Now that you know all about cardio exercise and how great it is at helping you to burn fat and lose excess weight, it’s time to talk to you about weight training and its benefits.
As a personal trainer, I help people to get the balance right when it comes to combining cardio exercise with anaerobic exercise such as weight training. As you know, there are many activities that come under the banner of anaerobic exercise, but for the purposes of today’s blog article, I’m focusing on weight training.
Put simply, weight training is a type of strength training. It involves exercises that help us to increase our muscles and ultimately, our physical strength by using weights. Although cardio exercise will burn more calories than weight training, by getting the muscles working as well as the heart and lungs, you will reach your weight loss goals faster – and improve your health in the process.
Here are a few things that always get people excited about weight training:
- For every extra pound of muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50 calories every single day of the week: The more muscle you gain through weight training, the more calories you will burn.
- Regular weight training can increase your Basal Metabolic Rate by up to 15%: If you were to burn 2500 calories per day, weight training on a regular basis can help you burn an extra 375 calories per day. That’s more than a chocolate bar – every day!
- Weight training has many health benefits: Research has proven that weight training helps improve your resting metabolism, blood pressure, gastrointestinal transit time, reduces body fat and positively affects insulin resistance. It also reduces the likelihood of you suffering from heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
In other words, the muscle will help you keep the weight off and keep you healthier.
To enjoy the benefits of weight training, I recommend just three 30 – 50 minute weight sessions per week. This is in line with what ACE has found.
If you are totally new to weight training, here are a few pointers:
- Start slowly and gradually increase the level of difficulty
- If you don’t have a weight machine, improvise with baked bean tins, telephone directories and even some moms use their children
- Work all muscle groups, doing 8-12 repetitions (reps)
- Determine a suitable weight to lift by ensuring the last rep feels like hard work or that you can only do 1 -2 more reps more
- Don’t overdo things – leave a day or two between your weight training sessions and rest easy knowing that your muscles will grow even while you are resting
For more advice on how to introduce weight training into your week, feel free to drop me a line! Let us know what you think!