Enjoy this guest post by Big Sky Newington Trainer Alex Titarenko. Alex is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NESTA Certified Lifestyle & Weight Management Specialist. Fitness, nutrition & self development enthusiast… and occasionally likes to enjoy a good slice of pizza.
Lift to Lose
When you want to lose weight what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For most people, it’s hours and hours of cardio… running, spinning, eliptical, stair climbing, and pretty much any other type of cardio they can think of. Sounds like fun, right?
For some reason, most of us think “Ok, I need to burn calories to lose weight and what burns calories fastest? Cardio!” So we plod along day after day on the treadmill or in a cardio-kick class looking for results. But we forgot to ask ourselves one important question… are we trying to lose weight or trying to lose fat?
Technically speaking, weight is simply our relationship to gravity… but to most of us, it means so much more.
It’s the number our doctor yells at us about.
It’s the number on the scale from “back in the day” when we felt great.
It’s the number we saw on the scale before we had kids
It’s understandable why we focus so much on our weight, on just that number on the scale. However, what most of us really want is to lose body fat.
To keep it simple, when you enter a caloric deficit, your body will almost always begin to lose weight. It loses weight in two ways: by shedding fat and by shedding muscle. Depending on your protein intake, how extreme your calorie deficit is, your activity level and more, you will typically lose a combination of both.
When you just diet drastically and do lots of cardio, you will lose fat, but you will also lose lots of muscle, and end up looking like this:
Instead of like this:
How do we fix this? We “pick things up and put them down”… Aka, strength training.
When we lift weights in addition to maintaining a negative energy balance by controlling calories, we lose more fat than muscle. Way more!
There are other benefits such as:
Increased metabolism (so you can eat more than one carrot and two celery sticks every day!)
Muscular body type (so you can retain some type of shape on your body and avoid the “skinny fat” look – google it)
More capable, higher performance body
Stronger bones and less joint & muscle injuries
The list goes on…
Most people want to lose the “squishy” stuff, so make sure to implement a periodized and structured weight training program with your nutrition plan so you get to keep that hard earned muscle. If you need some help with this, talking to a Big Sky trainer would be a great place to start.
So if you’re stomping away on the treadmill as many hours as you work in your full time job, or you’re trying to lose weight so you can look better for beach season, try revving up your metabolism by using that time to lift some weights instead. Most people want to retain a certain ideal body shape when losing weight. This won’t happen unless you lift weights.
Hope you get a chance to visit a dumbbell rack near you. Just don’t forget to re-rack your weights.
Always remember… Better Gyms, Better Workouts, Better RESULTS !