Can You Lose Weight Lifting Weights?

July 01, 2020

Can You Lose Weight Lifting Weights?

Losing weight can be a complex issue and to find the most beneficial way of achieving this can be a challenge. Many people believe that lifting weights or in other words, resistance training will make you gain weight and bulk up your body. There is the image of the muscle-bound weight-lifter with a huge dumbbell clutched in his fist, showing off his muscled arms. We are also told that if you use weights to slim down your body, the fat turns into muscle and will make you several sizes bigger, even if you are firmer.


These old beliefs are not correct. When you lose fat, it does not turn into muscle, your body burns up the fat during a workout and builds on the muscles that you already have, restoring and enhancing the muscle tissue. The belief that muscle weighs more that fat is also incorrect. A kilo is a kilo in whatever shape or form. Muscle, though, is denser and occupies about 4/5th of the space of an equal weight of fat. Therefore, a smaller volume of muscle can weigh the same as a larger volume of fat. 


The most important fact to remember when you wish to lose weight is this, you have to burn more calories than you consume for this to be able to happen. Research has shown that if you wish to lose a half kg of fat per week, you must burn up an extra 500 calories per day as this half kg is equal to approximately 35000 calories. So one of the first concerns should be to examine your diet. It defeats the object if you start exercising and weight training and yet continue with the same eating habits which made you put on weight. It is important that we learn to respect our bodies and that what we put in our mouths, runs the functions performed by our various organs. When we overload our system with junk foods, processed foods which are loaded with sugar, salt and numerous flavour enhancers, sugary drinks and all kinds of fats, our bodies cannot identify these as actual nutritious, and will stash them away in various areas of the body as fat. Start investigating healthier options, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, and these will help you build strong muscles. 


Using weights in an exercise routine and using them in resistance-training workouts, is of optimum benefit. Cardio is great, and it is important, but cardio only burns calories while you are doing the training. Resistance, weight training on the other hand will keep burning calories even after your session is over and this can continue for a few days. It is a routine which gradually loads more resistance to your muscles and therefore has an optimum effect. Resistance training will slim down your body, hone and tone your muscles and generally leave you feeling confident and strong.


It is best to devise a few routines which you can alternate as you target different muscle groups. It is ideal to maybe work your arms and upper body one day, followed by a day of cardio, then maybe target legs and glutes and then another day of cardio, then maybe a full body work out, etc. Having a rest day in between is also extremely beneficial. With resistance training you can target the small muscle groups which will help with posture and balance.


If you have access to a gym and maybe a personal trainer, you can devise a weight-training circuit where you have a set of high intensity exercises, a short rest period, followed by the next set of intensive exercises. This is called high-intensity training and while it is of much shorter duration, only maybe 20 to 30 minutes, it will speed up your weight loss and you will continue burning calories for a longer period of time.


The conclusion is that yes, you can definitely lose weight and shape your body by weight-lifting. It is not complicated but some research and planning has to be done for optimum effect. Change your eating habits, get an exercise routine going and you will live a healthier life with a honed body and more confidence and self-esteem.


 
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