Did you know that an important aspect of weight loss is building strength? If you’re trying to lose weight and just doing cardio exercises, you’re missing part of the equation that can increase your weight loss results—and that’s increasing your muscle mass.
Are You Balancing Your Workouts with Some Resistance?
You know that you need to burn off excess fat if you want to lose weight, but if you’re doing cardio without balancing your workouts with resistance training, you’re only doing half of the job. You need to burn more calories than you consume in order to burn your body’s fat stores, but you also need to increase your metabolism to increase muscle. The muscles in the body are metabolic, which means they are always active and burning calories, even when they are in a state of rest. The more muscle we have, the more calories we burn. By increasing your overall metabolism, you’ll be able to burn more fat—which means you’ll lose more weight!
Make Sure You Aren’t Restricting Your Calories.
Another important aspect of weight loss is not to restrict your calorie intake too much, or you risk losing muscle and slowing down your metabolism, which is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. Studies show that people who restrict their calories and only do cardio training will lose weight, but will have an even distribution of muscle and fat, which isn’t what you want – you need that additional muscle mass. Those who restrict their calories without exercising at all often end up heavier and with more body fat than when they started to try to lose weight.
Why Do I Need Strength Anyway?
By building muscle, you’ll keep your body strong overall and will be able to move your joints through their ranges of motion while not putting any excess pressure on the joints. Weak muscles will tire easily and hurt, and will cause other muscles to always be “on” in order to compensate for the weakness. This creates the danger of injuries and sprains, which can be avoided if the muscles are built and the strength is maintained.
Not sure how to kick up your workouts to strengthen those muscles? Below are a few tips.
Tips to Build Strength
Keep safety in mind, but use your entire body and target your core while doing exercises that force you to balance yourself. These will use your stabilizing muscles and strengthen them. For example, use an exercise ball, a BOSU board, or perform an appropriate exercise while standing on one leg.
Interval training—alternating between short bursts of activity—is an excellent way to create short, yet effective, workouts that build strength and stamina.
The more resistance that is added to an exercise, the higher the intensity and therefore, more calories are burned. For example, body weight exercises can be intensified by using dumbbells while doing lunges or squats, or by wearing a weighted vest or ankle weights while walking or jogging. Various items can be used to add resistance and build muscle including weights, bands and suspension ropes.
To build strength: increase the sets – 4 (or more) and keep the reps in the 5-9 range.
To build endurance: increase the reps – 15 or to failure and keep the sets lower in the 1-3 range.
To increase the size of the muscle (hypotrophy): complete 3-4 sets of exercises for 10-15 reps.
You should be increasing the resistance if you can complete all sets and reps set out for your goal. At the end of the set you should be feeling like you cannot complete another rep.
Have you added strength training to your workouts, or do you have questions about how to safely add resistance to improve your weight loss results?
Need help? Have questions? I’m here to make it easier. If you have questions, then let’s connect. I will help figure out what you need in order to become stronger and healthier version of yourself.