Lift weight to lose weight 1260x542

Lift weight to lose weight

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If you think thing strength training is only for guys who want to increase in size - think again.

Strength training helps to boost your metabolic rate, and also protects muscle tissue that might otherwise be depleted on a lower kilojoule diet during attempts at weight loss.

The type of strength training that works best for fat loss involves lighter weight and higher repetition ranges, helping you to get strong, firm and energised instead of bulky and immobile.

Your muscles may get denser and firmer from lifting lighter weights (sometimes called ‘toned’), but they won’t get bigger.

Imagine that your muscles are like a pillow slip, and inactive muscles have their pillow slips stuffed with feathers. Stronger muscles have their pillow slips stuffed with lead. The pillow slip (muscle) is still the same size when you get stronger from lifting lighter weights, but it’s heavier and firmer.

Don’t be daunted by this wonderful form of exercise. Lifting weights, when done the right way, can actually help you get lean, and here’s a few tips to show you how.

  • Keep your weights at a level where they can be lifted at least 12-15 times before fatigue sets in. This is considered light strength training.
  • While it may help with kilojoule burning to lift your weights fast, it’s more important to maintain control and prevent injury. Keep your back straight and abdominals contracted throughout.
  • Try to minimise your rest between sets, and between exercises to maximise the amount of kilojoules you burn.
  • One you begin to feel comfortable with strength training, you might like to create your own circuit. These are popular in some specialist gyms, where your perform cardiovascular activities between strength training exercises to keep your heart rate up and burn even more fat. Try cardiovascular exercises like fast step ups, star jumps, jogging on the spot, skipping, a one- minute fast walk or slow jog, or a short stint on any exercise equipment you might have.
  • Perform strength training as an addition to fat burning cardiovascular exercise such as fast walking, running, cycling and paddling. Strength training is a great compliment to an overall exercise program for fat loss, but don’t rely on it as your only form of exercise.

How has strength training impacted upon your body shape in the past? Have any particular exercises or routines helped you shed body fat?