Shedding Body Fat with Strength Training – Think BIG
If you read my Diet vs. Exercise post, you know the sad reality that exercise isn’t the prominent player in weight loss we once thought it was. But, that’s not to say it doesn’t help at all. Amongst all the other benefits it provides, exercise does contribute to an overall weight management (fat loss) program. But, not all exercises are equally effective. If your main goal is to lose body fat and you’re lifting weights – think BIG!
Thinking big means using exercises that pull lots of muscles into play. Big, multi-joint movements demand more energy and give you a greater metabolic shake up. What are big exercises? Squat and deadlift variations / combinations, rows, pushups, and pull-ups are all big movements that get lots of muscle working. Stringing big exercises that work different areas into circuits is even more effective since it demands high energy work for longer than just one set. A great full body circuit looks something like this:
- Squat to overhead press
- Pulley row
- Stability ball leg curl
Don’t be misled into believing that you need small isolation exercises or a lot of machines targeting single muscles. Exercises like biceps curls and triceps extensions will do next to nothing for your overall goal of losing weight – they just don’t use enough muscle. Besides, rows, pull-ups (or pull downs) and pushups all give those muscles plenty of work. And sitting on a machine (or lying down) to do strength training doesn’t make sense compared to standing and making all your support muscles work.
Bottom line – get on your feet, engage lots of muscles and keep moving.
I’d love to hear your experience with strength training for weight loss – good or bad… Click the comments and reactions link below to share your feedback!