If your goal is weight loss, cardio might be the first thing that comes to mind. Sure, getting your heart pumping with some hardcore cardio is one way to burn those calories, but if you want to lose those pounds, then adding strength training to your workouts is vital. But, don’t be worried if you would prefer to avoid getting bulky as if it is done properly, strength training is a great way of getting that lean look you’re after. Sure, it might mean that you gain muscle, which is going to look like you’re gaining weight as far as the scales are concerned, but you will start fitting into those clothes you’ve been lusting after.
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With so many ways that strength training can go wrong, it’s super important to get a handle on what you’re doing before you start. Do your research and find out some of the best ways to maximize your workout so that you avoid injury and spend your time in the gym as effectively as possible. It may even be worth consulting a personal trainer for a training program designed specifically for your requirements and have them assist you for the first few times that you introduce the workout to your regimen.
Get Your Metabolism Pumping
While aerobic exercise is great for initially shifting those pounds, solely training in cardio means that the body is more likely to lose muscle as well as fat as it does not focus on increasing muscle mass. This can have the knock-on effect of slowing down your metabolism, which, as you know, is not something you need when you’re trying to lose weight!
Increasing the amount of lean muscle in your body through strength training raises the everyday base metabolic rate (BMR). This is the number of calories your body needs to keep itself running when it is sedentary, so the higher the BMR, the better as this means you will be burning more calories when you are at rest. When you work out, your muscles are consistently tearing and repairing, which requires a lot of energy. By boosting that process, you increase your metabolism and shed those pounds.
Watch What You Eat
It’s critical to ensure that you have created a calorie deficiency in your diet to maximize the returns from strength training. Burning more calories than you take in is the fastest way to lose weight, so tailor your diet to ensure that you are not overeating or adding unnecessary calories. When you rely solely on cardio for weight loss, it usually results in having to eat so little that you feel hungry a lot of the time, whereas, with strength training, your body will need to burn the calories that you put into it. That doesn’t mean that you can eat what you like, you will still need to stick to healthy food, but you can have more of it than if you were just training cardio.
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There’s no better motivation to lose weight than when you have a gym buddy holding you accountable. Just look at the recent transformation of the Staples brothers. By training and eating together, they managed to succeed at a seemingly impossible weight challenge in just 12 months. Under the watchful eye of one of the world’s most famous personal trainers, Mike Vacanti, the brothers motivated each other every step of the way to achieve their dream physiques. So, do not underestimate the power of having someone on your weight loss journey!
Keep It Regular
The best way to lose weight is to do strength training routines for both the upper and lower body at least two times per week each, using cardio as a warm up and cool down before and after each session so that you burn more calories. An example of this might be that you train your upper body on Mondays and Thursdays and your lower body on Tuesdays and Fridays, leaving the rest of the week for core and cardio workouts.
Are you strength training for weight loss? Leave a comment below with your experiences so far.