Many people shy away from strength training because they do not know what to do. Many are unsure of if they are using proper form and technique or even what exercises they should be doing. Some choose not to do strength training with the fear of getting big and bulky.
I want to tell you how strength training can help you reach your goals and we will also talk about some of the common myths of strength training.
Let’s start with some of the benefits of strength training:
1) Increased strength
2) Increased metabolism
3) Improved body composition
4) Strengthens joints and bones
5) Aids in fat loss
These are a few of the benefits of strength training. Many people shy away from doing strength training because they think they will get big bulky muscles but they are really just making it harder on themselves to achieve a weight or fat loss goal. Let’s look at how strength training will aid in weight and fat loss.
When we think about working out, we often think that when we workout we burn calories and that’s how we eventually lose weight or fat. Therefore, if done consistently this will lead to results. This is partially true in that we are burning calories while being active but what many people may not realize is that the caloric burn during a strength training workout may be less than a cardio workout and you may barely break a sweat. Is this enough?
When it comes to strength training the benefit is not burning calories during the workout. The benefit is the caloric burn you get throughout the day and for the rest of your life as you continue with strength training workouts. When you do strength training, we eventually start to build more muscle (again this doesn’t mean you will look like a bodybuilder). Muscle needs calories to survive and maintain itself. This means that the more muscle we have, the more calories the muscle needs to maintain itself, therefore the more calories you will burn while not even exercising. The benefit of strength training doesn’t happen during the workout itself, it happens once you have put on some muscle and now your resting metabolism is higher allowing you to utilize more calories throughout the day. This is the true benefit of strength training.
The last thing we must remember when utilizing strength training to lose weight and body fat is that our weight will not accurately reflect the results. If you put on some muscle you will actually gain weight. It is common for many people to see weight gain or their weight stay the same after a month or two but then their clothes start to feel loser, inches have decreased and body fat has decreased. This means your body composition is changing in a positive way. You will now have more muscle and less fat.
The key is to focus on the main purpose you want to lose weight and not a specific number on the scale. If you are getting closer to your “why” you want to change your body, then you know you are seeing real results.
Are you incorporating strength training into your current exercise routine? If not, then add it in this week. Not sure how to or where to start? Then ask for help from a coach. It is an investment that will last a lifetime.