This is a tricky question. Is weight lifting to lose weight necessary – and does it even help?
Take this scenario which I have seen hundreds of times.
Hopeful fat loss person – we’ll call her Beth – comes to me and asks to learn a weight training routine to help her lose weight. She says she wants to lose about 30lbs. and read on the internet that learning circuit training with weights will help boost her metabolism and trigger fat loss. She wants to firm up her thighs, butt, triceps and of course her core – but she doesn’t want to “bulk up”. Then she asks me if higher reps and lower weights are better for toning and fat loss because she is afraid that if she uses heavy weights it will make her bigger. Oh, and she wants to know if she should do cardio before or after weight training.
I ask Beth, “Since you are looking to lose 30 lbs. do you know how many calories you take in on a daily basis?”
She looks at me stumped and says, “Well, I eat well and I eat pretty clean. I am really trying to not obsess about numbers. I’ve been there done that. Really I just want to try it this way and do circuit training.”
OK – this is what Beth doesn’t realize. Beth can do as many circuits and weight train as much as she wants – but there is no way you can out-train a bad diet or a good diet that maybe has too many calories and you can’t out-train a diet that doesn’t fuel you enough – meaning not enough calories and nutrients.
I see it again and again. People work out daily. They sweat. They train hard!!!! But…..their bodies don’t change. They look EXACTLY the same.
Fact – you can lose weight if you are bed-ridden.
Fact – you may not look all that good and will probably have that skinny-fat look.
Fact – weight lifting does help increase your resting metabolic rate (RMR).
Fact – the increase in metabolic rate due to weight training still won’t keep up if your diet isn’t in check.
Fact – if you want to lose weight AND LOOK BETTER – than you need to weight train.
Fact – your nutrition matters in your fat loss attempts. Calories DO MATTER.
Ok, these are just a few facts about weight lifting to lose weight. I could go on and on but what I repeat consistently is weight lifting is like a great RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI).
But don’t go around thinking that you can be weight lifting to lose weight and not be accurate in knowing how many calories you take in and how many calories you are burning. Unless you are genetically gifted where you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight – you must be accurate. But….chances are if you were genetically gifted – you wouldn’t be here on my site!!!
We all like a nice ROI on our investment accounts. We like to see them grow without us doing much.
We like to make sure our college education has a good ROI – we want our hard earned degree actually help us get a job or make a living.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a great ROI with your workouts?
Wouldn’t it be nice to put time in for 40 minutes of weight training to know that it will help increase our metabolism for anywhere from an hour to 24 hours after our workout?
Wouldn’t it be nice to have more lean muscle mass which will in turn increase our metabolism AND help us look good naked? Yes, I hear that often – people saying “I just want to look good NAKED!!”
Now, the next thing they ask is “how often do I need to train?” This is a very deep question…..and before I lose your attention in this post let’s keep it simple. The answer to this question depends on your goals.
Do you want to just increase strength and firm up? Well, a very simplified answer is you can do that with a good focused whole body weight lifting routine 3 days per week.
Do you want to be a fitness competitor or just look like one? Well that takes a lot more time, a focused program and training 5-6 days per week.
But the running theme is ….. IT TAKES TIME and if you see “reshape your body in 12 minutes or less” routine…..run the other way!! You can trust that I won’t sugar coat a thing – reshaping your body takes time AND effort AND hard work. But how much time?
That truly depends on how much time you have, your adherence to your diet and how hard you can push yourself.
Weight lifting to lose weight can be extremely effective and results can be dramatic but without a good nutrition plan - all that hard earned muscle will be hidden under a layer of fat.....sorry to say!!
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