Why Lifting Is Important
In general, people will practice cardiovascular activities and forget about weight bearing exercises when it comes to burning fat. Many trainers will say that aerobic exercises burn off fat and weightlifting is only used to build muscle bulk. This statement is not entirely correct because the more muscle mass one acquires through weight bearing exercises, the more they will burn fat calories…even at rest. We see a growing trend from cardiovascular training towards weight and strength training.
According to a study by the Fitness Products Council and Sporting Goods Manufacturers, the number of people lifting free weights has increased 76 percent in the past decade. Right now, weight lifting is among the most popular sports in North America. This change is for the best because cardiovascular activity combined with weight training will result in much more effective fat loss. Cardiovascular exercises will raise muscle metabolism during the activity and for a short time after the exercise session.
Weight lifting exercises, on the other hand, will raise your muscle metabolism during the exercise session, and for a long time after the exercise session. Some high intensity trainers have seen their metabolism rise for several days following their training session. Performing adequate weight training exercises should limit your repetitions anywhere from 1 to 20 (more or less). This amount of resistance on muscles will make their tissue leaner and stronger. The muscle development will take place during the rest period following the resistance training. Therefore sufficient rest periods are essential.
Whether your goal is to tone or build muscles, it is important to know what happens during the muscle training process. When lifting weights, muscles tissues are torn apart at the microscopic level from stress and it’s in the recuperation period that your muscles become stronger and therefore able to support the extra stress. Usually the recuperation period required is 24 to 48 hours after the weight lifting activity.
During the recuperation period, the muscle metabolism is still burning energy, and that’s when it’s time to perform cardiovascular activities. Carrying out high repetitions of the same movement will tire the body on a different basis. Combining low repetition exercises (weight lifting) with high repetition cardiovascular exercise will stress muscles in a complementary way to increase the total fat burning effect.
Anybody who debates the fact that weight bearing exercises don’t help people lose weight and fat should lift weights for one hour and see their heart rate go through the roof. Simply look at athletes who specialize in short, intense bursts of energy and you still see that they look very low in body fat. The point is to combine a weight lifting routine with a good cardiovascular workout to increase muscle metabolism and total fat burning ratio.
An important factor to consider when trying to lose weight is that lots of muscle mass can be lost as a result. As muscle mass will keep your metabolism high, try to avoid quick weight loss through miracle diets or starvation. This weight loss will be regained just as quickly. Instead, shoot for a gradual fat loss routine by combining weight training and cardiovascular activities, and allow muscle mass to build up and increase your metabolism. Results may take a little longer, but they will last for a longer period of time.
by Brad Lloyd, NSCA-CSCS
To achieve optimal strength and mobility outcomes, these are products that I recommend and use with my 1:1 personal training clients.
Designed to replicate the pressure a massage therapist’s hand, the MB1 is ideal for targeting small muscles such as calves, piriformis and pecs.
- Pull Up Progression
- Muscle Up Progression
- Assistance with Dips
- Mobility Exercises