I promote and encourage weight training during weight loss – especially for women, because our strong musculoskeletal system is a living tissue that requires fuel to exist. Therefore, the lean tissue underneath our body fat is accessing calories from fat stores 24/7. Creating lean muscles assures an on-going fat burning machine. The more muscle on the body, the more calories burned, even at rest.
I am amazed, that with all the resources at the disposal of millions: personal trainers, cheap gym memberships, libraries, on-line search engines, numerous health and fitness websites, magazines, on-line videos, work out DVDs, wellness coaches, television shows and books, we still have an inordinate number of people who lack the interest to investigate all avenues of weight loss, most notably weight/resistance training.
Once this article is posted, I will refer all who inquire as to why they should weight train for weight loss.
Most admit that if they had money like the celebrities, they would have a nip and tuck and wouldn’t need to work out. They fail to consider that like the celebrities, in order to maintain what they pay to have suctioned out, they would still be required to engage in some type of physical activity; less they wish to return to the same condition.
Many people wonder why they have used a certain diet plan faithfully – just as the celebrities, and yet are unable to achieve the same rapid body transformation. While many of these celebrities claim that a well known diet plan is responsible for their weight loss, we find that their weight loss is fast and miraculous. Unlike the general population who is not being paid to endorse a product.
For many people, working out is not an enjoyable process, and the idea of having to lift weights even less so. Without toning exercise, the body may be flabby with no shape, strength or muscle tone. Rather than live vicariously through celebrities wishing and dreaming, people fail to realize that the celebrities’ non-toned and flabby appearance is proof that all the fame and money in the world cannot make them toned and fit unless they actually engage in weight training.
You can always tell people who are not engaging in any resistance or weight training. One only has to observe that even after their magical weight loss, they still have no definition, no muscle tone, and flabby arms and legs. This is because the goal of surgery, liposuction, lap band, gastric-by-pass or tummy tuck is to remove fat, not add muscles.
Cosmetic surgery alone is not a solution for weight loss, otherwise it would not be obvious which celebrities actually work out and those whom claim to work out, nor would they have to repeat other cosmetic procedures to maintain their appearance.
It is common to find millions of people on a diet, using diet aids, pills, foods, and programs attempting to find a short cut to avoid having to workout. The problem with fad diets, food diets and liquid diets is that the rapid weight loss is often water weight and some muscle loss. This form of weight loss lowers the metabolism. Improper nutrition also slow the metabolism.
Without the proper balance of weight training, proper nutrition and cardiovascular training, you will remain in a state of confusion trying to fathom why there is little to no progress with your weight loss program.
When weight training, nutrition is vital. Being restrictive with eating will create lethargy that can prevent the energy needed to lift weights, thus rendering you unable to engage in cardio without feeling fatigued.
Most folks believe that they only need a calorie deficit through dieting only without any exercise to lose weight; while others believe that they can lose weight through cardio only, without any weight training. Sure, you can lose weight through diet only and no cardio or weight training. You can also lose if you were to never weight train; millions of people do it every day.
A diet only plan has some disadvantages. Most people end up disappointed with the end result of all the flab and loose skin that they cannot afford to have removed. The resultant flab and lack of a firm body prevents them from reveling in their new found weight loss. This is where weight training would have mattered. Weight training during weight loss improves the overall appearance, increases the pace of weight loss, and creates a firm body.
However, cardio and diet separately or together, while effective, is not the best option. Whereas cardio, like running, biking and jump rope burns more calories than strength training - lifting weights burns more calories overall. It’s the 24 hours following a strength training session that gives you the advantage.
Psychologically, it is a boost knowing that the next day when you are resting; your body is still burning calories. You are burning nearly twice as many calories a few hours after your workout when you lift at least 85% of your maximum load, which can be determined by the most weight you can lift for eight reps.
For those who may actually enjoy working out, some have no knowledge of how to effectively lift weights. They inform me that they want to lose weight without having to add weight training to their workouts because, “they don’t know what to do.” A man’s lack of interest in weight training may result in simply not knowing how to train and his ego being concerned about his image while lifting.
For women, the lost of interest occurs with the mistaken notion that they will become massive and bulky. They have seen so many bodybuilders, most whom use steroids and have trained for years, or were born men and now live as women, that they automatically assume the same thing will happen to them.
They don’t bother to separate fact from fiction – that without injecting hormones, proper diet and investing in years of training, it is impossible for a woman to become massive and bulky. Considering how many women suffer osteoporosis as they get older, creating bone density far outweighs the harm of adding muscle. Resistance training allows women to maintain strong ligaments, tendons and muscles.
People tend not to think of themselves as having muscles, because they can’t see them, whether you are overweight or normal weight, you already have muscles on your skeletal frame, created from carrying your bodyweight. This is the foundation from which you can build a weight training program upon as you work to lose subcutaneous bodyfat.
Without lean muscle mass, the metabolism slows down and bone density is diminished. Therefore, it is to our advantage to create muscle tissue, not only because it aids in fat burning, but for many other reasons as well. Weight training speeds up the metabolism and that is the objective in weight loss.
Don’t be discouraged if the scales do not reflect a lot of weight loss, as you may not notice the weight loss immediately. Muscle tissue is leaner and denser; it is heavier as well. Since you may not see the difference, base your progress on your shrinking clothes size and appearance.
Since muscle tone makes you appear leaner, you will also appear smaller than you actually are. This is another objective in weight loss; not to appear overweight as you lose weight. If you are 220 lbs, but appear to be 160 pounds, all the better.
From personal experience and that of researchers, lifting weights is more effective at diminishing intra-abdominal fat than cardio. I’ve tried both - separately and together and observed a noticeable difference. Because I didn’t know any better, at one point I was performing 500 sit-ups a day at lunch time and had no weight loss, other than a larger, thicker stomach (I wasn’t engaging in enough cardio). The muscle beneath the fat made my stomach appear larger.
During another time period, I strictly did cardio and no sit-ups or weight training. My stomach was flat, but it was very flabby. A strict cardio only plan, and a cardio and dieting plan only, differs from a cardio and strength training plan. Strength training, combined with cardio, has proven to be the most effective at weight loss.
Any type of strength/resistance training will suffice; from using a fitness ball, taking a yoga class, using rubber tubing, lifting a pair of dumbbells while you squat, or performing pushups and leg lifts without any weights. All of these are forms of resistance training that will build muscle strength and endurance. Strength training to create muscle tissue isn’t defined by lifting heavy weights with a lot of repetitions, but simply stressing the muscle to your capabilities.
The key is to engage in strength training while you are losing body fat. Doing so will allow you to create and maintain and develop the muscle tissue that you already have underneath.
Part 2 to be continued