Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Jason of Fitness Doctrine.
Speed up your weight loss… ditch the cardio, hit the weights.
It’s very frustrating when your weight loss slows, or worse, comes to a halt. If you’ve ever got stuck, hit a plateau, or slammed into a wall preventing you from losing another pound, I’m sure you dreaded the thought of working out more and eating less. The thought of adding another marathon cardio session to your workout schedule is about as appealing as making weekly trips to the dentist.
After all, you are already eating the bare minimum, if not I’m sure it feels like it, so cutting back even more doesn’t seem like an option. Quitting is not an option, that belly fat, muffin top, spare tire, and love handles must come off… so what next?
You’ll be happy to know there’s hope. There’s a more effective way to lose that stubborn belly fat and love handles than starving yourself and spending your day doing cardio. There’s no need to spend more time on the treadmill or jump in an extra spin class, and you don’t have to live off celery and lettuce.
You are about to discover a proven solution that revs your metabolism, and will have you torching body fat all day long, even as you sleep. You are about to discover how to blast through you fat loss plateaus to lose weight quickly, and look your best in no time at all.
Try Strength Training
To burn fat, build muscle. Research and practical experience has shown that pumping some iron will boost your metabolism and dramatically improve your weight loss efforts, helping you look your best.
I’m not saying you have to become a bodybuilder. In fact, you don’t even need to lift a weight to start resistance training. Bodyweight exercises are just as effective as traditional weight training. What makes bodyweight training so great is that you can work out anytime, anywhere, and bodyweight exercises can be modified to fit any fitness level.
Why Resistance Training For Fat Loss
As I mentioned before, this isn’t a bodybuilding workout. The goal of metabolic resistance training is to burn the maximum amount of fat in the minimum amount of time. Sure, you’ll add muscle tone, but the most noticeable result of these workouts is the speed at which the fat comes off. You will burn fat faster with metabolic resistance training than with your typical cardio class because of the afterburn and an amped up metabolism.
Resistance training workouts that burn fat are done with little rest and use your big muscle groups. No triceps kickbacks or inner thigh machines. Instead, you are going to use supersets or short circuits made of compound movements that don’t allow for a full recovery. It’s a highly effective and efficient workout that targets both your muscular and cardiovascular systems, to help build muscle and burn fat in the same workout.
If you were to do a typical high-intensity strength training workout you could expect to burn 500 calories or more in 45 minutes or so. True, that’s not a huge deficit, but when the workout is done is where the magic happens.
Well after you’ve finished your workout your body will still be hard at work. Because of the intensity of the exercise routine you never get a chance to fully recover during the workout. This puts your metabolism into overdrive as your body tries to return to normal.
Research studies have shown that metabolism increases after strength training workouts. Scientists have difficulty determining exactly how long the benefits of an increased metabolic rate stay elevated but some studies have reported the increased metabolic rate lasts 3 hours, while other findings report a 38 hour increase. Different studies report different results of this afterburn effect, but all agree that this doesn’t occur after a typical long slow run, bike ride, or cardio workout.
Increase Your BMR
A second benefit to including strength training workouts to your fat loss program is the increased lean muscle mass you will build. Not only will you look better, but the added muscle will help boost your metabolism.
For most, the aging process starts around 25, after that there is a decrease in your lean body mass. It’s slow at first, but from the ages of 50 to 80 the drop is much quicker. You can expect a 45% drop in your lean muscle mass during that time. This decrease in lean muscle mass destroys your metabolism, dramatically slowing and making you gain weight.
Strength training is the best way to reverse your slowing metabolism. A well-planned resistance training program can rev that fat burning furnace back up, sending it into overdrive. Getting stronger will build back some of that lost muscle mass, and tone up your muscles to get your body burning fat all day long.
Fat Loss Strength Training Workout
To get the most out of your workout there are a few things you need to do, and a few things you don’t want to do.
You don’t want to do isolation exercises. That means you never work just one muscle group at a time, like you would if you were to train arms and did biceps curls, and triceps kickbacks. This goes for abs too, crunches and sit-ups are not going to give you a 6 pack, so don’t waist your time doing them.
For the quickest weight loss and best results, do exercises that use many muscle groups at one time. Weight training exercises such as deadlifts, bench presses and rows are excellent choices. If you prefer to do bodyweight exercises, squats, pull ups, and push ups are very effective.
Organize your workout so that you go from an upper body exercise immediately followed by a lower body exercise. Then take a short break, 45 seconds or less and repeat. Do 7– 9 reps for each exercise. Do 2 or 3 sets before moving on to a different set of exercises. Below are a few sample workouts.
1a. Push Up
2a. Inverted Row
2b. Mountain Climbers
3a. Jumping Split Squats
3b. Stick Ups
1a. Bench Press
2a. One Arm Rows
2b. Ab Roll Outs
3a. Push Press
3b. Pull Downs
With a warm up and cool down this fat burning workout can be done in 45 minutes or less. Make sure the exercises are challenging enough. If you can easily get all the reps in, for all the sets, you are not making the exercises hard enough. The intensity needs to be high to get an effective fat burning result.
If you have been relying on cardio alone to help you shed that unwanted fat it’s time to add a few resistance training workouts into the mix. A good resistance training program will do more for you than just tone your muscles. You will look better then ever. Sagging body parts will firm up, you’ll look years younger, and the stubborn body fat will fall off.
But to get the most out of your resistance training program make sure you use exercises that involve more than on muscle group, keep the rest under 45 seconds, and make sure the exercises aren’t too easy. Remember, if you can do 15 or more reps, it’s time to increase the intensity.
Swap out a few cardio sessions for some metabolic resistance training workouts and watch your metabolism skyrocket as you increase your lean muscle mass.
Get strong and get lean.