Benefits of Weight Training - Boost Your Metabolism
and Burn Fat
more than ever, researchers and trainers are studying effective
methods to combat obesity. In the past decade, obesity rates have
skyrocketed through the roof due to inactivity, overeating, or not
enough exercise being performed. In the past, individuals have turned
to low intensity cardiovascular exercise for caloric expenditure
purposes, thinking that doing it is the best method for weight loss.
However, there are far more superior methods for weight loss than
low intensity cardio. Resistance training not only builds muscle
and boosts your metabolism, but it also contributes to burning calories.
It is a form of high intensity intermittent exercise which is known
for favoring fat burning during recovery periods. High intensity
exercise burns more total calories per minute, which means more
carbohydrate and fat calories are being utilized for energy. Moreover,
intensity is related to decreased rates of obesity and lower waist-to-hip
ratios. Resting energy expenditure has been reported to be elevated
for 24-48 hours after a high intensity workout with a caloric expenditure
of 100-200 kilocalories. The American College of Sports Medicine
suggests that individuals can burn up to 200 calories during 30
minutes of resistance training.
One of the reasons weight training is so effective at burning calories
is because it creates a great metabolic disturbance which includes
muscle breakdown, an increase in core temperature and hormone levels,
and carb depletion. The greater the disturbance, the more your body
has to recover from. In the recovery periods during and after the
exercise bout, the body must store as much carbs and energy as quickly
as possible, so it has to use fat for energy to fuel the recovery
process. The best methods to create this disturbance are workouts
that are designed to build strength and muscle mass. One of the
best protocols to use for this is as follows:
- 6-12 repetitions
- Challenging weight (as much weight as you can handle)
- 3-5 circuits
- 30-60 second rest periods
- Compound exercises (i.e., squats, bench press, rows, deadlift)
- Circuit training, superset, or tri-set format
- Mix in body weight cardio exercises
second benefit of resistance training is that it changes your body's
shape. In one study, twenty-four women performed a twenty-week resistance
training program for the lower extremities. They worked out 2 days
per week performing 3 sets of different lower body exercises, using
a 6-8 RM to failure. At the end of the trial, the women experienced
an increase in isometric strength, a decrease in body fat, and an
increase in lean mass without any overall change in thigh girth.
This shows that women can lift heavy, lose fat calories, gain muscle,
and don't have to worry about "bulking up". In another
report, researchers examined 2 groups of women over a 6-year period.
They were assigned multi-joint exercises at different intensities.
The women that lifted 70-80% of their maximum for 8 repetitions
had greater weight and body fat loss. Resistance training is needed
to transform your body. Using light weight and lots of reps will
not give you the body that you want, nor will it do much as far
as boosting resting metabolism. If you want a lean and muscular
body, then you must lift heavy. Supplying your muscles with an appropriate
overload enables the muscles to grow and become more compact. This
gives you the lean physique that you desire.
Another reason weight training is effective is due to the cardiovascular
effect that can be added when short rest periods are utilized. Using
short rest periods maximizes testosterone, growth hormone, and catecholamine
release which aids in muscle building as well as torching calories.
These events help in boosting metabolism so that you are burning
calories well after the workout is over. Using short rest periods
also helps to increase lactic acid levels, which leads to a concomitant
increase in growth hormone levels. Lactic acid is also used during
recovery so that the body can use fat to fuel the recovery process.
The more lactic acid you build up, the more fat calories your body
can use during recovery.
It is necessary that you lift heavier weight to prevent muscle
wasting while in a caloric-deficit state. High reps can create too
much volume which can cause an increase in protein oxidation, a
decrease in cell volume as well as a decrease in leptin production,
which leads to muscle loss. Muscle loss causes the body's metabolism
to slow down and catabolic hormones to drastically increase, which
leads to more muscle tissue breakdown. So in order to maintain muscle
and decrease volume, you must lift heavy.
It is so important to have an effective resistance training program
as part of a weight management program. When used properly, it can
build muscle to increase resting metabolism as well as burning calories
during and after the workout. Resistance training is needed to change
your body's image by making you appear leaner and tighter. It also
helps to maintain muscle mass during periods when your body is in
a deficit. So, if you want to lose weight and keep it off, add resistance
training to your bag of tools. You'll be much happier and successful
in the long run.