Benefits of Resistance Training for Weight Loss
The main focus of any weight loss programme is diet and rightly so.
Diet accounts for around 70% of the way we look and feel, but typically with the majority of weight loss programs, exercise is not considered, or at least not weight loss focused exercise.
There are hundreds of programmes that want you to fast, cut out or count, without the right types of exercise programs these are short-term fixes.
Mixing Training For Maximum Benefit
The right mix of training, coupled with a healthy diet, will promote long-lasting, effective and healthy change. So for the purpose of this piece I’m going to give you the most effective forms of exercise for weight loss and toning.
Combining two types of exercise should be considered when you are planning your fitness program: Resistance and Cardio, Let’s take each individually.
The most common answer I get when talking to clients about appropriate exercise for weight loss is Cardio focused e.g. Get on a treadmill, bike or cross trainer for an hour at the same pace and sweat it out.
This approach is certainly better than sitting at home, but so often the value of Resistance training is not considered. Resistance training develops lean muscle tissue which in turn increases your metabolism and therefore burns more calories.
If you can improve your metabolism, which resistance training does, you are much more likely to achieve permanent weight loss.
Resistance training means placing the muscle under tension either statically or dynamically, or in other words holding something or moving it. When we move we either move against gravity, the concentric phase, or when we return to the start position eccentric.
Most people put effort into the concentric phase, for example pushing some Dumbbells above your head, the eccentric phase tends to be letting the arms drop back into the start phase.
We want the muscle to work as hard in both phases to get the most out of the movement, so when you are performing an exercise, push out for 1 or 2 seconds and then come back slowly to the start position – 3 to 4 seconds.
When you initially start Resistance training you should be looking to improve your endurance, so don’t go to heavy on the weights, but try to do each exercise 15 times a total of 3 times with a minutes rest in-between each set.
Choose enough exercises to last 30 to 40 minutes.
If you can, it’s better to do movements that are going to involve a number of muscles, here are some examples:
●Lunge with Twist
●Step Up with Bicep Curl
●Squats with Shoulder Press
●Kettle bell Swings
●Lateral Pull Down on a Machine (That’s the one for your back!)
The effects of Resistance training will mean the body will have to adapt, in a way you are putting stress on your body….good stress. In order for your body to adapt and develop lean tissue it will be using energy and therefore burning calories.
Once your body has got used to the stress you are putting it under (about a month), surprise it – Change the routine, increase the weight, increase the number of sets…..anything that’s going to force change.
Your body doesn’t change just while you are doing an exercise, it adapts after the workout has finished, this means you will be burning calories for hours afterwards.
So in short Resistance training burns fat, replaces it with muscle and changes your body shape for the long term.
As I mentioned, my clients tend to think the most effective way to use Cardio based machines is to stay on their as long as possible, it’s good but there is a much more effective way to make the most of tour time on the treadmill that will yield faster longer lasting results.
Try Interval training, this means working hard for a period and then taking it easy for a period and then repeat. For example run or cycle at a high tempo (relative to your own fitness) for 45 seconds and then walk/take it easy for 30 seconds, see if you can repeat this cycle 10 times initially.
As you get fitter you will be able to increase the time you work hard and therefore work for a longer period overall.
You are putting much more stress on your body this way rather than a steady run or cycle……it’s going to take longer for you body to get back into a state of normality and it takes energy to do that i.e. Burning Calories.
After a hard session of Cardio mixed with Resistance, you could be burning Calories up to 48 hours after rather than just while you are doing the session and a couple of hours afterwards.
So try doing both of these exercise types, if you approach in the right manner you should be able to do the whole session within an hour. I believe the best workout is about Quality rather than Quantity, that’s how you get results.