Years ago, I took a long hard look at myself and thought: I need to lose weight because this pudgy body of mine is not going to work for me anymore. It took me a few tries to nail the nutrition side of things. But I knew that if I wanted to see steady weight loss results I needed to couple my healthy eating habits with exercise.
I do my fair share of cardio, but I also add resistance training to the mix because it helps me burn calories and keeps my body strong and svelte.
Benefits of Resistance Training
If you're on a mission to lose weight, resistance training is vital because it increases the amount of lean muscle mass in the body. Why does this matter? Every pound of muscle you have accelerates the rate your body burns fat.
You can get resistance training from using dumbbells, weight machines, water bottles, soup cans and resistance bands. You can also use your own body weight as resistance by doing pushups, pull ups, squats, lunges and the like.
When you do only cardio exercises, your metabolism slows down as soon as your workout is over. When you add resistance training into the equation, your metabolism stays revved up long after your workout is over—even when you're sitting on the couch like a hairball.
If you're still not convinced that resistance training is important for weight loss, think about this. If two women are the same height and weight, and one of them has a body that's mostly lean muscle while the other woman's body is flabby, the woman with the lean muscle will look smaller. Why? Because muscle is compact and takes up less space in the body than fat.
I Don't Want to Get Bulky
Some women shun the idea of resistance training because they have unrealistic fears of getting bulky. Most of the people who get husky either train specifically to gain bulk (professional bodybuilders for example) or they take performance-enhancing drugs.
General strength training is not, I repeat, is not going to make you bulky. The only thing it will do is make you stronger, leaner and shapelier. Isn't this what you want?
Tips for Effective Resistance Training
- Do resistance training three times a week. Don't overdo it. When you strength train, your muscles need time to recover. Ideally, you should rest one day between each resistance training session.
- Don't lift too heavy or too light. Lifting weights that are too heavy can cause you to get injured, and weights that are too light won't challenge your body.
- Use slow, controlled movements as opposed to rapid movements when you are doing resistance training exercises. If you lift weights too fast you will use momentum instead of strength to get through your repetitions, which can sabotage your efforts.
- When you lift the same amount of weights and do the same number of reps for weeks on end, your muscles get bored and progression slows down. Revamp your resistance training program every few weeks so that you continually see results.
If you really want to see those pounds melt away, combine a quality resistance training program with a sensible diet and plenty of cardiovascular exercise.
Losing weight can improve the way you look and feel. Let The Diet Solution Program show you what I do when I need to lose weight.
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