Is it Possible to Lose Weight by Lifting Weights?
Not everyone who lifts weights does it to become big and bulky. But, when most people think of weight lifting, the image they see is that of an enormous man lifting massive weights.
They rarely think of the flip side. This is the side where people are dieting to lose weight and lifting weights to assist with their weight loss goals.
As it turns out, a well-designed exercise plan can help you lose fat and tone your muscles. In particular, lifting weight can eliminate embarrassing weight problems like muffin tops.
That said, weight lifting is and always will be a strength building exercise. So, it will never solely lose weight. It will however create a hybrid of the two and allow you to lose weight in a healthy, natural, and effective way. It will also enable you to develop good fitness habits to keep the weight off once it is gone.
Because lifting weights is a strength training exercise, it should be noted that you won’t lose weight in the traditional dieting sense. When you lose a lot of weight on a traditional diet, your body has extra skin leftover and becomes saggy and wrinkly. When you lift weights to lose weight you develop muscle mass to fill that skin which leaves you looking toned and healthy.
The Science Behind Lifting Weights to Lose Weight
Losing weight boils down to one thing: Your calories in versus your calories out. You want to aim to have more calories going out than you have coming in. This is what enables you to lose weight.
Traditional dieting – calorie counting, meal replacements, etc – focus on decreasing the number of calories you consume which causes you to lose weight. This is a great and sustainable way to lose weight. However, it is not the healthiest way to lose weight if it isn’t at least coupled with a good workout regime to lose weight.
Working out to lose weight is founded on cardio and increasing the number of calories you burn each day. By increasing the number of calories you burn, you also are able to create a calorie deficit and achieve weight loss.
Increasingly, more and more workout programs are going to a hybrid crossover that combines cardio and weight training. High intensity interval training, workout DVDs, and crossfit are all perfect example of workout programs that combine cardio and strength training and as such, these programs are great for melting fat and simultaneously building muscle mass.
The hybrid workouts create a perfect solution that assists in both the fat loss functions of the body and the muscle building functions of the body. It’s important to note that these two functions are totally isolated and no not overlap. Thus, you cannot replace fat with muscle; you can only burn fat and develop muscle – separately.
How Lifting Weights Causes Weight Loss
Weight training to lose weight should be founded on the same basic idea that high intensity training like those mentioned above were founded on: constant movement and an elevated heart rate. When it comes to losing weight by lifting weights, you must maintain an elevated heart rate and an increased metabolic rate.
By continuously moving, with little to no break in activity, you maintain an elevated heart rate and an increased metabolic rate which causes you to burn the excess fat that’s stored on your body.
By ensuring your body receiving the proper amount of amino acids, you can prevent fatigue and increase endurance. These nutrients can also help reduce protein and muscle breakdown, helping you build muscle at a quicker rate.
Training with weights raises your heart rate 15 beats per minute higher than if you were running or doing other exercises. Thus you strengthen your muscles and get cardiovascular benefits—so you save time without sacrificing results.
What’s the Best Workout Plan for Weight Loss?
When it comes to designing your workout plan to promote healthy weight loss through exercise, you should focus on continuously doing weight lifting exercises with little to no breaks between sets. Your plan should be designed around a mixture of cardio and weight training.
Because of this, the most effective way to lift for weight loss is to perform circuit training routines. Circuit training involves utilizing a number of different workouts to attack a large portion of the body’s muscles. Typically, you will target either half of the body (such as the upper body one day, and the lower body the next) or the entire body with a day of recovery in between. Personally, I recommend going balls-to-the-walls on and each day by splitting your body into two target areas. Then aim to be in the gym 5 to 6 days per week.
Important Reminder Regarding Calories
It is important to remember that you are increasing your activity level to promote your healthy weight loss. As such, do not consume more calories to replace the ones that you lose during exercise or you will not effectively see weight loss results.
The calories you burn through exercise should not be replaced through eating more. In fact, you should plan your dieting around your new workout schedule. Provide your body with only the nutrients that it needs. Do not give it a surplus of sugars, fats, or carbs because that is how the fat is developed to begin with. If you do, you will essentially be burning off fat and replacing it with fat and creating a vicious, never-ending cycle.
Instead, force your body to use the fat that you have accumulated to power through your workout and get through your daily activities.
When done properly, weight lifting will generate weight loss. It will also assist you with developing healthy dieting and exercise habits that allow you to keep the weight off for the long haul. And while the results may not be automatic, if you constantly work at it, you will undoubtedly see the benefits of losing weight through exercise. Just remember not to replace the calories you burn with more calories. To speed up your results, have a look at our shop.