The most common reason people join a gym is to lose weight. But many overlook the type of training that can achieve the fastest results. That type of training is strength training and is an integral part of a well-balanced fitness routine for weight loss.
In order to lose weight, you must simple burn more calories than you consume in order to create a deficit. The common misconception is that hours of cardio will result in weight loss. Maybe you will lose a little bit of weight this way, but it’s a waste of time to only do cardiovascular activity. Women especially are afraid of the weight room because they think they’ll get too big if they incorporate weights into their fitness routine. Another reason women shy away from the weights is because they just don’t know where to start. The truth is that a pound of muscle burns more calories than a pound of fat. The more muscle you can build, the more efficient your body will be at burning calories. Thus, you’ll lose more weight.
The best way to lose weight is to combine strength training exercises with cardiovascular activity. The more calories burned will result in greater weight loss. Unlike cardio exercise which only burns calories while you’re performing the exercise, strength training builds muscle so when you’re at rest, calories are still being burned. Also, it’s important to not overlook the benefits of a healthy diet rich in protein. Eating right is essential for building muscle. If you do hours of training in the gym, but eat high calorie foods, you’ll never see results. Try to eat 5-6 small meals a day. Diet is half the battle in losing weight.
Now, you’re probably wondering how to start. Doing just body weight exercises is a great way to start a strength training routine. No extra weight is needed and you can slowly add weight as you become stronger. Some of the most popular strength training exercises for weight loss are squats, lunges, and push ups. These are all quite challenging without any extra weight and can be done in a small space and even at home.
Another reason to lift weights is because muscle also looks sexy. Because muscle is more compact than fat, those that strength train look leaner and more toned than those that only do cardio workouts. In addition to making you look good, strength training will increase your endurance, flexibility, and overall fitness level. Keep in mind that healthy weight loss consists of losing only 1 or 2 pounds a week. Those that want a quick fix will most likely end up putting the weight back on. Be patient with yourself and give your body time to adjust to a new routine.