Are you in two minds about weight training?
Let me share some advice: weight training produces outstanding all-round health and wellbeing, coupled with the aesthetics of a brilliant body. Unlike traditional steady state cardio, it delivers bang for buck and requires less time in the gym, yet turns your body into a calorie burning, anti-aging and disease fighting machine.
It’s time to replace your old beliefs on calorie burning with the new facts. Weight training preserves lean muscle mass and burns fat. The old saying of ‘calories in vs calories out’ ignores the main element that is imperative to weight loss: hormones! Hormones are what controls our metabolism. Understanding this will allow you to train your metabolism rather than training your body into the ground.
The benefits in strength training are the adaptations that the body undergoes. Strength training stimulates the release of, you guessed it, HORMONES, specifically anabolic and lipolytic hormones. Growth hormone (GH) and testosterone (T) are hormones that build muscle and make it more efficient to utilise fat as the main source of fuel, both in training and at rest. Additionally, resistance training is shown to increase insulin sensitivity. This means that the body can utilise glucose more effectively (Pollock et al., 2000), which is fantastic in lowering the risk of metabolic disease.
Weight training allows you to stay in the fat burning zone for longer. EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) is a term used to calculate elevated metabolism post exercise. According to the ACE (American Council of Exercise), EPOC is influenced by the intensity, not the duration of exercise. Heavy training loads yield a greater EPOC effect during the post-exercise recovery period. This means you burn more calories at a higher rate post weight training for longer, some studies suggest up to 48 hours!
For toning and weight loss, it really is a no brainer. Weight training builds lean muscle which elevates your metabolic rate, improves insulin sensitivity and reduces inflammation. It balances your hormones, stimulating an anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and fat targeting hormone response. Improvements in cardiovascular health are found to have an equal degree of benefit and this is coupled with a strong and lean physique.
I still love cardio for its mind clearing, endorphin hitting and cardiovascular benefits, but I always ensure I am weight training. Keep active and your body will thank you.
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Pollock, M.L., Franklin, B.A., Balady, G.J., Chaitman, B.L., Fleg, J.L., Fletcher, B., Limacher, M., Piña, I.L., Stein, R.A., Williams, M. and Bazzarre, T. (2000). Resistance exercise in individuals with and without cardiovascular disease benefits, rationale, safety, and prescription: An advisory from the Committee on Exercise, Rehabilitation, and Prevention, Council on Clinical Cardiology, American Heart Association. Circulation, 101(7), pp.828-833.