Muscle mass is one of the key factors that contribute to an increase in metabolic rate, so if you’re lacking in muscles, your metabolism will be lower. So, even though you may be putting in hours of endurance-based exercise, your daily intake is so low you may not see results. Remember too, that training exclusively for cardio endurance may raise the risk of lowering muscle mass, which will make it hard to lose those extra pounds. While suggesting that you should strength train more to promote fat loss may seem counterintuitive–strength training can actually lead to a considerable amount of fat loss without spending time on the treadmill.
Strength training provides the foundation for the ability to perform daily tasks at all ages. The greater the base level of strength, the greater the ability to perform athletic movements that allow us to burn more calories. The amount of strength also determines the work capacity and energy expenditure.
It may be impossible to tone, as suggested in workout magazines and videos, but it is possible to define or to get better muscle definition. Definition occurs when muscle is built and fat around the muscle is lost, making the muscle more visible. The increased amount of lean muscle mass relative to the amount of fat mass on the body will result in a loss of body fat. The result is that you will continue to burn more calories while at rest, at work, on the couch or even in bed.
When strength training is used to promote fat loss, full body movements in no less than three workouts per week, is the recommended option. The sessions will utilize large amounts of muscle recruitment and a greater need for recovery, which stimulates the continuous calorie burn. Experts recommend that one should start slowly and progresses when the muscle fatigue is no longer felt at a given weight load or duration.
Strength training may be the number one way to increase the metabolism, but you will need to add a focus on more frequent meals, allowing for rest, an increase in the intake of fiber and water, as well as addressing all five aspects of a physically fit body.
- Mini meals
- Increase water intake
- Planned recovery and rest
- Added fiber to daily nutritional plan
- Variety and or progression in exercise programming
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that strength training exercises be performed 3-5 times a week, for 8-10 reps and then programming moves from push to pull exercises, allowing for muscular balance. The recommendation is the same for all ages, teen to elderly. The benefits of adding a strength-training program to your weekly schedule includes:
- An increase in metabolic rate and calorie burning
- An increase in function and the ability to perform activities of daily living or ADLs
- Faster fat loss
- Lowering of blood pressure and blood lipids
- An enhanced physique, shape and muscle definition
- An increase in self-esteem
- An increase in exercise adherence
Getting started is easier than you may think. Circuit from one push machine to the next pull machine in a simple “round” of exercises as laid out by the Certified Professional who will assist you from day one. Select a weight load that will allow you to feel fatigue of the correct muscle within 8-12 repetitions. Breathe in a rhythmic pattern and keep your spine in natural alignment.
The muscle is the machinery that will make you leaner. Protect it, feed it, rest it and above all, stimulate it on a regular basis.