There are two kinds of people when it comes to workouts: the cardio-obsessed people that you always see running with a bottle of water strapped around their neck and strength-training people that you always see lifting some sort of bulky, gigantic-looking weight. As a beginner, you would obviously freak out and simply go for some diets, treadmill work, and aerobics. But did you know that if you want to lose weight – and make it visible – all you have to do is lift some weights during your workouts?
Same time, more fat burnt, more muscle
There has always been a question floating around every gym lover: Why does everyone focus on cardio instead of weight lifting? Many would say “because it helps me burn fat.” But here’s the problem with just-fat-burning. Once it burns down, you’ll shrink. This is pretty much why cardio is the favorite of every lady. Most of them want to lose weight, and they don’t care how they do it, as long as the scale goes down. But for men, this would be a nightmare; they would be 30 and still look like underdeveloped teenagers! Now I’m not saying that cardio is not a good thing – but that type of “weight loss” will also contain muscle loss. At the end of your training period, you’ll look like a skinny and soft mannequin.
This is why weight training should always be added as a weight loss training program. This is where you may want to ditch your scale – because muscle mass is heavier than fat. Your scale may show you that you gained weight, but the mirror will say otherwise. When you start weight lifting, the fat in your body will be replaced by muscle. And the larger your muscles become, the easier it will be for you to burn fat – because large muscles burn double the calories.
Weight training session over – muscles still working
When you go through a cardio session, you burn many calories throughout your workout. That’s pretty neat-looking at the moment. The problem is, however, another one: once the cardio session is over, your calorie-burning process also stops. However, that’s not the same with weight training.
A well-designed weight training program can keep your metabolism elevated for more than 38 hours after your workout is done. In other words, even after you go home and lie down in your bed, you will still be burning calories. Combined with some dieting and cardio, you will be on the right track of shedding off that extra fat.
Using your own body as weight
Once more, when it comes to gym-goers, there are two types of weight trainers: those who use dumbbells or gym machines, and those who make use of their own body weight – in other words, Pilates. If you ever tried Pilates, you will remember how your muscles basically started screaming after you have finished your training session – something which doesn’t normally occur after a cardio session. While some people may argue that Pilates doesn’t count as weight training, let’s think about it this way: whenever you make a move as simple as push-ups, squats or leg lifts, you basically use your own body as a natural weight attachment. Of course, while the effect may be more intense if you attach some weights to your arms and legs, the concept is basically the same: you lift the weight, and you become stronger with every minute that passes.
Mini-circuits vs. high reps
Circuit training is great when it comes to weight loss, because the more you diversify, the less time your muscles will have to get used to the movement (because once it becomes a habit, it stops being effective). But let’s admit that this is not always possible unless you have your own private gym at home. You move from a machine to another, and just when you were getting ready to move back, you see that someone else has already hogged your station. To avoid that, you can alternate between some exercises for your lower or upper body – while attaching some smaller weights. These reps should be made shorter but more frequent, with the result being a powerful fat loss effect.
If the weights are bigger, you should focus more on big lifts instead of relying on machines. For example, while machines and cables will help improve your performance, moves like power lifts and Olympic lifts will be more efficient in burning calories. The higher the rep, the more the muscle will build up – and the fat down.
As a conclusion, if you want to lose your muscle mass, you may want to pick up weight training as your routine. Regardless if you use your own weight or external weights, this will burn more calories than if you go, for instance on a jog. Sure, you may feel your muscles burning afterward – but that just means that your body is still working. And the only way to get rid of the pain is to do it again tomorrow!