Many people shy away from weightlifting in their fat loss programs, and focus their training on cardiovascular, aerobic, exercise. This can be detrimental to a good fat loss program for several reasons. And, contrary to popular belief, you will not become muscle-bound or “bulky” just from lifting weights in a good, total body routine.
Fat loss is the goal of most people who begin dieting and exercise. With obesity rates reaching epic proportions and illnesses from the increasing weight becoming epidemics, it is no surprise that people want to lose fat. The problem is that there are so many programs out there claiming to be the ultimate fat loss solution that many people are confused about what is right for fat loss and what isn’t. Weight training was, and in some cases still is, shunned by the weight loss community because it didn’t show the same results on the scale as other ultra-low calorie, aerobic exercise centered programs. That is because it began to re-proportion the body, and replace the fat with shapely, toned muscle, which weighed more, but looked a whole lot better. Now that the focus is on healthy weight loss, and loss of fat, weight training should be a part of the overall program.
Body fat is metabolically inactive. It does not require any energy to maintain and the storage of fat takes little energy, as well. Excess body fat also tends to dull insulin receptors and reduce testosterone production. Muscle tissue, however, is very metabolically active. It does require energy to maintain, and the building of new tissue is a very complex, energy intensive, process. It improves receptor site sensitivity of several hormones and increases the production of testosterone, human growth hormone, and other important hormones in the fat loss game.
The increase of lean tissue will increase the body’s metabolic rate, even at rest. This metabolically active tissue requires more energy throughout the day. It also uses more energy during exercise. This means that during the day the amount of calories burned will multiply quickly.
Some studies have shown that weightlifting can burn as many calories as cardiovascular exercise over the same period of time, even with the rest times between exercises in weight training. Another benefit to weight training is the use of glucose during the activity, which means after the exercise session the body must rely on fat for energy until the carbohydrates can be replaced. The weight training session burns off all the glucose leaving only fat for burning, essentially lighting the fat burning furnace.
Weight Training and Losing Fat
Weight training also helps to shuffle the nutrients eaten to the proper areas. Protein is shuffled to the muscles for repair and rebuilding and used in the building of messenger proteins and hormones. Carbohydrates are broken down and stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles first, used for immediate energy, and as a last resort, stored as body fat. Fats are used to replace the fat around the organs for cushioning and protection, the lubrication in the joints, for hormone production, and finally, any excess is stored as fat.
Weight lifting should be a part of any good fat loss program. It burns calories, some say as effectively as cardiovascular exercise, during the exercise, uses up the glucose in the blood which forces the body to use fat for energy after the workout, and the increase in lean tissue increases the metabolism throughout the day. Weight lifting has fat loss benefits during, immediately after, and for the days after. This is a must for any person looking to lose body fat.