Weight training and weight loss go hand in hand.
I’m going to start with one of my biggest pet peeves: the saying that muscle weighs more than fat.
You know that riddle that the ‘cool kids’ would always try to get you to answer wrong? Which weighs more: 50 pounds of bricks, or 50 pounds of feathers?
They weigh the same. 50 pounds is 50 pounds. There are a lot less bricks than feathers, but they still weigh the same.
It’s the same thing with muscles and fat.
Muscle takes up far less space than fat. Five pounds of fat takes up a lot more space than five pounds of muscle.
But if you’re building muscle while all this fat is just sitting on top of it, won’t that just create bulk?
Muscle burns far more energy than fat to keep it running.
Visualize it like this: the muscle you have uses the fat you have for energy. To break it down in simple terms, the muscle eats the fat. The more muscle you have, the more fat it eats. It speeds up your metabolism so your body becomes more efficient at getting the fat off. Still enjoy cardio? That’s perfectly fine, and very good for your heart. But add in strength training and your body will become more efficient at using that energy which will help you to lose fat faster.
While we’re on the topic, spot reducing doesn’t work.
The only way to lose fat in a particular area is to lose fat in general. It doesn’t matter how many crunches you do. Without the proper diet and exercise regimen it won’t go away.
However, strength training will help you tone up, which is a perfect segue into my next reason why strength training is a must have in the weight loss toolbox.
When it comes to fat loss, the only control you really have over it is that you can either invite it in or tell it to leave. There is no say in where it leaves first. Generally, the last place you gained it is the first place it’ll start to disappear. With muscle, you have so many options, and you literally get to tell it where to show up.
Personally, I love toned arms. Actually, I’m crazily obsessed with them. Like Robert Irvine? His arms are beautiful. Jamie Eason? My favorite part of her whole body is her arms. I’m not even being sexual about it, I just really love arms, especially big, muscley ones. I’m working towards increasing the muscle in my arms, so I’m doing exercises specific to building them to make them bigger, stronger, and more noticeable. Sadly enough I can’t just suck all the fat out of them, but I can build the muscle in my arms so as the fat comes off, you’ll be able to see that beautiful, toned muscle underneath.
Want a better butt? You can build it. Put together the right program and you’ll be able to not only make it bigger, but you can add tone to it and if it’s saggy, you can bring it right back up. Strength training is awesome.
For those who have a lot of weight to lose, it will reduce the amount of loose skin you have, if not get rid of it entirely in some cases. If you have something firm for the skin to stretch over, it won’t have to just hang there. For extreme weight loss, the only way to remove loose skin is surgical removal. But having a substantial amount of muscle will help the recovery process, as well.
These won’t be a big deal for everyone, but non scale victories are quite rewarding. Once you master an exercise and get good at it, you’ll set goals. Eventually you’ll kill those goals. It’s very rewarding to have something telling you that you’re making progress even if the scale isn’t. It’ll give your body more worth than just looking good in a pair of jeans. For a lot of us that have been severely brainwashed by today’s society, this is super important.
Look, you don’t have to get in the gym and lift huge dumbbells (although it is super fun, and I encourage you to start lifting if you’re interested!). Even if you don’t have a gym membership, or you’re too shy to go into the weight room, you can do lots of workouts in the comfort of your own home. Squats, pushups, bicep curls with full water bottles, triceps dips off of the end of a chair.
Just try to get in some type of consistent strength training this week; consistent being the operative word. You can’t do ten squats and suddenly have buns of steel. Find a program and stick with it, even if it’s a really basic one. Consistency is the key to results.
What are you planning to do to get your strength training in? Any goals? What about long term goals?