Everyone wants to get in the perfect shape so that they can feel fabulous and confident in their own skin.
Many people want to do that by shedding extra weight, so they turn to cardiovascular exercise to lose those stubborn pounds. But while it is true that cardiovascular exercise has many benefits like improving heart health, regulating your appetite, and boosting your metabolism, in order to maximize weight loss, it should be combined with weight training.
Weight or strength training builds muscles and also boosts your metabolism, leading to greater fat loss.
Some people worry that lifting weights can bulk them up; however, when combined with cardio, it can actually help you slim down. Here’s why weight training needs to be a part of your weight loss plan.
The main motivation behind weight training is building lean muscle mass which, ultimately, leads to more calories being burned when someone is partaking in a workout. This is because having more muscles leads you to be able to have longer and more intense workouts which means that there will be an increase in the number of calories you will burn. Having more muscle weight means you can do more difficult workouts such as hiking steep trails which can lead to higher caloric burn and therefore maximized levels of weight loss.
Higher Metabolic Rate and Fat Burning
Weight-training leads to building bigger muscle mass levels and this can lead to having a higher metabolic rate. A higher metabolic rate means that more calories are burned and more weight is shed and kept off. Muscle mass is typically more metabolically active than fat is, so having more muscles means that your body automatically uses more energy to do daily tasks. Having a high resting metabolic rate means that you burn many more calories by just living and breathing.
Weight training is especially important for helping women burn fats as studies have shown greater levels of fat loss in women who did weight lifting in addition to cardiovascular exercises rather than just cardio exercises. This could be because cardiovascular exercises lead to burning both fats and muscles while weight training purely burns fats.
Another way weight training can lead to weight loss is by maximizing your Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT plays a big role in weight loss by increasing the number of calories you burn throughout the day. It accounts for any form of physical activity that is not performed as a workout, such as standing around, walking, or doing daily house chores. The fitness experts at KensuiFitness.com recommend wearing a weight vest to boost NEAT, burn fatter, and therefore, lose more weight. If you’d rather go for a stroll outside than hit the gym, try walking with weights; it has been proven to burn up to 650 calories per hour.
The After-Burn Effect
Weight training can keep slow calorie burn going on for the whole day, even after your workout, leading to high levels of fat being burned. This fat burn happens through a phenomenon called Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), known in layman’s terms as the “After-Burn Effect”. During the After-Burn Effect, levels of oxygen consumption, which are already high during exercise, remain elevated to help muscles revert to their resting states, through decomposing fats that are stored in the body.
The level of intensity and duration of the After-Burn Effect depends on many factors such as the type of exercise that was partaken, the length and intensity of the workout in addition to fitness levels and diet. Exercises that use bigger muscles for longer periods typically have more intense After-Burn effects that span longer time periods.
Combining Cardio and Weight Training Exercises
Nonetheless, if your ultimate goal is weight loss, you shouldn’t completely abandon your cardio workouts as they are still crucial to burning off fat. You should instead combine both cardio and weight training workouts with the general consensus to do cardio and strength workouts in separate training sessions. You could also do them on individual days or split the workouts into different times of the day. For example, you could decide to dedicate the morning to an intense cardio workout and then do your weight exercises in the evening.
To sum up, when trying to achieve your dream body, you should practice cardio and weight training exercises simultaneously. In time, when your fitness levels are high enough, you can also add high-intensity interval training to further increase your weight loss. After combining cardio and weight training exercises, building muscle, and reaping the benefits of both the after-burn effect and the NEAT technique, you should be well on your way to losing those extra pounds that refused to melt off for many years.