The Reason Why Lifting Weights Helps Torch Body Fat
Many people think that cardio is the best way to rid your body of any unwanted fat. Whilst this is partially true, lifting weights or body weight exercises have been proven to be more effective for helping people to reach their weight loss goals. There have been many studies which suggest that to optimise fat burn, you should actually increase the amount of strength training and decrease cardio.
Now, you might be thinking that to lift weights you have to be a body builder or hardcore fitness buff.
But you’d be wrong. Anyone who wants to boost their rate of weight loss should incorporate strength training into their exercise regime. It’s great for a wide variety of things from pushing through a weight loss plateau to toning and shaping your body.
This doesn’t mean that you should skip out the cardio altogether though. It is an effective form of exercise because, depending on the right activity, you can burn huge numbers of calories. For example, running at 5mph for 30 minutes you can hit around 350 calories and swimming breast-stroke can burn as much as 400 calories! However, the downside is that when doing cardio, you only tend to burn calories whilst you’re actually exercising. Virtually nothing happens when you’ve stopped unless you’ve done a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session.
It appears that lifting weights is actually better for stripping the fat from your body, particularly around the belly area, which can be the most difficult place for women and men. It’s a myth that weight-lifting will make you bulky and cause your biceps and thighs to triple in size.
Due to this preconception, only about one in five women lift weights more than twice a week. If you’re looking to lose weight rather than dramatically build your muscle mass, then the key is to lift a lighter weight for a higher number of reps. As an example, if you’re looking to tone up and strengthen your arms, but not get huge muscles, try lifting 5kgs or 10kgs. Do 12 to 15 reps for a total of three to five sets. In a matter of weeks you should be able to see a noticeable difference in the shape of your arms.
Doing weight training this way will help you burn a surprisingly large number of calories.
After a strength training session, your muscles need to repair themselves. The effects continue working, even after you’ve finished exercising and you’re sitting on the sofa watching telly. Have you even felt the burning sensation the day after you’ve done long weight training session? That’s your muscles rebuilding themselves and continuing to burn calories.
It is not advised to do strength training everyday due to the stressful impact it has on your muscles. It is always best to give your body and day or twos rest so that it can recover. This is why most people who successfully lose weight combine lifting weights with cardio, so as not to exert too much pressure on their bodies.
Michael Morelli gives a great insight into exactly how you should train with weights to lose fat:
Limiting your exercise only to cardio means that you will rapidly lose muscle mass and your body wont tone up properly. Yet, add 30 minutes of strength training, 3 days a week to your exercise routine and you’ll find that your body will become much more efficient at burning fat. Ultimately, this will help you lose weight faster, raising your metabolic rate in the long-term.
In order to prevent muscle from being lost, it is important that you consume enough protein. Rather than eating lots of carbohydrates to fuel your body, make sure to get enough protein which not only helps to support muscle growth, it also prevents any cravings you may get for unhealthy foods and keeps you feeling fuller for a longer period of time.
Strength training has fantastic benefits for the way you look.
Not only will your clothes fit better, but your whole body will begin to look firmer and more shapely. If you think your bum jiggles too much when you walk, simply do some weighted squats regularly for a month and you will definitely see a difference in the tightness of the skin and a more rounded shape. Even only light weight training can fill you with confidence and the motivation to continue to drop the pounds.
It also has a massive beneficial impact on your mental health. Lifting weights is a healthy method of de-stressing. By focusing your energy on doing something challenging and proactive, you can significantly lower levels of stress hormones in your body. This makes for a more positive mindset and you’ll leave the gym feeling happier and with a clearer head. When you have lower stress levels, the hormone cortisol stops being produced, which is a major contributor to weight gain and comfort eating.
However, never forget that your diet is key when trying to lose weight. You can lift weights every day for weeks and never lose any weight if you continue to eat fattening foods. It is definitely worth considering adding weight training to your usual routine. If you’re not convinced, try it for a few weeks and see the results for yourself.