If I am trying to lose weight (fat), why should I lift weights?

Let’s get with the times and review the facts:

It has been said that cardiovascular exercise is the key to burning calories and losing weight. However, while cardiovascular training remains a very important part of your program, experts continue to point out the importance of participating in resistance training exercise (i.e., lifting weights) from a health and weight- fat-loss perspective. Why? Strength training boosts metabolic rate! You burn more calories!

Should Women Lift Weights?

This is a common question..and the answer is YES! If you are only losing weight, you may move from a big pear shape, to a smaller pear shape. Although, when you lift weights you can really re-shape your body!

Young woman exercising with barbell in gym.

Young woman exercising with barbell in gym.

Consider the following information if you want to lose weight. About 75 percent of the calories you burn on a daily basis come from resting metabolic rate. Think of metabolic rate as the number of calories it takes to maintain your body mass on a daily basis. If you lose muscle as you grow older (which is the norm, metabolic rate decreases. Why? Muscle requires lots of energy and fat doesn’t. If metabolic rate goes down, you’ll find it difficult to lose fat or maintain a desired weight or percentage of body fat. Both cardiovascular and resistance training exercise burn calories while you workout and continue to burn calories at an elevated rate for a short time after the session is over. But, if you want to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight, it is important to include strength training in your workout plans.

Resistance training maintains and/or increases muscle and cardiovascular activity does not. You could run a marathon every day and you would still lose muscle if you did not strength train.


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Lastly, adding strength training to your program not only gives you a balanced approach to fitness and your overall health needs, but resistance training also gives you the edge to help you attain your weight loss goals!


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Douglas Brooks, MS, Exercise Physiologist, Director of Education for COREFX, is a former-Ironman® triathlete and currently directs Athlete Conditioning for Sugar Bowl Ski Academy where he works with elite junior and professional athletes. Douglas was inducted into the U.S. National Fitness Hall of Fame and has been honored by Can-Fit-Pro as the International Presenter of the Year. Coach Brooks is the author of numerous training books, and most recently, was the recipient of the IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year Award.


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