Walk into any fitness center today and the first thing you tend to see are lines upon lines of treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical machines. And those machines are normally occupied by ladies. We’ll ladies… It’s time to step away from the cardio machine and move to the back of the gym. That’s where you should be spending most of your time at the gym. I’m not saying that there isn’t room for cardio in your workout program. But don’t forget about strength training with weights if you truly want to be fit.

Weights are a girls best friend! Strength training is going to take your workout and body to the next level. More lean muscle mass equals a higher metabolic rate which means you will be maximizing your body’s fat burning potential.

Here are the top reasons women should make weight training an important part of their workout:

1. Reshaping Your Body

True. Cardio will help you shed some pounds. However, it will never give you the strong, lean look that you’re trying to achieve. You can’t spot train to lose weight in specific locations with cardio, but you can tone specific parts of your body by lifting weights.

2. Stronger Bones & Muscles

Strength training can not only prevent bone and muscle loss, it can also reverse it. Regular weight lifting increases bone density, which starts to decrease in women after the age of 30.

3. Be Happier

Picking up the weights increases the level of endorphins in your body and is a natural antidepressant. You will get a natural boost of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin – the “feel good” hormones.

4. Get Better Sleep

60% of people who weight train get an average of 7 hours or more of sleep per night. Better sleep means better overall health. It also allows muscles to repair and grow.

5. Boost Confidence

Strength training is the perfect way to gain confidence, self esteem, and independence.

6. Torch Body Fat

Adding two to three lifting session per week can reduce body fat by 7-10%. Remember: light weights don’t sculpt. You need to lift as much weight as you can to feel exhausted. If you are not tired by your 10th rep you should be lifting heavier. Start increasing your weight by 5 lbs at a time.

7. Increased Strength

There are over 650 muscles in the human body. By working them all in different ways you can achieve the sculpted, toned look you are striving for.