Many people have a misconception when trying to lose weight that aerobic exercises are the one and only kind of exercise they need to focus on to shed off those unwanted pounds. If you believe that is the case then you are not losing weight as fast as you can.
I am gonna clear up all of the misconceptions about lifting weights to lose weight and get you back on track with your weight loss goals.
The Myth About Weight Lifting
Alright, there’s a common misconception that I want to clear up before going any further. Many people think that lifting weights is only beneficial to gaining muscle. This is simply not true and a complete myth. The fact is that lifting weights is essential in order to lose the right weight. It is important that you realize that a lower number on the scale doesn’t mean everything.
There are different types of weight and your main focus should be to burn fat. By focusing on burning fat, the idea is that you will retain your water and muscle while burning the excess fat you want to get rid of. This is the healthiest way to lose weight and it is also the best way to keep the weight off in the long term. Your body needs your so-called “water weight” as human beings are made up of over 60% water. There is a reason why we are made up of so much water and it is advisable you don’t mess that up. Keeping a certain amount of muscle mass is critical to staying healthy which is why it is advisable to avoid intentionally trying to reduce muscle mass.
So now that you have your eyes set on burning fat to lose weight, it is important that you read the next sentence carefully. The only effective way to burn fat while preserving muscle mass is to include a weight lifting routine into your exercise plan.
Oh and one more myth I want to debunk and this one is for the ladies. Regular weight training will not cause you to bulk up. Contrary to your male counterparts, it is much harder for women to pack on pounds of lean muscle mass and a moderate lifting routine will not get you to the point where you have bigger biceps than the guys you know.
The reason for this is because increasing muscle mass is tied directly to the amount of testosterone one has and men naturally have much more testosterone than women. So ladies, if you’re worried about building up too much muscle, you shouldn’t worry any longer. So go out there and start lifting!
How Often Should I Lift Weights Each Week?
While the general rule for consistency when doing cardio exercises is 3 – 5 times a week, you don’t have to lift weights as many times as that to experience results. I recommend you do a weight lifting workout routine 2 – 3 times a week for maximum results. I also recommend you focus on specific muscle groups each day.
What I find that works well for me is to split up my weight lifting routine in the following days:
- Day 1: Chest and Back
- Day 2: All lower body
- Day 3: Arms and Shoulders
- Rest Days: Cardio and Abs
One thing to note is I don’t usually do my weight lifting routines on back-to-back days. Day 1 may be on Monday and Day 2 might be on Wednesday, etc.
Keep in mind as a beginner you’ll want to focus more on full body workouts for at least 6 months of consistently lifting before isolating muscle groups. Full body workouts pack on significantly more muscle mass than isolated muscle workouts until your body builds a tolerance for them.
What are the Real Benefits of Lifting Weights to Lose Weight?
There are many benefits that lifting weights provides that result in an increase in weight loss. Some of these benefits include:
- Increases Metabolism – The main driving factor in losing weight is burning off more calories than you consume. This is done by speeding up your metabolism and decreasing your daily caloric intake. Lifting weights increases your metabolism which results in burning more calories.
- Takes Up Less Space – Pound for pound muscle takes up less space on your body which can result in a slimmer, healthier look.
- Burns More Calories – All cells require energy on a consistent basis, but did you know that if you have more muscle that you will burn more calories while at rest? That is because muscle requires more energy to maintain. A pound of muscle requires 10 – 20 calories to be burned a day for energy while a pound of fat only requires 5 calories a day.
- Boosts Confidence – When you include a proper weight lifting routine into your exercise program you do two things; you burn off unwanted body fat and you build muscle mass. This combined effort will have you noticing the results of your hard work quicker and thereby boosting your overall confidence.
- Prevents Injuries – Lifting weights will strengthen bones and connective tissue in addition to muscle. This results in more protection against injuries that might happen throughout your daily life.
The many benefits weight lifting can have when you’re trying to lose weight are easily obtained by sticking with a consistent lifting routine. By not lifting weights on a regular basis you severely limit the potential results you can see when it comes to burning off fat.
If you do cardio exercise 3 – 5 times a week and include a lifting routine 2 – 3 times a week along with eating a balanced diet, you’ll shed those pounds off quickly and best of all, you’ll keep them off.
So are you ready?