Weight Training Questions - Workout Without Losing
Weight Training Question:
would like to get in shape without losing weight. I'm currently
at the weight I want to be. How can I start lifting weights and
getting in shape without losing any pounds?
Weight Training Answer:
Unless you are training for a specific sport or upcoming event
requiring certain weight classes, it's best to not focus on scale-weight.
Focusing too much on scale-weight can deter you from reaching your
goals in a timely manor. When we imagine how we want to look physically
it's usually a visual of ourselves and not the numbers on a scale.
The same goes for others when they see a physical change in you.
They imagine what you looked like prior to your transformation and
not numbers on a scale.
It's important to be open to the possibility of unwanted weight
gain or loss during an exercise program. Try replacing the scale
with a mirror. The mirror is the telltale sign to what is going
on with your physical appearance and can be a great motivator if
you are on the right track. Positive feedback from friends and family
is also a great motivator.
There are many factors to consider when starting an exercise program.
If you are pleased with your current weight but have not been consistent
with exercising or eating healthy, chances are your body fat percentage
may be high. That being said, weight loss usually takes place when
losing excess body fat. The key to putting the weight back on is
to build lean muscle mass. Remember that muscle is more dense than
fat, therefore it takes up less space pound for pound. This is the
reason why your clothes fit looser when you gain 5 pounds of muscle
and lose 5 pounds of fat. You actually weigh the same amount but
the big difference is you have less mass on your body since muscle
takes up less space than fat does. The more muscle you gain, the
more fat you lose and the leaner you become.
ideal exercise regimen for achieving and maintaining a healthy body
requires two or three days a week of strength training to keep your
muscles and bones strong and three to five days a week of cardio
to keep your cardiorespiratory system oxygenated properly.
Because you do not want to lose any weight or gain any weight,
keep your cardio sessions at a moderate intensity level. A brisk
walk or bike ride should be enough. Strength training should also
be done at a moderate intensity level using various training techniques
to promote continuous muscle growth. The muscle growth exercises
are not for bulk but for toning. Strength training for toning involves
using light to moderate weights. Resistance
bands and nautilus machines can also be used for toning
muscles. Higher repetitions should be performed at a slow and controlled
tempo. Below is a sample full body exercise program to get you started.
Dumbbells will be used for this particular workout. Because the
reps are high, you don't want to use a very heavy weight. Use a
weight that gets challenging on the last 5 reps. Make sure to concentrate
on each muscle that is being worked and remember to keep the tempo
slow. Lifting weights at a fast pace can cause injury. Breathing
technique is also very important. Always exhale when squeezing the
muscle being worked. This allows for oxygen to flow properly to
and from the muscle.
Moderate cardio can be done on the opposite days or after your
workout. Be sure to stretch for at least 5 to 10 minutes after each
workout. This releases a lot of lactic acid that builds up in the
muscles during a workout. It also helps lessen the soreness that
may occur a day or two after a workout session.
The above workout should only be done for six weeks. It is best
to switch up all exercise programs periodically. The body gets used
to the same workout day in and day out. This not only hinders muscle
growth and endurance progression but it also puts the body at risk
It's like never changing the tires on your car. The tires will
still assist in moving the car but eventually they will lose tread
that can lead to serious damage to the car.
You will find that after the first six week program is complete,
your strength and endurance will increase quite a bit. This will
require a more challenging exercise program for the next 6 weeks.
That doesn't necessarily mean you have to start lifting very heavy
weights or intensifying your cardio to the extreme. It simply means
that you need to introduce new workouts for the each body part and
add a few hills into your brisk walks.
Because combining strength training and cardio may still promote
weight loss, meal planning is very important. Keep your carbohydrate
intake higher than your protein and fat intake.
There is an ongoing myth claiming that in order to lose weight,
keep from gaining weight, and gain quality muscle you need to stop
consuming carbohydrates and eat more protein. This myth is less
than half true. Healthy carbohydrates give you the energy your body
needs to function each day and also helps you achieve a more productive
workout. They digest rather easily and quickly making the digestion
process less stressful on the body.
There are two types of carbs. Simple carbs are those made up of
refined sugars and white and enriched flour. Candies, cookies, and
cakes are a good example of these simple carbs. They are absorbed
into the bloodstream very quickly causing blood sugar levels to
rise and fall rapidly.
The healthy carbs you want to consume for long-term energy should
be made of whole grains (quinoa, spelt, millet, oats), potatoes,
rice (black, wild, red, brown), whole grain pastas, and beans. Make
sure you also consume plenty of fibrous carbs such as leafy vegetables,
squash, and fruit to name a few. The desired amount per serving
should be the size of your fist. Healthy carbs should be consumed
every 2 to 3 hours.
Limit your protein consumption to very lean meats such as chicken
or turkey breast, 90% ground beef, eye round steaks, and eggs. Dairy
products are also made up of proteins but you do not want to rely
solely on them for your daily intake needs because of the sugar,
fat and sodium contents in them.
Fats should be predominately unsaturated. Unsaturated fats are
liquid form at room temperature and help lower cholesterol. Olive
oil, coconut oil, avocados, and nuts are a great source of these
types of fat.
Calorie counting is not necessary but is an option. If you feel
counting calories will help you stick with your game plan, be sure
to measure out all of your food before consuming it. This is the
most accurate way to get the correct amount of daily calories in.
Not everyone's body will respond to the same exercise and nutrition
regimen. It usually takes 21 days for the body to adjust to these
changes. It's all trial and error. Only you know your body. Listen
to what it has to say. Adjust workouts and meal planning as needed
and you will be on your way to a healthier and happier you!
By Tammy Greear
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