The quickest way to shed excess body fat, build lean muscle and reveal a toned physique is to try a combination of high-intensity interval training and strength training exercises.
Most people are often hesitant to start weight lifting for fat loss because they equate it to having a “bulky” and “thick” body. However, muscle is metabolically active and actually has the potential of burning calories even when you’re resting.
Hence, the more muscle you gain the more fat you’ll burn.
Common strength training misconceptions
It’s also important to remember that muscle is denser than fat, and thus you shouldn’t rely on the scale to monitor your weight loss progress.
You’ll start noticing the results when you look at the mirror and feel it whenever you pull on your skinny jeans. You might gain weight, but do not worry, it’s normal and healthy. You will be stronger and able to have more stamina throughout the day.
Unfortunately, most women tend to opt for cardio and ignore strength training exercises or weight training. This is because they perhaps think that weight training is for building muscles and not for burning fat.
An effective strength training exercise or weight lifting program can come in handy in helping you build lean muscles and shed fat at the same time. Don’t put the weights back on the rack when you focus on a weight loss program.
It’s critical to understand how muscle helps in burning fat. Muscles burn calories by boosting your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). Fat is an adipose tissue that doesn’t require any energy to sit on your body, and thus once it sits on your body it stays there until you start exerting enough energy to use it as your energy source.
Due to the fact that muscle is more dense than fat, it requires more energy and thus burns more calories than fat while at rest.
One hour of cardio is enough for burning calories at the cardio machine. But once you’re done burning the stored energy, you should consider strength training exercises that will boost your metabolism rate and keep it at an elevated energy use rate. This is the bonus of weight training. This Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) will ensure that the body will need oxygen at a higher rate.
Here are the three major types of strength training exercises that will help you lose fat.
Hit it heavy
The growth of muscle tissue is stimulated when you apply pressure on the muscles. Therefore, using light weights is not enough for the muscle to be stressed to the extent of responding to the pressure even if you do regular reps. Meaning, even if you’re on a healthy diet with reduced calorie intake, your muscles will not start developing.
In fact, female dieters fear of getting bigger instead of smaller because they think that heavy is only needed during the bulking stage, and hence end up avoiding strength training exercises. These are just typical myths that shouldn’t worry you! Moreover, ladies don’t have enough testosterone to get the physique similar to a bodybuilder.
Lower rep exercises have the potential of burning more calories during a strength training exercise due to the greater exertion, and you’ll not lose an ounce of fat-burning muscle. The strength training exercises will help you in recruiting muscle fibers that work by releasing muscle-building and fat-burning hormones. You should also ensure that you try staying on your feet rather than lying down or even sitting when exercising. You should start with your chest, shoulders, biceps, quads, calves and finish with cardio.
Lighten up and speed it up
Consider doing higher reps with moderate weights. Slow-twitch muscle fibers are used during the higher reps because they hold less glycogen, and thus less glycogen will be depleted from your body when you’re exercising. This is very crucial to your body because it keeps the metabolism rate high and the body muscles full.
The higher rep workouts also help in supporting the growth hormone output that is very significant in any weight loss regimen. Also, the slow-twitch muscles tend to recover faster than the fast-twitch fibers.
This makes it possible to keep the heart rate up during the strength training workout so as to burn fat faster. You can simply use the same exercises you applied in heavy weight workout but adjust the weight slightly to allow for more reps.
Circuit training is a combination of aerobic and anaerobic strength training exercises that uses higher reps and lighter weights. The interval training is done by doing a set on one machine, moving to the next set on another machine, followed by a set on a cardio machine for few minutes and returning to the first machine without resting in between.
Anaerobic (lifting) and aerobic (cardio) have beneficial physiological effects on the body when combined. The fast-twitch muscles will be used in the explosive lifting and the slow-twitch muscles will be utilized during the cardio endurance exercises. Remember, you ought to be courteous at the gym when doing the circuit training exercises because there are other people who are using the machines. The circuit training should be done with at least two machines.
Therefore, it’s recommendable that you do the circuit training during off hours when the gym is not very busy.
Since there are many strength training exercises to lose weight, you should try out the routines in a rotation. For instance, you can try out the aforementioned routines for four weeks each before you switch to the next one. You’ll experience and benefit from the advantages of each of the three strength training exercises.
This post is written by John Welborn. He is a personal fitness coach and fat loss specialist in the Portland/Fairview Oregon area. He specifies in helping overweight and obese individuals transform their bodies, lives, reclaim their freedom and confidence, and reach the best shape of their lives.