There is a myriad of benefits for your physical and mental health that come with working out. You get to build your confidence and esteem, self-empowerment, maintain healthy muscles, and improve blood circulation. Exercise is good for you!
Keeping fit, looking awesome, and feeling great takes a different form from one person to another, so there are no set rules when it comes to achieving your fitness goals. The general belief is that you need to do strength training to gain muscle and do cardio to burn fat. Although strength training is not popular in the weight loss exercise routine, it can make you burn more fat than doing cardio alone, and there are scientific studies to back up this claim.
A study has shown that you can burn fat by doing strength training. A UNSW review published in Sports Medicine showed that you burn around 1.4 per cent of body fat by engaging in strength training alone. This figure is similar to the amount of fat that you may burn through aerobics or cardio.
According to Dr Mandy Hagstrom, exercise physiologist and senior lecturer at UNSW Medicine & Health, "A lot of people think that if you want to lose weight, you need to go out and run. But our findings show that even when strength training is done on its own, it still causes a favourable loss of body fat without having to consciously diet or go running."
Lifting weights help to burn fat by moving multiple muscle groups
One of the key benefits of strength training is that you can move multiple muscle groups at once. Lifting weights such as barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells, are considered a full-body workout. Cardio increases your respiratory fitness and improves blood circulation, while strength training increases the number of calories that you burn. Strength training routines like balancing weights engage your core, arms, and back.
Other strength training exercises such as squats, Olympic lifts, deadlifts, and presses, are recommended because large muscles like your hamstrings and glutes are engaged.
Building more strength and muscle boosts metabolism
Think of building muscle as building a fat-burning machine. Cardio does burn calories, but only while you are working out. But, the benefits of building more muscles continue when you are not in the gym and carrying on with your daily routines.
Keep in mind that when you strength train and build muscle mass, you may not notice much difference on the scales. And this can be very confusing for those who use the scales to measure how much fat they are burning with strength training.
"More often than not, we don't gain any muscle mass when we do aerobic training," says Dr Hagstrom. "We improve our cardiorespiratory fitness, gain other health and functional benefits, and can lose body fat. But when we strength train, we gain muscle mass and lose body fat, so the number on the scales won't look as low as it would after aerobics training, especially as muscle weighs more than fat."
Strength training is not necessarily just about building muscle. By boosting your metabolism, your body will be able to consume more fat when resting. When you have a 360 approach combining cardio and strength training, the rate at which your body will burn fat even while you are sleeping will increase. Building muscle mass is a long term approach with long term benefits. Also, you get to improve your physic and look your best even though the scales show you may have gained some weight.
Building muscle takes a lot of patience and nutrition, and this is where LA Muscle’s supplements come in – Fat Stripper Intense for staving off junk food, Norateen Heavyweight II for building muscle mass, and Vasculator to keep you looking super fit. With the right combination of strength training, cardio, and a healthy diet, you are on your way to feeling and looking fit.