Strength training for weight loss

Losing weight is probably one of the hardest obstacles in front of mankind.  Our modern life style of living has caused many people to gain weight due to fast foods, inactive lifestyles and too much stress.  It is a very hard cycle to break and thus there are hundreds and thousands of diets and weight loss programs that are available to help you lose weight.  However, recent studies and statistics show that most of the popular diets and weight loss programs just don’t work for the majority of the people.  Actually, a diet regime or a weight loss program that works must contain several components such as calorie reduction, exercise (such as cardiovascular exercise and strength training) along with psychological efforts to adapt a new life style for your weight loss.  One of the most important components that you can do in a weight loss program is definitely strength training.

Strength training in essence is a method that helps you increase your muscles and your muscle strength.  It is used by athletes and body builders all over the world.  However, there is one other use of strength training besides body building and muscle building.  It helps us lose weight and it also helps us keep fit.  This stems from the fact that our bodies use the greater percentage of the calories in taken for keeping the muscles in our bodies active and strong.  Thus if you have more muscle composition then fat cells in your body, then you will end up burning more calories and your metabolic rate will increase which will also increase the number of calories burnt even further.

When people think of exercising for weight loss, they usually think of cardiovascular exercise.  Of course, cardiovascular exercise is also useful for the body, but for weight loss purposes, it is much easier and quicker to use strength training exercise to burn calories and increase our muscular structure.  As stated above, more muscles that you have, more calories that you will burn. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to be an Olympic body builder; you just have to do some basics exercises to stimulate your muscles and keep fit, while losing calories at the same time.

Strength training and all forms of exercise are essential for all types of weight loss programs and diets.  In fact recent statistics and research by the University of Maryland shows that no diet can provide long time solution to weight gain problem.  In an experimental group within a test conducted by the University of Maryland, 40 subjects were chosen and they were kept in a fasting condition (lots of liquid food and no solid food especially in the mornings).  In a test that took over 1 month to complete, the subjects were subjected to severe diet conditions.  Although, they did lose significant pounds in the process, the follow up results were not very promising.   Careful check up and careful monitoring of the experimental subjects showed that most of the pounds that were shed from their body was actually water and muscle instead of fat which is deadweight in our bodies.  Careful analysis of the experimental subjects and the results showed that the first reaction of the human body was to decrease the water in the body and shed this water.  This is because of the fact that our bodies use glycogen to store extra energy (much like a car battery) for future use.  Glycogen is in effect sugar molecules intertwined with water molecules.(The sugar is stored in water since over 80% of our body is composed of water)  Thus when you fast or diet and keep your body hungry, the body starts using these fuel cells for energy.  So then your body burns all the water and sugar; but in the end you don’t lose the dead weight in your body.  In fact research showed that the subjects gained the weight back as soon as they stopped fasting or dieting.

Thus the experiment conducted above shows that you must combine physical activity and exercise with dieting, if you want to be successful in losing weight.  This is essential for many purposes such as healthier living as well as losing weight.  Also in fact, doing strength training can be the best exercise that you can do for losing weight and also for becoming fit.  When you do strength training, your body will start to tone your muscles and this exercise will stimulate your body to burn more calories and keep it burned.

It is not hard to do strength training.  You can do simple things like lifting barbells, lifting small weights, doing pushups or pull ups etc.  The important concept is to stimulate your muscles and your fat cells.  This way in a weight loss program you can keep your muscles from being spent and you will just be burning fat cells to lose bodily weight.  It is always better and thus preferable to lose fat cells (dead weight) then to lose muscle cells or even water from your body.  Strength training is the best form of exercise that you can do to keep your muscle and skeletal strength in a strong frame and lose calories at the same time.  Also you will feel much healthier after doing this exercise.

Now if you are a woman or an older person over the age of 50, you may be worried about how you can do strength training.  Now there are lots of new methods that are available, which makes it easy for anyone to do strength training whether you are 7 or 70 years old.  As an exercise you can do static contractions and with this method you can stimulate various muscle groups within your body for 15 seconds each.  This will teach your body to keep and strengthen these muscles for your over all fitness.  This method is especially applicable for women so that they don’t gain extra muscles from the ordeal and just strengthen the ones that they already have while losing weight in the process.

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1 Comment(s)

I need to strengthen by muscles and skelton frame I am a female age 66 yrs old.
By: Patricia Skoudlil 12 years ago

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