When it comes to weightlifting within a gym environment, most of us share commonly held goals, either an increase in size or enhancements in strength, with the reasoning of weight loss not often given and not commonly associated with lifting weights.
However research nowadays provides evidence to the contrary.
It’s often a common notion that if you want to lose weight then you literally have to strap yourself to a piece of cardio equipment and stay there for hours upon end. Strength training and weight loss aren’t often mentioned in the same sentence.
So why does strength training have the ability to offer greater weight loss?
Quite simply, weightlifting can enhance an individual’s metabolism level, not just during the workout but post-workout also. It provides a win-win scenario in that not only are you burning fat stores, but you’re also laying down and replacing them with lean muscular mass which in turn will continue to burn more calories during the day, even when not exercising which in turn helps from an aesthetic point of view, with your physique hopefully appearing more toned over a period of time.
So how can you implement this change and what should your strength training consist of? When starting out, you should include large muscle groups, both upper and lower body and large movements that will burn greater calories compared to smaller, isolation exercises.
Also, the harder you work during your strength training sessions, the greater the calorific expenditure. This doesn’t mean trying to lift weights that are too heavy so that the correct technique is no longer performed but to select a weight which will challenge you and limit your repetitions. There’s absolutely no point in lifting a weight up and down 20 times with ease. Far more beneficial to select a heavier weight whilst maintaining good form and challenge yourself.
And even though weightlifting offers the potential to burn greater calories don’t forget about your cardio workouts. Remember, variety is the spice of life so why not perform both as cardio also offers many additional benefits other than weight loss alone.
Although textbook practice suggests weights before cardio, everyone is unique and responds differently to exercise, so spend some time getting to know your body and what works best for you.
Which is why we offer every new member at Coastside Fitness an induction around our gym and a discussion with a trained Fitness Instructor. We look to ask you questions about what you’re trying to achieve by coming to the gym and help you in getting to know more about your body and by always being here to help you when you workout you might end up trying something new that you never thought you would… like lifting weights!