So many of us say, “I want to lose weight, I want to burn fat, I want to look more toned.” Most of us think the answer to losing body fat is by doing an excessive amount of cardio. I am here to talk about another way that can benefit your body and help you to continually burn fat even after your workout. Lifting weights, my friends, will make you more lean and will shed that fat right off your body!
When doing cardio you are burning calories, which will help with weight loss and obviously that is a good thing. You want to keep cardio in your workouts as it improves your lung capacity, which is in turn good for your heart and circulatory system.
However, by adding in weight lifting, you will increase the amount of fat loss and number of calories you burn during the day. Muscle cells in our bodies require more energy to maintain their function when compared to fat cells. Long story short, the more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn! Crazy right?
Fat Cell vs. Muscle Cell
The mitochondria (kidney bean shaped pictures) in the cell on the right are found studded throughout muscle cells. These little energy factories are responsible for breaking down the food you eat into useable energy, (ATP), and since every movement you make requires energy, muscle cells both generate and burn lots of fuel!
By only doing cardio, you aren’t building muscle like you are when you lift weights. Now, I know what most women are thinking right now…. “If I lift weights, I’ll just become big and bulky!” This isn’t true, our bodies simply don’t have the hormonal (testosterone) levels that males do! You will become beautiful and strong. Your body will become more defined and if that doesn’t boost your self-esteem, I don’t know what will!
Since I mentioned that cardio and weight lifting are both very good ways to exercise, try putting them together and you will have one good workout! For most of my workouts I will do a circuit (superset) of a lift, a cardio burst and a body weight exercise. For example, I will do a set of deadlifts, burn 50 calories on the stair master and then do 20 air squats. I love to do these kinds of circuits because I am lifting as well as doing cardio bursts, which makes me sweat up a storm!
Lastly, it’s important to remember that resistance training can come in many different forms. Lifting your own bodyweight, taking a weight lifting group exercise class at Milestone (like Pump), and hitting the gym floor to perform exercises on machines or with free weights, are all beneficial types of resistance training. Choose a combination that suits you to fire up your metabolism! And most importantly, remember to have fun with whatever you choose!
Written by Miranda Mercke, Milestone Personal Trainer. To schedule personal training, please call 896.3900 x 115.