Most people who want to burn fat, lose weight fast, and stay healthy understand that the key to achieving this goal is to increase their metabolism. But many are not aware that building lean muscle mass is an effective way to kick their metabolism into high gear. Building lean muscle mass requires weights or, to be more specific, resistance training.
Not Just for Bodybuilders or Athletes
Weight training or resistance training is actually one of the best strategies you should consider if you’re trying to lose weight. And it’s not always about building big muscles. Most people, especially women, have the incorrect belief that weight training will make them bulky. And so they lose out on the significant weight loss and other health benefits that proper weight training can provide.
If you know the proper way to do the exercises so as to keep your metabolism constantly going, you won’t even have to spend a lot of time, per session, huffing and puffing while lifting those weights. You don’t even have to have a gym membership; a pair of dumbbells and/or some free weights and a bar at home, plus online training videos will work just fine. With the right execution, you will get the results you desire and more; you’ll look fitter than you’ve ever been and feel great about it.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you have to continuously burn fat. And to do that by building lean muscles and strength, you have to apply the basic principles of weight/resistance training.
The first element is intensity, or the force you exert when you perform your exercises given the current condition of your body. The next element involves volume and frequency, or the amount of exercise you perform and how many times you perform your exercises per week. The last element is progression, or the gradual advancement of your training in terms of increasing demands to your capability.
Those who do not know the proper way to execute a weight or resistance training workout do it in much the same way that they do aerobic exercises – repetitively and without variability. This is ineffective if you’re trying to lose weight and building lean muscles. Likewise, performing a resistance training workout at a high volume and frequency but moderate intensity will also fail to produce the results you want.
The ideal resistance training (also known as anaerobic exercise) formula that will continuously burn fat and build lean muscles is one with low volume and frequency, high intensity, and continuous progression.
If you perform resistance training at a moderate intensity, high volume and frequency, and no progression, you will not experience any significant muscle or strength gains and weight loss beyond a few weeks, regardless of how long you train. But if you combine great intensity with an increase in either the amount of weights you use in your weight training exercise or in the number of repetitions, you will burn fat more efficiently and continuously and build lean and strong muscles.
Another key factor that will determine the success of your resistance training is the rest periods you take in between workouts. When you’re properly performing your resistance training, your muscles develop some injuries that are a natural byproduct of any type of exercise. In order to build stronger and leaner muscles, you need to give your muscles time to recover so that you can continue building upon your existing muscle mass. This is why it’s critical to get one to three days of rest between each workout.
What About Cardio?
Cardio exercises, when done properly, burn more calories than resistance training. However, if you want to keep your metabolism elevated post-workout, resistance training is the way to go. When you’re regularly doing resistance training, you can be assured that your body is still burning excess fat hours after you’ve finished your routine.
Of course, a combination of both cardio exercises and resistance training will be more effective than doing just either one when you’re trying to lose weight. But you don’t have to do cardio until you feel like you’re going to faint from weakness to achieve the results you want. As little as 10-15 minutes a day of simple and light cardio will work better than a high-intensity one if combined with proper resistance training.
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