After going through the two big rocks that will help you get a grip on fat loss through nutrition, it’s time to dive deeper into the benefits of resistance training.
When it comes to exercise and fat loss, most individuals would say that the best exercise for fat loss is cardio. This is true in some cases, and not so true in others. Although cardiovascular training burns more calories than weight lifting, it’s not your best long-term solution for fat loss. In fact, weight lifting should be the staple of your training program, whether you’re training to burn fat or build muscle.
The body burns energy (calories) a few different ways. Eating, exercising, and popery body function are the three major ways your body burns calories in a day. It is estimated that 10% of your calories are burned through eating. This includes processes like digestion and includes the thermic effect of foods which tell us what foods demand the most energy from the body to digest. About 10-30% of your calories are burned from exercise. This includes any form of physical activity like running or lifting weights. About 60-80% of your calories are burned from your basal metabolic rate. Your BMR (basal metabolic rate) is the amount of calories your body burns through the daily processes that allow it to live and thrive. Given that a very large majority of your calories are burned from your BMR, you must find a way to optimize that.
Your BMR is determined by several different factors, two of which are age and genetics, but one major driving force of your metabolism is your lean muscle mass. Muscle is a very costly tissue, meaning it takes lots of energy to maintain and keep around. Simply put, the more muscle your body holds, the more calories your body will burn in a day at rest.
Here’s what we know so far. Your BMR burns 60-80% of our total calories. Your BMR is heavily influenced by the amount of lean muscle we have. What this tells us is that to make fat easier to lose and easier to keep off, you must increase your lean muscle tissue. And no, I’m not talking 40 pounds of muscle in order to burn an extra 100 calorie. Even a few pounds of additional muscle tissue makes a massive difference in the amount of calories your body can burn at rest. So yes, ladies, you can let go of the fear of being big and bulky. In fact, this will help you gain that toned and defined look more than anything else.
For years, studies have shown us that weight lifting can increase our lean muscle mass tremendously. The question is, how can you best incorporate weight training into your routine. In order to explain this, I’d like to briefly go over three essential elements of your weight training program.
Element #1: Strength
Weight training is NOT lifting 2 pound dumbbells until you feel a tiny burn. That will not do anything to increase your metabolic rate. Remember, the human body adapts to the signal that is being sent to it. So, you want to send a signal that tells your body to get stronger by putting on more muscle. A good rep range to do that is around 6-12 reps. A simple way you can continue to improve month after month is by lifting for 6-8 reps one month, 8-10 the next, and 10-12 the month following.
Science has shown us that elevated muscle protein synthesis allows your body to build lean muscle well. In order to keep it elevated, it’s important to train each muscle group every 2-4 days. A good place to start is doing a full body strength training workout 3 times per week.
Element #3: Intensity
As mentioned in the strength element, it’s extremely important that you test your strength. Lifting light weights for 6 reps is not the same as lifting heavy weights for 6 reps. A good level of intensity is lifting an amount where you hit your desired rep goal about 1-3 reps short of complete failure. If your target is 8 reps, this means you are using a weight that pushes you so much that you finish 8 reps with about 1-3 reps left in the tank. As you finish each set, increase your weight getting you closer to only having 1 rep left in the tank.
Your BMR or metabolism burns 60-80% of your calories. It is extremely important for fat loss to make sure your metabolism is as fast as possible. You can improve the speed of your metabolism through weight training while aiming for maximum strength in each workout. To learn even more about the benefits of resistance training, reach out to your nearest Push Pedal Pull fitness expert!
Do you want to learn more about HIIT Training? Look for next weeks blog post or download our FREE HIIT Training Workout Guide.
ABOUT THE AUTHORAdam is a fitness professional, baseball fan, and cookie fanatic based in Fort Collins, Colorado. After hanging up the cleats, he found a strong interest in the human body and how it performs. Since then, Adam has been transforming lives through fitness in a fun and encouraging atmosphere. As an ACE CPT and Fitness Nutrition Specialist, he is constantly moved to help people improve in all walks of life.