Not too long ago, the idea of lifting weights as a means of getting fit was not only frowned upon, it was blatantly ridiculed. The common belief was that weight training would make a person muscle bound, that it would slow them down, burden them with useless muscle. Now, research is revealing something quite different:
The fastest, most efficient, result producing way to lose fat, shape muscle and create a tight, sculpted body is with weight training.
In one study, intense weight training was shown to enhance the metabolism of trainers for an amazing 48 hours after the workout had ended. Metabolism is measured by analyzing oxygen consumption. So, just how does weight training boost the metabolism for the ensuing two days. It does so by increasing the temperature of the muscle, releasing what are called uncoupling proteins that actually enhance calorie consumption and interrupting normal cell function. In addition to boosting metabolism, weight training has the effect of increasing muscle mass, which, in itself, helps to burn more calories. That’s because muscle, which weighs 5 times more than fat, requires a whole lot more calories than fat just to maintain itself.
A combined Korean and Japanese study showed that a calculated combination of weight training and aerobic exercise is the best way to exercise for fat loss. A similar study out of Denmark gave an insight as to why this is the case. This study showed that fast-twitch muscle fibers are recruited more during weight training and consequently burn more calories after the workout has finished because the muscle glycogen levels in the slow twitch fibers have been depleted. This study has some practical application for those who want to lose weight in a hurry:
Run on the treadmill for 60 minutes. Then go directly to a 30 – 50 minutes weight training session. This will allow you to deplete the glycogen levels in the slow twitch fibers so that more fast twitch fibers are used during the weight training phase.
However, Weight Loss Development experts recommend to do the weight training session before the cardio. This is to use the energy for you muscles – which make them grow or saves them. More muscles equals more calories burned through out the day. Then go to the treadmill. Now that your glycogen levels are empty, your muscles have your attention and you can burn fat.
A Harvard University literature review has shown that weight training exercise reduces abdominal fat while enhancing muscle mass. The more the muscle mass a person has, the better their blood sugar will be controlled. It was also shown to reduce stomach inflammation. With average abdominal fat increasing by 300% between the ages of 25 and 60, and muscles mass heading in the other direction, weight training should be a foundation part of everyone’s exercise plan.
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Obesity Reviews, published online March 2, 2012