Most people I come in contact with are under the impression that they need to be doing endless amounts of cardiovascular exercise in order to lose fat. The common misconception is that you need to burn a ton of calories during exercise in order to see results. People think that the higher the calorie counter goes up on the Elliptical or treadmill, the better.
Minute per minute, cardio indisputably burns more calories than strength training, which could explain why compared to strength trainers, aerobic exercisers lose more weight in less time, according to a recent Duke University study.
Still, cardio doesn’t do much for your muscles. Case in point: In one Penn State study, dieters lost 21 pounds whether they performed cardio or strength training. But for the cardio group, six of those pounds came from muscle, while the lifters lost almost pure fat—and probably fit into their skinny jeans better because of it.
Why? Strength training is the number-one way to build more muscle. And for every three pounds of muscle you gain, you can expect to burn an extra 120 calories a day without moving a single one of those muscles.
Unfortunately, many people learn the hard way that this does not produce the best results. Anytime I research the best trainers and coaches in the world on this subject they all talk about mobility, conditioning, and corrective exercises being important. However, the number one thing they always come back to is strength training.
Let me share with you some great quotes from some great coaches and trainers.
“Getting stronger makes everything in life easier.” – Dan John
“Absolute strength is the glass. Everything else is the liquid inside the glass. The bigger the glass, the more of everything else you can do.” – Brett Jones
“Strength is a skill.” – Pavel Tsatsouline (the guy who brought the kettlebell to America)
So You Think You Can’t Burn Fat With Strength Training, Think again!
First top focusing on how many calories you burn in the gym and instead focus on how your body expends calories outside the gym. You burn calories throughout the day regardless of what you are doing, but exercise helps increase the rate at which you burn those calories. With most forms of traditional steady-state cardio, you expend calories while you’re exercising, but once you stop, you quickly go back to your normal metabolic rate.
Strength training, however, builds muscle, and more muscle helps you burn more calories — even when you’re doing nothing like sitting on your couch.
Strength training is a critical component of any program than emphasizes long-term fat loss,The more muscle you have, the more fuel you are constantly burning. This is the advantage strength training offers if your goal is to lean out. A treadmill or elliptical trainer is often seen as the quick fix to shed body fat, and they are certainly useful if your goal is to improve cardiovascular health, endurance or simply to burn some extra calories, but strength training is a powerful ally.
You’ve Been Told Strength Training Makes Women Bulky
This myth just won’t die and, unfortunately, it’s horribly misguided.
Whether you’re male or female It takes a lot of work both in and out of the gym to get big or bulky. You not only need to be dedicated to your training, but you need proper nutrition if you’re serious about putting on size.
Women have a distinct disadvantage if the goal is to put on size. They have about one-tenth the testosterone of males, and testosterone is a key component in the muscle-building process. So even if you’re working out just as hard as a man, lifting the same amount of weight and gorging on calories, you still won’t see the same results with regard to muscle building.
Women can, though, build muscles. Instead of big and bulky, they will be the type of long and lean muscles many women desire.
Go Ahead and Include Cardio, Just Don’t Overdo It
As you can see, strength training is #1 in order to lose fat and build muscle tissue. It’s not that running is bad but it puts a fair amount of stress on your muscles and joints. Instead of jumping off the couch and engaging in a running program, make sure you take the time to strengthen your hip and core stabilizers as well as other muscles in order to prevent injury and build strength and muscle. Many of us need activities that are a bit more joint-friendly. I like the Airdyne bike and Concept 2 Rower as a much better option for cardiovascular training. They more friendly to the joints and cause a greater “metabolic disturbance” that produces more fat loss without the stress on the joints. Running can still be an option for exercise; it just shouldn’t be the only form of exercise for fat loss.You need to focus on building muscle tissue in order to see long-term fat loss. Making strength training the base of your fitness plan is the way to go.
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