Maybe you’ve heard of the phrase work smarter, not harder. It’s an important mantra for taming a hectic lifestyle because it pushes you to focus on the things that will show the greatest results with the smallest amount of work. Well, strength training is the ‘work smarter, not harder’ of workout styles.

Don’t get me wrong…. I’m not saying strength training is easy, but I am saying that 45 grueling minutes on the treadmill 4 days a week is a pretty inefficient way to get in shape.

You can take 2 of those workouts, shorten them by 25 minutes and add some strength-based exercises and actually burn more calories. So let me tell you exactly why Exercise smarter, not harder is something you should start saying to yourself ASAP.

Fine, I’m listening, what is strength training?

Strength training is a subset of a more general workout style called resistance training. Resistance training is simply using two opposing forces to push or pull against the body. This pushing or pulling can be done by using weights, resistance bands or just gravity. Strength training is technically the use of additional weights, such as dumbbells or barbells, to create extra resistance. In the past few years, strength training and resistance training have been used synonymously. So, instead of resisting (hahahaha… #dadjoke), we’ll use the terms interchangeably.

Ok but… what’s in it for me?

As we mentioned last week, one of the 6 workout mistakes beginners make is failing to implement strength training into their regular workout schedules.

It’s no surprise that adding resistance to your workouts will help you build muscle, correct muscle imbalances and give you a tightened and toned look. But there’s still this misconception that women will bulk up if they lift weights. Ladies, it’s time to take that mindset and throw it away with all of the late 90’s girl group CD’s you’re storing in your basement ‘in case they’re worth something someday.’

The reality is, strength training does just the opposite for your weight. It boosts your metabolism so that you burn calories long past your workout. So let’s say you take our advice and replace a 45 minute steady treadmill run with a 20 minute workout that incorporates strength training. While you might burn a little less during that period of activity, you’re going to continue burning calories long after your workout is complete. Look at you burning calories while you watch trashy TV!

And that’s not even the end. Strength training will help your cardio workouts become more efficient because you’ll be building strength in the muscles you rely on most for those activities.

OK I think I’m on board. Can you give me some examples though?

That’s the best thing about strength training… there are so many options! From HIIT workouts, weight training, circuits and Tabata workouts. And don’t worry. We are so passionate about this topic that we’ll fill you in on all the deets in the next couple of weeks.

So let me just do a quick recap. Strength training will allow you to shorten your workouts, stay healthier, burn more calories and make you look like the sexy babe that you know you are.

Sexy babe > bored on treadmill

Still not convinced? Tell us why! Or, if we have convinced you that strength training is the best thing since the invention of the Thigh Master (we joke…), let us know what you think your strength training struggles will be. The survey below is completely anonymous and will help us get an idea of what our readers are looking for.

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