Avoid Cardio & Do Strength Training To Lose Weight Without Losing Muscle
Many people who want to lose weight spend hours on cardio equipment each week thinking that this is the best way to lose weight. I would be lying if I said that long cardio training does not work, and I am not a liar!
Cardio vascular training does work, but how do you want to look after you lose weight? Below are some pictures of people who do A LOT of cardio
Weight training is a better option. Here’s why.
Retention of muscle mass!
When you lose weight you can lose muscle, water weight and of course you can lose fat. You will find that weight training will help you maintain your muscle mass which will help keep your metabolism fast.
For every pound of muscle your body has you will burn 80 calories, so another way of putting this is that if you do a lot of cardio and lose 5lbs of muscle for every stone you lose, you will lose the capacity to burn 400 calories!
Weight training will make you look good when you shed the weight!
Cardiovascular training makes you feel good, but weight training makes you look good. Just check out the picture above of a long lean female weightlifter. If you want to know why she is so long and lean then read on.
The metabolic effects of weight training
You can think of your body in the same way you think of a car. If you own a car with a 1 litre engine, and you replace the engine with a 3 litre engine your car will burn more petrol than it did before.
Well it’s the same with your body; if you increase the muscle composition of your body you will see an increase in your metabolism meaning that you will be burning more calories.
Metabolism is something that decreases as we get older, so it is important that we do what we can to maintain or increase our metabolism.
Cardiovascular training does help to burn fat, but weight training is more effective. I once trained a woman who weighed 56 kg, and all she wanted to do was tone up.
I trained her for over 6 months, and her weight remained exactly the same, but she dropped two dress sizes in the time we worked together.
People who saw her thought she had lost weight, but what had changed was her body composition. She actually improved her muscle and lost body fat, which gave her a leaner, slimmer and fitter appearance.
The hormonal benefits of weight training
Weight loss is more complicated than just counting calories. We can actually control our weight better, if we can control our hormones.
One key hormone to control is a hormone called cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Cortisol is actually needed by our bodies for many bodily functions, and we can release this hormone as much as needed as long as it is balanced out by periods of rest and relaxation.
However, when we spend more time responding to stress and stressors we produce too much cortisol, which causes us to crave sweet things, which ramps up our appetite and causes us to store fat around the belly.
However, it has been found that increasing testosterone levels can lower cortisol levels and therefore reduce belly fat.
Nurcan Taylan, 48kg body weight
Why is testosterone important for weight loss?
Testosterone is a key hormone in building muscles, and weight training is the most effective way to increase testosterone levels.
We need to weight train to maintain or increase our testosterone levels because it has been found that a reduction in testosterone levels causes an increase in cortisol levels, a decrease in sex drive, a loss of muscle mass, elevated cholesterol and an increase in abdominal fat.
This reduction in testosterone is why many women start to lose their curvy waist line and why men start to gain that middle age belly.
Our testosterone levels start to drop after the age of 30, and by the time we reach 45 we will produce half the amount of testosterone that we did when we was younger.
This loss of muscle mass is balanced with a declining metabolism, which causes us to gain weight as we age. Weight training will increase muscle mass, increase testosterone, reduce cortisol levels, reduce abdominal fat and give you a longer, leaner, sexier physique.
This picture of Julia Rhode is a great example of the type of long lean figure that can be achieved by weight training. Julia is a 53kg weight lifter who is capable of lifting close to double her bodyweight while maintaining a very feminine and attractive physique.
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