People don’t typically associate strength training with weight loss, the average woman will tell their trainers that they don’t want to lift any weights because they don’t want to look bulky like the guys you’d typically run into in the weights room.
If you’re one of these people I hope I’d have changed your perception at the end of this article.
Cardio is generally really great for burning calories but you’re only burning those calories for the duration of that workout session and the time it’ll take your body to fully return to homeostasis.
With strength training you’re burning calories during your workout and the residual effects carries on into your day even at rest because it aids in building muscles which are the most metabolically active tissue in the body.
The exact cardio plan you started out with which may have worked for a while may no longer be efficient to continue simulating fat loss as you progress because it fails to make up for the various metabolic adaptations we experience as we lose weight which inevitably leads to fat loss plateau.
Our muscle tissue is like a growing child that needs to be fed constantly, the more muscle you have the more calories your body will demand which will lead to an increase in your resting metabolic rate, thus the smaller number of calories will actually end up being stored as body fat.
The major reason men lose weight faster than women is muscle mass and we lose this lean muscle mass as we get older losing about 10% between ages 25 to 40 and about 40% ages 40 to 80 which is why you’ll find it harder to lose weight as you get older.
Stop looking at it as strength training vs cardio, you need to be doing both.
It doesn’t have to be either or. Consider strength training as a long term investment because the positive effects (building muscle, getting stronger, increasing your bone density and resting metabolic rate) takes some time to build and a long time to lose.
If you spend say 6 to 8 months strength training and all of a sudden take a week or two off, you’re not going to lose all your strength, muscle mass or bone density.
It takes a long time for those things to go away.
On the other hand, the benefits of cardio workouts (endorphin release, quick calorie burn, increase in endurance capacity) hit very quickly but you’ll also lose these benefits quickly if you take some time off.
There are many ways to do both in the same workout.
Beginners can start with body weight and resistance band exercises. You don’t need any fancy equipment.
Don’t worry about looking big and bulky if you’re a woman, your low levels of testosterone won’t make you look like a professional unless you use supplements on a regular basis.
Focus on light weights with higher repetitions for a nice toned and defined look.
–– Odunuga is a certified fitness trainer and is the founder of Easyfit, a brand that aims to simplify the obscurity that people have about fitness. You can follow @Easyfitng on instagram for fitness tips, motivation and healthy recipes and reach her at Easyfitng@gmail.com.