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Jul 12, 2011

Strength Training For Weight Loss

Weight loss is more than just slipping into an old pair of jeans that have been in the back of your closet. When you decide it’s time to shed your belly fat you have made a big commitment.
Retro exercise poster_Strength Training for Weight Loss[Exercise is an essential PART of weight loss. Don't forget a healthy & well-balanced diet.]
You have decided to put in the time and effort to get rid of the potbelly and love handles because you want to look good…
you want to look your best!
You know diet and exercise are important so you start your weight loss routine with long slow runs.
There may be a better way to drop those unwanted pounds and look your best than spending hours on the treadmill or exercise bike.
Give weight training a shot.
Pumping some iron has been proven to help your weight loss efforts and help you look your best.
If you want to truly transform your body to look your best, be fit, and healthy some form of resistance training is necessary.
Don’t worry if you have never touched a weight in your life. A bodyweight workout is a great place to start. Down the road, as your fitness and strength levels improve free weight exercises make an excellent progression.
Before you discover the benefits of weight training we have to be clear on one thing.
Following a weight loss program without a fat loss nutritional program is a complete and utter waste of time.
Working out to lose weight without a proper diet and nutrition plan is like constantly running up a down escalator…
it’s just not a battle you are going to win…
the average person just can’t out train a poor diet.
If you are going to put the time in at the gym be sure you have to have your diet in check. It would be a shame to have all your hard work go to waste.
I am not a nutrition expert, so I will stay away from diet plans …
instead what I will do is fill you in on the benefits of what resistance training can do for you once you have your diet on track.

2 key benefits of a good resistance training program:

  • Shape and tone your body and muscles
  • Increase calorie burning

Resistance Training For Fat Loss


To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume and resistance training can help you do this.
A well though out strength training program can help your increase the amount of calories you burn throughout the day. Have a healthy diet plan in place and you are well on your way to burning unwanted fat.
A typical high intensity weight training session lasting about an hour can burn about 500 calories. That may not sound like much but one benefit high intensity resistance training has over slow cardio is the post exercise benefits.
Research suggests that there is an increase in your metabolism after a weight lifting workout. This occurs because your body is working hard trying to recover from your training session. Scientists have difficulty determining exactly how long the benefits of an increased metabolic rate stay elevated but some studies have reported an increase for as little as 3 hours, while other findings report a 38 hour increase.

Increase your BMR

As we age it’s natural to have a decrease in lean body mass. For the average individual maximum muscle size is reached by around age 25. Then there is a decrease of about 10 percent by age 50. From 50 to 80 muscle mass drops quickly, about 45% in that time frame. I mention this because this decrease in lean muscle mass lowers your metabolic rate. Your base metabolic rate is the number of calories need to maintain your current weight and vital functions.
Strength training can slow or even reverse this drop in muscle mass.
With an increase in lean muscle mass comes a higher metabolic rate. That means you burn more calories throughout the day.

Physical Appearance

Maybe the most important reason to include resistance training in your weight loss program is to look good. Your diet is going to help you lose that belly fat and flatten your stomach, but the strength training is going to shape and tone your body.
Your diet will take care of the fat but will do little for tone and definition. Adding some lean muscle will help give you some tone and shape. It will help you look fit and healthy.
Chances are you decided to slim up to look good, why not do some weight training and look your best.
Adding muscle in the right places can improve your overall appearance.

Weight Training Myths

There are generally 3 myths that people have before they start a resistance training program:
1. Spot reduction – Working a particular area will replace fat with muscle.
2. When I stop lifting weights my muscle will turn to fat.
3. I will get big and bulky.
I would like to put your mind at ease, none of these myths are true.

Spot Reduction

As I have mentioned before, diet is the main factor in your weight loss. Doing arm exercises is not going to reduce the fat from under your arms, nor are crunches going to burn belly fat. Where we put on weight the fastest is genetics. For most women the first place they notice extra weight is in the hips. Guy on the other hand get a belly. This has been determined by your genetics, the same holds true for weight loss. You can not select where you want to lose weight anymore than you can say how it get distributed on your body.
When selecting exercises choose the ones to give you the most benefit. Doing squats will burn more belly fat than any arm exercise or crunch. Pick exercises that require movement at more than one joint and use the bigger muscles.
A great example is squats for the lower body. Squats require movement at the hip, knee, and ankles.
Push ups are great for your upper body. They require you to stabilize your torso and has movement of the elbow and shoulder joints.
For your back pull ups are great. Again both the elbow and shoulder joins come into play.

Fat Into Muscle

You will also be happy to know that muscle does not turn into fat. If you stop exercising your tone and definition will disappear. Your lean muscle mass will decrease and so will your base metabolic rate. This means you caloric needs will reduce.
But your muscle doesn’t become fat.
It will be essential to alter your diet to prevent any weight gain. If you have didn’t make any adjustments to your diet and exercise routine it is likely you will put on some extra weight but it is not muscle transforming into fat. It is just a case of your calories in exceeding calories out.

Muscle Size

A basic strength training program is not going to make you look like a bodybuilder.
The guys and girls on the cover of those magazines have been at it for a long time, they train a specific way to get those results. Many go as far as taking drugs to help build extra muscle.
I have to mention diet again…
to get big and bulky you have to eat a diet high in calories. Bodybuilders are not on a weight loss diet. Your diet is designed to burn fat, not build big muscles.
You have total control over your look.
What I tell every client of mine is to keep an eye on your physique, if you see a muscle starting to grow stop doing the exercise for that particular body part. This will prevent further growth and the muscle will decrease in size.
Following the right strength training will help you build lean muscle, you will not be big and bulky like the bodybuilders on the cover of magazines. You will have a fit athletic looking body.

The Program

Key elements to a fitness program:
  • focus on big, compound exercises
  • alternate upper and lower body exercises
  • superset muscle groups
  • keep the rest short
  • keep your reps in the 6 to 12 range
  • do 2 or 3 sets of each exercise
  • do more upper body pulling than pushing
Some of my faforite exercises include:
Lower body – squats, deadlifts,
Upper body push – push ups, shoulder press
Upper body pull – pull ups, inverted rows
Start with a healthy diet, add in some strength training exercises. Be sure to keep the rest short and superset exercises to sculpt your body and boost your metabolism. Do this and you will be on the right track to lose weight, transform your body and look better than ever.

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