muscle mass.
5. YOU’LL BE READY FOR ANYTHING If you’re strong enough to a 10kg barbell, lugging shopping bags or a suitcase becomes effortless. ‘Strength makes us resilient and less likely to become tired from life’s physical demands,’ explains Murphy.