When I first started my weight loss journey I focused mostly on cardio. My friend and I would run every day and I loved it. The weight began falling off so I of course was thrilled! We started doing some HIIT workouts and we also boxed. I could feel myself toning up a bit as well as still losing weight so I figured I was doing everything right. The town that we lived in at the time didn’t have a gym, so this was the type of exercises we were going to have to do to get a good work out in.
After a year or so of doing that I plateaued. I didn’t lose weight and my skin felt loose and just kind of hung out around my body. I started doing more HIIT workouts at home which included a lot of squats, lunges, pushups, tricep dips, and burpees. I could feel my skin getting tighter and my muscles becoming more defined, but I still was not seeing the results I wanted.
When I moved to the city I got a gym membership. I have always liked to lift weights. I remember being in high school and having our conditioning days during volleyball where we’d hit the gym instead of practice and I loved it. I love the sense of empowerment I get from lifting heavier or finishing that last rep as my muscles shake and I don’t feel like I can physically do it. It’s something you can do on your own and know that you accomplished it without anyone helping you. During the first couple of months at the gym I was noticing results that I hadn’t seen before. My stomach was getting tighter, which for all us dealing with PCOS we know is a huge issue, so I began doing some research on how to push my results even more. What I found was so interesting to me.
One of the most interesting things that I read was that our high levels of testosterone is a good thing when trying to build muscle. With higher testosterone levels we build it faster than those who have lower levels. Score! The reasons you want to build muscle instead of focusing only on cardio is because muscle is super active and uses glucose very efficiently which makes your body require less insulin production. Resistance and weight training increases muscle which in turns increases your resting metabolic rate that leads to an increase in total energy expenditure and loss of body fat. In simple term, increasing your muscle mass makes your body burn way more calories even when you are not doing anything at all.
Benefits of lifting weights:
Burn more fat
Increase and maintain metabolism
Improve blood pressure
Aid in weight management
Increase self confidence
My advice for all of you dealing with PCOS is focus more on weight training and less on cardio. Don’t quit cardio all together as there are many benefits of that as well, but with the way our bodies are wired you’ll see better results from lifting weights. The last 4 months or so since I've stepped up my weight lifting game I get compliments about my weight a lot, but the funny thing is the number on the scale has only moved a little. I love the results I've gotten from weightlifting. Knowing that it not only helps you look better, but also feel better makes it even more rewarding.
Hi my name is Whitney and I'm a mom to 2 adorable boys and the wife to a sports loving, handsome man. I'm outnumbered but wouldn't have it any other way. I'm navigating motherhood one fart joke at a time. Welcome to my crazy life!