Strength train for weight loss

2013September29_StrengthTraining_BDoes the idea of strength training conjure up images of muscles of Herculean proportions? Does it have a macho, jock aura about it that puts you off? If so, then you must have missed out on the latest news: Everybody is strength training. It’s no longer reserved for those who want to have huge biceps, but regarded as an important element of fitness because of the many essential body and health benefits it promotes. But did you know that strength training can help as part of a weight loss program? If that doesn’t immediately figure then read on.

Strength training is widely promoted as helping burn fat and supporting weight loss. There is more to strength training than building bulk and you can tone and improve core strength without adding body mass, if you know how.

  • Need to replenish muscle mass: It’s inevitable as you age that you start to lose muscle mass and the less muscle you have the more fat you will store. No strength training could be actually causing you to put on weight.

  • Burn calories efficiently: Strength training leads to more muscle mass which has a knock-on effect on your metabolism. The fact is that lean muscle power requires more calories, so you burn more with an increased metabolic rate.

  • Better stamina: Strength training is designed to increase your energy levels and your stamina. With more gumption to keep on going, you are more likely to lead an active life and this helps keep you trimmer and more in shape.

  • Managing chronic conditions: Obesity and heart disease are just two serious health conditions which strength training can help manage. Anyone who needs to lose weight because of a medical condition needs to check with their doctor first, but could well benefit from a well-thought out strength training program.

  • Hormonal help: Strength training can increase fat-burning hormones such as testosterone. For many women, especially, hormones can play a major part in weight issues, not to mention affecting many areas of life. Increasing insulin resistance with lean muscles and less body fat, can really help keep you trim.

  • Intense exercise: While you might imagine that steady cardio is the ultimate fat-burner, the fact is that high intensity interval strength training, such as weight reps which push you to the point of fatigue, require far more calories because they recruit more fast twitch muscle fiber.

  • Dynamic stretching: If you forget static stretches and use dynamic pre-exercise movements as well, with strength training, then your body will continue to burn fat long after you exercise. Recent findings support this idea of after-burn promoted through the right warm-up routine.

  • Look leaner: Regardless of how much you actually weigh, strength training leads to leaner muscles and this sculpts and tones the body, so that you will definitely look slimmer with a tauter physique.

What’s important to consider, is that while the archetypal image of strength training might involve a comedy style barbell, there are so many styles and types of strength training exercises. Try body weight, resistance, free weights and weight machines, and explore your physical and mental strength for a healthier you.

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