If you’re looking to drop some quick weight and acquire lean body mass then strength training may be the answer. Although time spent on an exercise bike or treadmill will moderately help with shedding those extra pounds, adding strength training to the mix will accelerate the loss of excess weight as well as produce a lean, strong body. This combination not only works for those wanting to look good and feel fit, but it is essential for those who participate in certain sports where large gains in muscle mass are not desirable, but strength and agility are. If you’re just starting a fitness program, begin your resistance training with bodyweight exercises and then gradually move into full weight exercises once a good foundation has been laid and overall fitness levels have increased.
A Nutritious Diet is Vital
You won’t be successful in either losing weight or building lean mass unless you acquire and faithfully follow a good nutrition program. Routinely heading to the gym without backing it up with healthy eating habits is like punching shadows, it just won’t produce desired expectations. You will repeatedly read and hear about the necessity of a healthy and nutritious diet plan in the fitness world, but that’s because a proper diet free of sugars, fillers and additives and high in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc is what’s needed during an exercise regimen to keep fat off, build working muscles and replenish depleted energy… period.
How Weight Training Assists Fat Loss
There is a very simple principle behind losing weight (although it may be difficult to achieve in practice) and that is you must burn more calories than you consume. Incorporating weight resistance training into your exercise program will help to accomplish this. High Intensity Resistance Training, or HIRT, is a powerful way to lose body fat fast. HIRT entails combining several weight exercises of a set number of reps each for a specified amount of time which are executed without a break. Such intense training increases your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and your EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption), both of which aid in some serious calorie consumption. A huge benefit of high intensity resistance training is that your elevated metabolism will continue to munch on calories up to 36 hours after your workout has been completed! Fat loss studies have shown that high intensity resistance training is considerably more effective at losing weight than aerobic exercise and is a good substitute for endurance cardio. Therefore, spend less time on the treadmill and exercise bike and more time utilizing HIRT.
How Weight Training Aids Lean Body Mass
High intensity weight training also greatly benefits those who desire to produce lean body mass. As we’ve seen, HIRT increases one’s BMR (basal or base metabolic rate) by adding more lean muscle mass (which also helps to consume more calories). The fastest way to get results (both in accumulated muscle mass and weight loss) is to focus on compound exercises, or those which work out more than one set of muscles such as squats, bench press, military press, etc. Working compound muscle groups will strengthen foundational muscles as well as cause more and larger muscles to work, thereby burning more calories. As you advance, add targeted routines to your program.
Controlling How You Sculpt Your Body
High intensity resistance training is very controllable, allowing you to increase or decrease muscle size by adjusting your workout program. It is a myth that muscle turns to fat when not used. Muscle simply decreases in size as the cells shrink from lack of use. Therefore, you should watch your muscles carefully throughout your weight training program and, if you see that some are growing too large, simply stop working that area and move to another. If you have certain muscles which need to increase in mass, focus more attention on them. If you want to eliminate belly fat and body fat and want to avoid the massive bodybuilding physique, but acquire lean muscle mass to look good, or perform better in a highly active sport, get started in a strength training program built around a high intensity resistance program.