Guest blogger Luke Douglas explains the benefits of strength training for weight loss:
All that sweating, grunting and barbell banging that happens in the weight room might not seem too appealing, especially if you’ve bought into the myth of ladies building Hulk-sized musculature as soon as you consider approaching the squat rack. Luckily for you, working on your strength has one main side-effect you will absolutely adore, and that’s torching fat.
We’re talking the most persistent, stubborn fat in the form of cellulite layers, muffin tops and love handles, because nothing can escape the powerful wrath of resistance training paired with a healthy diet and some good old cardio.
Safeguard and build lean muscle
Unlike aerobic exercise, such as your standard treadmill session that burns both muscle and fat, a resistance workout will rectify this effect by helping your body build more lean muscle and torch fat at the same time. You need this lean muscle mass because it is crucial for boosting your metabolism and keeping those pounds off.
Then again, as women, you cannot put on too much muscle naturally, simply because you don’t have enough testosterone in your system. So, thanks to your estrogen-dominated body, you will always be able to have a lean, toned physique without being too bulky or muscular.
Increase your RMR
One of the main results of more lean skeletal muscles is that your body will become more efficient at burning calories just for self-maintenance, due to improving your resting metabolic rate (RMR). Let’s put it this way: fat is very low-maintenance, requiring little energy on a daily basis, but your muscle is very high-maintenance tissue, needing much more energy for self-preservation.
Now that you have more muscle, your calorie expenditure will increase even when you’re simply sitting comfortably in your sofa and reading a good book, which also means that your body will keep burning more calories every day, whether you train or not.
Boost your after burn
Yes, low-intensity cardio such as jogging or biking is a mighty tool to burn calories during the workout, but as soon as you head home, this process reverses to its normal, maintenance state. On the other hand, resistance training pushes your body into a metabolic spike long after you’ve finished working out, which improves your calorie-burning rate even when you’re at rest.
If you want to improve your afterburn even further, don’t be afraid to lift more weight with compound movements, such as the squat or the deadlift. This will require an added effort from your muscles, so they’ll burn twice as many calories in the few hours after your exercise is finished than if you remained adamant with your 15-20 reps with less weight on the bar. However, make sure you wear high-quality gear ,such as Ryderwear, in order to prevent injuries and exercise comfortably.
Balance your hormones
More endorphins cruising through your body doesn’t only mean an improved mood and levels of energy. Your elevated feel-good hormones also help you battle stress better, which can have a significant effect on how much fat and how fast you can get rid of it. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can really mess with your weight loss goals if you’re continuously stressed out.
Strength training also helps you with handling stress on a long-term basis, as studies have shown that working in the range of up 70% of your ORM (one rep max) helps decrease your stress and anxiety levels remarkably. All of these benefits translate to not only losing the weight you want, but also being able to maintain your desired physique consistently.
Enhance your insulin sensitivity
Those who struggle with diabetes know all too well what insulin resistance is – it’s your body’s inability to properly use sugar as energy, and you end up storing it as fat instead. However, this isn’t strictly reserved for those who suffer from this disease, although it certainly increases your risks of developing it later in life.
Resistance training combined with moderate cardio is your best ally in helping your body restore its ability to burn sugar as energy. According to a study, four to six weeks of consistent strength training for patients with type 2 diabetes increased their insulin sensitivity by 48%, and if you are already healthy, you stand a chance to reap even greater rewards.
**Luke is a fitness and health blogger at Ripped.me and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.