Weight loss and strength training are directly related because the latter maintains lean body mass while it aids in long-term fat loss. It’s important to remember that you want to be losing the bad kind of weight, not muscle mass, and that’s why you do want to incorporate strength training into your plan to lose some extra pounds.
When it comes to losing weight, many people think that they would prefer to just diet and not have to commit to some form of exercise. But what usually happens is that they try one diet which works for a while. As soon as they are off the diet, they gain back their weight (often even more than what they started with). So, they try another diet. And the same thing happens. Most people who practice exclusive dieting (with no accompanying fitness program) will regain their lost weight, whereas strength trainers rarely do.
The concept of dieting is to eat fewer calories. Eating fewer calories causes your metabolism to drop. When your metabolism drops, you have a harder time losing weight. Also, when you drastically reduce your calorie intake or don’t get enough of everything your body needs, you lose energy and you lose muscle which makes your body appear fatter.
Instead, a good weight loss and strength training program makes you healthier. It reduces the risk of injury, heart disease, strokes, cancer, arthritis and osteoporosis. This type of training ensures that you to burn more calories 24 hours a day, not just during your workouts. Maintaining muscle takes more calories than maintaining fat so if you’re consistent in your strength training, you will be burning more calories all the time.
The best way to lose weight is slowly and consistently. A good benchmark is to lose no more than two pounds per week. You can stick to this by reducing how many much fat and sugar you consume and making sure that you get enough whole grain, vegetables and fruits. And of course, you will combine your good eating habits with a solid strength training program.
If you’re out of shape, start slow, just 10 to 15 minutes per session for two or three days per week. Eventually, you’ll want to build this up to 60 to 90 minutes three days a week. On your off-strength training days, try to get some cardio activity in such as brisk walking, swimming, tennis, or whatever gets your heart rate up. Again, if you are just starting out, add this in gradually. You can wait until you’ve gotten consistent enough with your strength training and then take a 10 minute brisk walk a couple of times a week. This can be built up as well so that you are exercising between five and seven days a week for anywhere from a half hour to an hour each time.
Remember, the key with weight loss and strength training is consistency.