It is Weight training! Or, more specifically resistance training (you don’t always need equipment, there are many effective body weight only exercises).
Nope, it’s not earthshaking or new. Kind of boring, really. It’s the one thing that must be part of your fitness plan, and too many people want to avoid it for various reasons (not enough time, it’s too hard, they don’t want to look like Arnold, etc.).
But it’s the key exercise for success, not aerobics.
1) Muscle is metabolically active.
Muscle gives your body the shape you want. Muscle allows you to do stuff! The stronger you are, the easier it is, whether it’s playing a sport, having fun with your kids, or just getting out of that low chair you love so much!
2) Loss of strength
If all you ever do is some type of long duration cardio or aerobics, you will lose strength, lose muscle, add fat, look worse and feel worse, too. This doesn’t mean no cardio, it just means not only cardio (and not nearly as much as most exercise enthusiasts do).
You need to combine the right type and amount of cardio work, along with weight training, if you want to reshape your body, lose fat, get fit and look great. Oh, and feel great, too, if that sort of thing matters to you!
4) Reshape your body
Weight training is the key to completely reshaping your body. It’s not about changing the number on the scale, it’s about changing your body composition. In other words, it’s about keeping, and maybe adding, lean muscle, while dropping body fat.
5) Loss of lean muscle mass
If you don’t train with weights, a lot of the weight you lose will be lean muscle, not fat, and then you’ll just end up with a smaller, weaker version of your current self, what we in the biz call skinny-fat. You’ll also have a slower metabolism. You don’t want any of that.
6) Final Thoughts
Weight training is not the first exercise that comes to mind when people decide to lose weight or ‘get in shape.’ They just don’t equate it with fat loss. But weight training will add metabolically active lean muscle tissue to your body, boost your metabolism and create a hormonal environment for building muscle and melting away excess body fat.
If you’re cutting back on calories to lose weight, weight training is your best defense against losing muscle instead of fat. If you don’t weight training while in a calorie deficit, you will lose a lot of muscle along with some fat. Reread above for why that is bad.
If you don’t think weight training can burn calories, try doing a few sets each of barbell squats, deadlifts and lunges with only thirty to sixty seconds of rest between sets. Are you still here or still lying on the floor in a pool of sweat? Enough said!
Lifting weights will boost your metabolism. In simple terms, weight training tears down muscle fibers and then your body goes about repairing those fibers, making them bigger and stronger for next time. Repairing those muscle fibers takes energy in the form of calories.
If your goal is fat loss, you really need to incorporate resistance training into your health and fitness program. This will help you get the best results possible while completely changing your body, both in how you look and how you feel.