Look at These Strong Before-and-After Weight-Training Transformations
The sweaty gym selfie. The self-timed yoga pic. And the classic before-and-after transformation photo. You’re probably used to seeing (and maybe posting) these all over your feeds.
And those before-and-afters? They aren’t all about weight loss. Sometimes they’re about getting stronger, which is a trend we can get behind.
Amanda Dale, ACE-certified trainer and sports nutritionist, says, “If [strength-transformation] selfies can help empower women to move past the ‘smaller is better’ message we’ve been receiving since birth, then I’m happy about the trend.”
If you’re looking for a little motivation before you lift some weights, check out these five impressive weight-training transformations, then read on for some pointers to get you into that super-strong “after”-photo mindset.
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Women Who Got Stronger
1. Ciara Brown
Ciara sent in her before-and-after pics after completing Openfit’s Real Results 3-Week Live Challenge. Looking strong, Ciara.
2. Amy Thurlow
Amy was a fan of Openfit’s 600 Seconds workout program. Nice work, Amy.
3. Michelle Brew
And Michelle? She tackled Openfit’s Rough Around the Edges, taught by some badass stuntwomen.
4. Nancy Madrid Baggio
Nancy conquered Rough Around the Edges, too. Yes, Nancy!
5. Lori Magnier
And Lori? Yep, Rough Around the Edges. Strong showing, Lori. Very strong.
Should I Lose Weight Before Lifting Weights?
No need—lifting weights can help you become stronger and shaving inches from your waist. “Studies show that women can reap the same benefits from resistance training as men without adding bulk,” says Trevor Thieme, C.S.C.S., Openfit’s director of fitness and nutrition content. “Namely, greater strength, less fat, more power, enhanced energy, improved mobility, and a lower risk of injury — if you’re smart about your training.”
That begs the question: Can strength training help you lose more fat than, say, running or other cardio activities? “You might burn more calories while you perform cardio, but strength training can help you burn as many or potentially even more total calories, because your metabolism remains elevated for much longer after you stop working out,” says Thieme.
That’s because strength training causes more micro-damage to muscle tissue, and repairing that damage requires energy, which your body pulls primarily from fat stores when you’re not exercising.
One thing to keep in mind: When you focus on building muscle, you might not notice a drop in the number on the scale — and yet your clothes might start to fit better.
“That’s because muscle weighs more than fat by volume,” says Thieme, explaining that a baseball-sized amount of muscle weighs about as much as a softball-sized amount of fat.
“That’s why it’s important to pay more attention to the changes you see in the mirror than to the number you see on the scale,” he adds. “When you build muscle, it’s entirely possible for your waist to shrink and the scale not to budge.”
How Long Will It Take to See Results?
Everyone’s needs are different, and there are many factors — including diet, age, and genetics — that will dictate the degree of your results and how quickly they arrive. (If you’re new to weightlifting, read this.) “But most people can expect to start seeing visible results in as little as a few weeks,” says Thieme.
And, again, it’s important to think about what results you’re after. As Thieme said above, if you’re setting out to add muscle and burn fat, the number on the scale isn’t important.