Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weight Training for Weight Loss

I've never done much weight training. But, the more I read about it, the more convinced I become that is it crucial for healthy fat loss. So, I just signed up for a month long, twice weekly, introductory women's weight training program at the gym. It doesn't start for a month, but I'm super excited about it. So, today I bring you reasons why weight training is important for weight loss.
angie by greg westfall., on Flickr
Maintain Muscle Mass
Obviously, as I lose weight I want to be burning fat (not muscle). When the body is in a caloric deficit (while trying to lose weight) it is looking for fuel. And, it gets this by oxidizing fat (ideally), using glycogen, or catabolizing muscle (bad news). The best way to keep from catabolizing muscles is to use them (and to lose weight slowly). This is where weight training comes in. A good weight training plan will use all the major muscle groups help to prevent their catabolism.

Increase Resting Metabolic Rate
Even better, weight lifting has been shown to increase the resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is the amount of energy expended at rest and accounts for about 70% of calories burned daily. In other words weight training will increase the number of calories you burn all day long, even when you are not doing anything. RMR usually decreases with weight loss, and this is part of why it is so hard to keep the weight off. Weight training will keep your RMR higher making it easier to lose weight and keep it off. Great!

Burn Calories
If that's not reason enough, weight lifting burns calories on it's own (in addition to the extra calories burned by increasing RMR). Sure, it doesn't burn as many calories as cardio. But, everything helps, and a couple hundred calories an hour is pretty good.

Fight Osteoporosis
OK, so this isn't really related to losing weight. But, it certainly seems like a good reason to me. Strength training can increase bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

I think that settles it. Strength training is great for weight loss. I'm looking forward to my weight training program to start next month. And, here's to hoping I'll soon be incredibly buff and toned.

No comments:

Post a Comment