Don’t Skip the Lift
Determined to lose a layer of winter fat before the hot weather hits? Make sure you include strength training to get the best results…
I think it’s safe to say that most exercisers strive for a physique that’s more athletic than just thin. There’s an obvious visual difference between the two that really comes down to muscle. A lean, “toned” physique has significant muscle creating an appealing shape. Thin, on the other hand, is just that – small limb circumference and comparatively little muscle.
We all know that diet is the most important factor in fat loss, but exercise plays a pivotal supporting role and strength training is particularly key. Diet combined with strength training results in a greater percentage of weight loss from fat as opposed to fat and muscle. When you strength train, your body gets a signal that it needs its muscle, so you retain much more of it while you shed fat.
So, performing challenging strength training exercise is hands down the best way to preserve muscle while losing fat, but it does a myriad of other great things too! The thing I like most is that it makes life easier. All manner of daily activities are less burdensome with greater strength. And, there’s some evidence that suggests that strength training makes us physiologically younger and longer lived.
Strength training should be challenging but not crushing. Work within your capacity, but push yourself to lift weights that are heavy for you. That may be just your own body weight at first, but that will change quickly as you progress. For most people, a full body program that utilized big exercises and works lots of muscle done 2-3 days per week will suffice. Keep your muscle, look better, feel better and get lifting!