Weight Training for Weight Loss
If you are searching for an exercise that will rev up your metabolism, then weight training is the way to go. The muscles you use during the workout will burn fat for several hours afterward, unlike aerobic activities, which burn fat only during the work out.
Burn That Fat
During the first few weeks of exercise, newcomers to weight training may notice their weight going up rather than down. This happens when muscle builds up more quickly than fat is burned. With more muscle, comes more calorie burning. For every pound of muscle on your body, you burn between 30 to 50 calories a day, while each pound of fat burns only 3 calories a day. When you can weight train for 20 to 30 minutes three times a week, you will begin to see less fat and more muscle.
To build more muscle, use heavier weights with fewer repetitions (8 to 12 reps) rather than lighter weights with many repetitions (15 to 20 reps). Include the large muscles of the legs, chest and back by doing rowing and overhead pulls. It may be helpful to meet with a certified personal trainer. You can find one at a gym, in your phone book or online. A trainer can design a weight training program to best suit your needs.
Don't Spot Reduce
You may have heard of (or even tried) using "spot reduction" to target certain problem areas. "Spot reducing" only strengthens the muscle beneath the fat, but that fat is still there. Though you might want to focus on shrinking just one area, you'll see better results by doing a full-body routine. For example, some people do hundreds of abdominal crunches in hopes of shrinking their bellies but that's not how it works.
Maximize Your Potential
Weight training is an excellent type of exercise that allows your body to burn fat for hours after you've working out. When combined with aerobic activities and a low fat meal plan, you will maximize your weight loss potential, while attaining a toned, fit body.
- Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Why Strength Training. Updated August 26, 2006. April 14 2007.
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