Weight-training, also known as resistance training, has many benefits to the human body, both physiologically and physically, and in regards to performance. It’s too bad there is a huge misconception about using weights when trying to lose weight.
Dumbbells, weight machines and big, bulky muscles come to mind when people hear “weight-training.”
Well, let me tell you this…those people with big, bulky muscles train a specific way to get like that and that is NOT the “normal persons'” weight-training routine. In fact, those people are generally trying to GAIN weight by lifting HEAVY weight.
Now that we have that cleared up, let’s take a look at what the real deal is with resistance training…
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Resistance training has shown to prove a variety of desirable effects.
Physiologic effects include improved cardiovascular efficiency, benefits to hormone and cholesterol adaptions, increased bone density, and increased metabolic efficiency.
Physical effects include increased muscle, tendon, and ligament strength (also known as soft tissue) and decreased body fat.
Performance shows improved coordination and increased endurance, strength and power.
In Laymen’s Terms:
- Increases heart strength, improves cholesterol levels as well as thyroid levels
- Stronger bones and improves metabolism
- Increases strength of muscles and joints
- Decreases body fat
- Improves balance, coordination, and tolerance to longer periods of exercise
Muscle Burns Fat
Including resistance training in workouts can aid in the burning of more calories resulting in weight-loss. After a resisted workout your body continues to burn fat/use calories for energy over the next few days as the muscles have to work to recover from the break down that just occurred. When our muscles increase in size, they require more energy which actually burns through more of your calorie reserve.
While cardio exercise can also burns calories, it does not continually work to burn additional calories, like increased muscle mass, once the body returns to it’s “normal” state.
In Laymen’s Terms:
- Lifting weights = increased muscle mass
- Increased muscle mass = more calories burned
- More calories burned = more fat burned
- More fat burned = Increased weight-loss
There are several different ways to add resistance to a work-out.
1.) Use Dumbbells
2.) Resisted loops or bands
3.) Using household items, such as soup cans, water jugs, or socks with rice or beans in them.
Resistance training does not have to be difficult. Resistance just means an added stressor to the body that makes it work harder which stresses the muscles to contract and react and become stronger.
One thing to note is that when doing the same routine over and over again, your body will “get use” to the workout and the workout will no longer “stress” the muscles or the body and results will not continue to happen. Remember to change up the workout by either, doing a different exercise or combination of exercises, or increasing the resistance as it becomes easier. It is easy to find workouts that already do this for you and that you can do directly from your living room.
Something to consider are pre-disigned work-0uts that can be done right from home, and for less than a gym membership.
BeachBody on Demand has loads of exercise programs to choose from. Daily Burn is similar with various exercises to choose from plus an App. to download for convenience right on a smart phone! Or if you’re headed to the gym, be sure to change up the routine every few weeks to avoid plateau.
Either way, don’t be afraid to add resistance to your workouts. Especially if you are trying to lose weight, because by increasing strength (building muscle) you are improving your body’s ability to burn fat and calories for a sustainable amount of time.
What have you tried? Are you stuck or hit a plateau? What are you afraid of if you don’t use resistance training in your workouts?
Be Good, Feel Good, Look Good!