During the Jane Fonda era, everyone focused on aerobic exercises for weight loss. While it is true that aerobic exercise uses fat as fuel, weight lifting is an essential part of a weight loss regime.
Many people undertake only one component when attempting weight loss. What I mean here is, they may take up jogging, but neglect to improve their eating choices.
On the other hand, maybe they start weight training, but neglect both improvements in their eating and undertaking cardiovascular exercise.
Weight loss is a three-pronged process: weight lifting, cardiovascular exercise and healthy eating. This article will focus on the importance of weight lifting and weight loss.
If you are like millions of people, you have been concerned about your weight. You may even consider yourself to have a poor metabolism. Your metabolism is critical to your weight loss efforts. Your metabolism is an important part of how you lose your weight and how you keep it off.
Metabolism is like the motor of your body. Your metabolism is the rate at which your body uses fuel, or burns calories when you are at rest, just to maintain the regular functions of your body. Typically, people use 60-75% of their calories at their resting metabolic rate and can burn more calories if they participate in exercise or other physical activities.
However, it isnt just the activity rates that affect your metabolism. Your muscle tissue is where the bulk of your calories are burned in your body. Unfortunately, if you are not participating in activities that will maintain your lean muscle mass, you will start to lose approximately one half pound of lean mass every year after around the age of 30.
So, the more lean muscle mass you have, the better your metabolism works, as it is burning more calories and fat just to feed your muscle.
Therein lies the reason that weight lifting and weight loss go hand in hand. If you undertake a calorie counting diet program without adding strength training, you may lose weight, however some of the weight could be muscle. Then what happens is, once you start back eating more calories, those additional calories get stored as fat because your metabolism has been negatively affected. You need the muscle!
Research has proven that this theory works. In the book Strong Women Stay Slim, the author Miriam Nelson cites a study where a group of women following a weight loss diet along with weight training exercises lost 44 percent more fat than those who only followed the diet.
In addition, weight training is essential for keeping the weight off once you have reached your goal weight. Many research studies have shown that the participants who lost weight through a combination of exercise (including weight lifting) and caloric restriction were better able to keep weight off over the long term versus those that only undertook caloric restriction.
If you are new to weight training, but are on a mission to shed excess pounds, be sure not to focus so much on the scale. Yes, the scale can help you track pounds lost, but you dont know if those pounds are fat or muscle. A better way is to evaluate how your clothes are fitting. Muscle weighs more than fat, so you may be gaining muscle and losing fat and the scale will not tell the whole story.
Many personal trainers recommend having your body measured at the start of your program and continue measuring every week. Stay motivated by the inches lost and muscle definition you start to see. Dont be so obsessed by what the numbers say on the scale.
Consider meeting with a personal trainer who can help you develop an all over weight lifting / strength training program to help you reach your weight loss goals. Your program should:
target all the major muscle groups;
vary the exercises for each of those muscle groups;
vary the weight and intensity;
add resistance as you get stronger;
have plans in place to prevent plateaus.
Most trainers will recommend strength training at least every second day for maximum benefits and lean muscle building.
I hope you are now motivated to start weight lifting for weight loss. Weight lifting will give you a more sculpted appearance that will rev up your metabolism and allow you to keep the weight off that you worked so hard to get rid of! Start lifting today!
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