Weightlifting is an activity that many people neglect when trying to lose weight. They believe that cardio will help them burn away body fat and lifting weights is only necessary if they want to build muscle.
However, the truth is that lifting weights is just as effective as cardio when it comes to fat loss and by excluding weightlifting from your workout routine, you’re actually limiting your fat loss success.
In this article I’ll be explaining in further detail why lifting weights is essential for maximum fat loss and discussing how to incorporate weightlifting into your lifestyle.
How Lifting Weights Helps You Burn Body Fat
Lifting weights does burn a small amount of calories directly (approximately 400 calories per hour) which does help you burn some body fat. However, the main way that weightlifting helps reduce your overall body fat levels is that it increases your muscle mass.
A pound of muscle burns around six calories per day while a pound of fat burns just two calories per day. This means muscles cells are three times more effective at burning calories than fat cells and by increasing your muscle mass through weightlifting, you can give your fat loss efforts a significant boost over time.
4 Simple Steps To Incorporate Weightlifting Into Your Lifestyle
Now that you know how lifting weights supports your fat loss efforts, you need to make sure that you’re lifting weights regularly as part of your lifestyle. The good news is this isn’t a difficult task and by following the four simple steps below you’ll be well on your way to blasting away the fat with weights:
1) Get Access To Some Weights: Before you can start weightlifting, you need to ensure you have access to some weights and have knowledge of the proper form to ensure safety.
The easiest way to do this is by hiring a personal trainer who will come to you, which that person will have all shapes and sizes of barbells, benches, dumbbells, kettlebells and resistance bands available for you to use.
However, if you’re not a fan of hiring a personal trainer, and you have enough space in your home, buying a bench and some basic free weights or an at-home multi-gym are two other viable options.
2) Creating A Weightlifting Schedule: Once you have access to the weights, you then need to create a realistic weightlifting schedule that you can stick to. This schedule needs to include exercises that target the following seven areas of your body across the week; chest, triceps, upper back, biceps, shoulders, core and legs.
The exact schedule will depend on your lifestyle and the time you have available but most people aim for between two and four weightlifting sessions each week and keep each session between 30 minutes and an hour in length.
3) Track Your Progress: After you’ve got access to some weights and put together a weightlifting schedule that works for you, the next step is to track your progress by writing down the amount of weight you’re lifting and the number of sets and reps you’re completing each week.
You can either do this using a pen and pad or if you want a more portable solution, you can download a smartphone app that allows you to track your progress and stores the results digitally.
4) Review Your Progress & Improve: The final stage of successfully incorporating weightlifting into your lifestyle is to review your progress and use this as a platform to improve. Ideally, you should be aiming to increase the amount of weight you’re lifting or the number of reps you complete for each exercise every week. By doing this you’ll constantly get stronger, increase your muscle mass and burn more fat as a result.
If you’re not currently lifting weights as part of your fat loss regime, I hope this article has highlighted why you should be. Not only will lifting weights burn through body fat but it will also enhance your strength, core stability and more.
So if you’re currently doing only cardio, re-work your fitness regime today, incorporate some weightlifting and give your fat loss efforts a boost.
Marc Ouellette is a certified in-home fitness trainer, certified fitness nutrition specialist and owner of Personal Training Alliance. I help men and women get thin, burn fat, add lean muscle and help them become more confident.
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