Hold on a sec and let’s get a grip . . . on that barbell or dumbbell. Here’s the skinny when it comes to fat and weight training: lifting weights can be a great way to lose weight and change the shape of your body in several places that will likely have you looking leaner.
It’s true you might be able to burn more calories in 30 or 60 minutes of a cardio workout (aerobics, biking, swimming, etc.) than you would lifting weights the same amount of time. But here’s the butt kicker: according to a report in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning, a recent study found that women who trained with weights burned an average of 100 MORE calories in the 24 hours AFTER they ended their session with weights. There you have it – weight training is the workout that keeps on ticking . . . or kicking. On top of that, the calorie-burning effect post-workout is even greater if you work out with heavier weights but with fewer reps.
Burn More Calories to Lose Weight
Wanna burn more calories, ladies (and men)? It’s time to pump yourself up!
Yes, you can lose weight via steady cardio workouts (provided you also do right by nutrition and eating), but through weight training, you can lose more pounds of fat while actually gaining some muscle mass that goes to the right places. This is according to research at Penn State University, cited in Women’s Health Magazine, that put dieters into three groups – non-exercisers, exercisers who did only aerobics and exercisers who did both aerobics and weight training.
What the PSU researchers found was that each group lost the same amount of weight – 21 pounds, but that the group that lifted lost six more pounds of fat than the non-lifters did. We can probably guess which group also felt better about their bodies when looking into a mirror.
What’s the secret to weight lifting aligning itself with weight losing? A boosted metabolism –which burns energy in the form of calories during the day -- that keeps the foot on the pedal for hours. Atlanta exercise physiologist Katie Heimburger, quoted at web.md.com, says that by building muscle mass (by virtue of lifting weights), we boost our resting metabolic rates, which is “why we recommend adding weight training to an exercise program. . . . If you’re building strength, you are losing weight.”
Strength/weight training also has been praised for its apparent psychological benefits when it comes to handling diets and nutrition. James S. Fell, a syndicated fitness columnist and author of Lose It Right, offers his own opinion on the subject, writing for foxnews.com: “Weightlifting seems to create a mentality where aficionados are more concerned about what and how much they eat. Visit any weightlifting blog / message board and nutrition and fat loss are hot topics. Conversely, those who only do aerobic activity seem to pay less attention to nutrition, or even use it as an excuse to eat. I’ve sure done it. Many a long bike ride has been done to earn a night of drunken gluttony.”
6 Tips for Weights and Cardio Exercise Routines
Here are six tips about weights and cardio offered by webmd.com:
- Build muscle mass by adding weight training to your cardio regimen. There are many resources out there that offer guidance on weight training exercises and how to perform them.
- Get plenty of cardiovascular exercise. It complements the weight training well and also burns lots of calories.
- Focus on frequency, duration and intensity. “As long as you step up your exercise program from what you're doing now, you're going to see faster weight-loss results,” Heimburger said.
- Aim to lose a pound or two a week. Starving yourself to lose more quickly is a very bad idea.
- If you don’t like running and you find that walking bores you, find another form of exercise that is a great cardio workout. Tennis and swimming come to mind.
- Suggest exercising in the morning. No time for thinking up excuses not to work out that day.