For a long time it has been thought that the weights section at the gym belongs to bodybuilders and powerlifters who can move proverbial mountains in the gym. The reality is that anyone can benefit from doing some strength training and I believe everyone should be doing some. Regardless of what your goals are, it will help.
The best part about weight training is that the stringer vests, oiling up before a session, grunting and slamming your weights are completely optional and if, like me, you prefer not to take yourself too seriously but you still want an effective session, you can lift weights and get good results while enjoying yourself.
Short answer, No…
Long answer: When you talk about fat loss it seems like cardio is the thing to do because you can burn loads of calories, but the amount of calories you actually burn during a session doing a session of cardio can be exaggerated.
Another thing is that cardio generally isn’t enough resistance to stimulate muscle enough so that your body has reason to hold onto it and this means that while you might be losing WEIGHT, a lot of that weight could be muscle. You don’t want that because muscle is what will give you the ‘toned’ look you’re after, if your goal is fat loss.
So the best way to loose fat is to combine strength training with some cardio and reduce your calorie intake slightly.
There are ways of creating a high calorie burn doing strength training as well. You can string two or three exercises together, one after the other. This means you are constantly moving and getting your heart rate nice and high and you are still lifting weights. Two birds, as they say.
Below is heart rate comparison between two of my own sessions.
The foundation of any effective training plan is consistency. Can you actually stick to that training plan for a LONG time. If you can’t, you won’t do it and you won’t get any results.
And to achieve consistency you need to enjoy your training. If you enjoy it, you will go to the gym more often because you won’t have to force yourself to go because you actually want to go.
Enjoyment in a programme comes down to two things.
Effective-ness – When you can see yourself making progress you enjoy the training more because there is a sense of constant achievement.
Variety – I’m sure there is a saying, ‘variety is the spice of life’? Having new challenges and new things to do and learn in the gym will make your training experience much more enjoyable.
This is what a good strength training programme gives you.
You learn new movements all the time, and because your body adapts you do actually have to change the exercise you select periodically. Tick for variety.
Another cool thing about strength training is that it’s progressive. This means that you will see very frequent improvements. Tick for effective-ness.
A good strength programme balances the consistency required to improve and the variety required to have a good time.
An obvious prevention to the loss of strength would be to do some resistance training and there is evidence to show that 80 year olds that did some strength training had the similar muscle power to 60 year olds who didn’t train. Suggesting that you can slow the strength loss associated with age by up to 20 years.
Another fun fact about muscle is that, the more you have, the more effectively you dispose of glucose in the bloodstream. This suggests that having more muscle will reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
The definition of toning is, having more muscle and less body fat. Need I say more?
No, but I will. Strength training will help you build muscle and if you do it in the ‘mini’circuit’ format(as mentioned before) you will burn a bunch of calories. Presuming you are not being silly with your diet in anyway you will be torching body fat and at the same time sculpting your buns/guns.
And this is how you become the toned goddess/god you want to be.