Lifting Weights is a MUST… to Prevent Muscle Loss and Metabolic “Slowdown”
I’ve been going to the gym for years now.
Lifting weights, setting personal records and gradually seeing the visible changes on my body.
I love it.
There is literally nothing that makes me feel better in my day-to-day life than strength training.
It doesn’t just make me feel good after the workout, also in the days between.
But there’s more to strength training than that.
Lifting Weight is a MUST
I’ve been reading a book called Eat Stop Eat (great book, btw – highly recommended).
It opened my eyes to the incredible importance of lifting weights.
I didn’t know that there was such compelling evidence for the importance of lifting weights on a weight loss diet.
Losing Weight – Cardio Just Isn’t Enough
When it comes to exercise, cardio just doesn’t cut it.
Those who stick to cardio only and don’t do any strength training experience the negative effects of long term calorie restriction, which are muscle loss and metabolic slowdown.
Preventing Muscle Loss and Metabolic Slowdown
In a study published in the journal Obesity in the year 2008, 94 overweight premenopausal women went on a calorie restricted (800cal/day) diet until they had reached a normal weight.
The women were split into three groups:
- Resistance Training.
- Aerobic Training.
- No Training.
The finding of the study was very interesting.
The groups undergoing either no training or aerobic training both lost some of their muscle mass and experienced a reduction in Resting Energy Expenditure (calories burned at rest).
The women who did resistance training both maintained their muscle mass and their energy expenditure.[Other studies of a similar nature confirm this finding: Resistance training maintains muscle mass and resting energy expenditure.]
How to Fit Strength Training Into Your Life
If you want to lose weight but maintain your muscle mass and metabolic rate, then you need to fit strength training into your life somehow.
Your best bet is to find yourself a good workout program. I’m doing a program called Visual Impact.
Then go to the gym and follow the program. Lift heavy and try to improve your strength. The women in the study above went three times per week.
If you’re a complete gym newbie, then consider getting a session with a personal trainer or someone that has experience working out in a gym, in order to show you how to do the exercises.
Of course, exercise can also lead to a plethora of health benefits besides just preservation of lean muscle and metabolic rate:
- More energy.
- Better mood.
- Improved self-esteem, body image.
- Higher HDL (good) cholesterol.
- Lower triglycerides.
- Higher insulin sensitivity.
- Improved blood sugar control.
- Increased strength and endurance.
- Better sleep.
- Can even be fun, if you do it right!
It is your birthright to be fit and healthy. Exercise is a critical piece of the puzzle and no less important than having the perfect diet.