If your main purpose for exercising is to shed off pounds, it is unlikely that you would consider strength training as the right fit. It is a fact that aerobics makes the heart work on overdrive and helps you burn calories, yet strength training is what you need to push your body closer to its goals.
Worthy of note is the fact the weight loss is not something that everyone needs. If you have a history of eating disorders, you should seek the counsel of a doctor before embarking on this journey. Even if you have no such history, you need to outline only realistic expectations and endeavor to lose weight in a healthy manner.
Strength training build lean body mass
Though cardio is the most effective weight loss exercise strategy, it is not ideal when it comes to burning fat and building muscle. If you do purely cardio, you might end up losing both fat and muscle. Resistance training helps you counteract this, without it, you would end up slowing your metabolic rate since this is proportional to muscle man. The endpoint of this could be a weight-loss plateau.
You will burn a lot of calories while working out
Though calorie-burning points are largely given to cardio, you can still torch a lot of them from strength training. All you need do is include some heart-pumping bits. Another way you can maximize your caloric expenditure is by moving faster, lengthening reps, and not taking breaks between. Or you could just add short cardio bursts sandwiched between strength-building activities.
These strategies are effective since they get your heart beating faster. A racing heart equals a higher need for fuel which implies more calorie usage by the body. The intense workout causes the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption to rise to levels that lead to more calories being burned after the exercise. It is a temporary metabolic boost also called “afterburn”.
Will lifting weights make you bulky
The short answer is NO (unless you are trying yo). This is a common misconception that particularly worries women. “Fear of bulk” is one of the greatest myths that discourage women from looking to get fit from giving this type of exercise a chance. These ideas are probably a result of looking at bodybuilding magazines.
Most women who strength train do not get bulky, just lean, and stronger. The bulky woman look does not happen overnight or unintentionally because women are quite low on the hormone that would cause that – testosterone. To achieve the look, women would need to consume huge portions of food and take drugs. If you do strength training without these additions, you will just look like athletes.
As for men, though endowed with the anabolic hormone testosterone, you also need not fear excess bulk. It is only after some serious diet adjustments and the help of fitness coaches that this transformation occurs. Strength training constitutes just 10% of the “slim down or builds up” equation. The rest depends on nutrition.
A Sample Schedule
This is a weekly schedule to give you an idea of what losing weight with strength training would entail. Go walking for 6 days and take a day off every week. While at home or in the gym, use dumbbells or other types of weights.
- Days 1 to 6: Walk a minimum of 40 minutes briskly enough to get you breathing heavily but not breathless.
- Day 2: Use dumbbells or other weight. You could try 8 exercises with different weights, 3 sets each, and 12 reps. If doing all 8 at once is too tasking, it could be split into halves with a break in the middle.
- Day 3: Try out a circuit training session
- Day 4: 40 minutes walk or 20 mins jog does the trick
- Day 5: It is day 2 all over again.
- Day 6: Rest
- Day 7: You could walk for 40 mins or use it as another rest day.
Eating healthy is essential
No matter what your exercise program is you must always consider your nutrition. Highly caloric-restrictive diets are not as ideal as they force your body to burn muscle (and bone) to generate energy. This will slow your metabolism down and make you weak,