While preserving your current muscle mass or building more muscle mass may not give you those huge pound losses on the scale immediately, since muscle weighs more than fat, it can help you burn off more excess fat in the long-run.
And the best way to accomplish this – weight training.
Some of the most well-known benefits of an effective weight loss program include:
- Toned, better defined muscles
- Fighting age-related muscle loss
- Lowered risk of cardiovascular disease
- Better posture
- Increased flexibility
- Decreased risk of osteoporosis
But another benefit of weight training, and perfect for those of us who are looking to lose weight, is a boosted metabolism (which means burning more calories when at rest). Even though your overall weight on the scale may not change, you will gain muscle while losing fat. How will you know if it is working? Over time you should notice decreases in measurements such as your clothes fitting better/looser and decreases in body fat measurement (for Calla Slimspa patients, pay attention to the total body fat mass on weight print-out sheets).
What type of weight training do you need to boost your weight loss ?
“Several studies found that intense weight training plays an important role in weight control because it causes a prolonged increase in post-exercise oxygen consumption and metabolic rate.” ( Fitness RX magazine , August 2011 )
And the best news, lifting heavy or lift doesn’t make a difference as long as you are doing maximum weight training. A study led by Christopher Scott at the University of Southern Maine found that post-exercise oxygen consumption (ie metabolic rate) from a single set to exhaustion using light loads, ranging from 37-56% of maximum load and from an exhaustive set using 70-90% of maximum load was similar.
During training, the oxygen consumption was higher on the lighter load to exhaustion but post-exercise the oxygen consumption was almost identical.
Whether you prefer to train using heavy or light loads, either will cause prolonged increases in metabolic rate which will help you preserve muscle mass while promoting fat loss. And since muscle helps you burn fat quicker, we definitely recommend incorporating some weight training into your weight loss program.
References for this post include:
Journal of Strength Conditioning Research , 25; 903-908, 2011
Fitness RX Magazine , August 2011
The Training Station Inc. – Benefits of Training by Doug Walker