Many people who are beginning their fitness journey toward a lean, toned physique make the mistake of focusing only on cardio and aerobics. Exercises like jogging, walking, and cycling are no doubt a staple while cooking a leaner look, but failing to add in some weight lifting is like serving a PB&J sandwich without the jelly. It just won’t work!
In fact, if you still mistakenly believe that the weight room is only for seasoned athletes or bodybuilders, you’re sabotaging your lean body goals right from the start. “You may lose weight faster when you’re just doing cardio, but unfortunately that’s the wrong kind of weight,” said Greg Justice, PT. women’s health. Weight training builds lean muscle mass, which raises your metabolism and burns more fat, even when you’re not exercising.
Moreover, this study was published in International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Metabolism It concludes that combining a clean diet with strength training is simultaneously effective in burning unnecessary fat while preserving muscle mass. Therefore, it is quite clear that strength exercises in general help in weight loss. However, making a relatively simple adjustment to your weightlifting routine can help you burn twice as many calories.
Read on to find out more, and then, don’t miss out on this workout plan that will keep you flexible throughout the holidays.
It can be tempting to lift the heaviest weights you can handle, but science tells us that choosing to prioritize the amount of reps over heavier weights helps burn significantly more calories.
This study was published in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research The tracked calories burned as a group of young men either did a lot of bench press at a low weight or did only a few heavier bench presses. Incredibly, people who performed more reps with lighter weights ended up burning nearly twice as many calories as the others.
The study concluded that “what type of lifting” burns “the most calories, muscular endurance (high repetitions), or strength training (heavy weight)? The answer appears to be muscular endurance exercises.”
Another study was published in Diabetes care They came to similar conclusions, finding that those who performed a few reps with heavier weights burned significantly fewer calories than others who performed more reps with lighter weights.
These results should not be an excuse to take it easy while working out. Strength training sessions should still be strenuous. Instead of lifting the heaviest weights, only working 1-5 reps at a time, use lighter barbells in 15-25 reps increments. Your muscles should still be burned and fatigued afterwards, but all the extra energy used in performing more repetitions will translate into additional calories burned.
Related: A new study says this exercise is three times better for your health than walking.
If you’re worried that lifting lighter weights will sabotage your big biceps dreams, don’t hesitate. Science tells us that a high-repetition approach to weightlifting can build muscle and strength just as much as heavy weights and low repetitions.
Posted in Journal of Applied Physiology Follow a group of experienced weightlifters who either lift heavy weights at lower repetitions or perform more reps with lighter weights. After 12 weeks, the research team evaluated muscle mass and muscle fiber size. The gains were nearly identical between the two experimental groups.
The unifying factor here was that all participants, regardless of repetitions or weight, raised to the point of muscle failure. So, again, as long as you put in a serious effort with your workout and lifting until your muscles are exhausted, choosing light weights and high balls will help build strength just like any other style of weightlifting. And you’ll burn more calories!
“Fatigue is the great balancing factor here,” says lead study author Stuart Phillips, professor in the department of kinesiology at McMaster University. “Lift to exhaustion and it doesn’t matter if the weights are heavy or light.”
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Another advantage of a lightweight, high-repetition approach to strength training is the reduced risk of injury. It doesn’t take much imagination to visualize what can go wrong while lifting heavy weights. The risks are much greater, as a simple slip of the hand or improper form can result in serious injury. Lighter weights are also easier on the joints, and more repetitions can help strengthen the connective tissues.
“Working with light weights allows you to perform movements through your full range of motion correctly and accurately,” Ashley Verma, founder of boutique Barre studio Define.London, told INSIDER. “Plus, the risk of injury is much lower… As we age, we can develop joint problems and this can also be exacerbated by the wrong kind of training. Using lighter weights and incorporating longer reps will only empower the body, not Suddenly hit him.”
Related: Science Says The Secret Effects Of Lifting Weights Only Once A Week
Another great way to burn more calories while building muscle is to choose compound exercises over isolation exercises. A compound exercise, such as a pull-up or a squat, simultaneously trains multiple muscle groups. Meanwhile, isolation exercises like the biceps exercise only target one muscle.
“The higher your metabolism, the more calories you burn,” explains Robert Herbst, 19-time world champion, weightlifter. “The best are weightlifting exercises that involve compound movements such as squats, lunges, bench presses, and weightlifting that work the major muscle groups. These exercises keep the metabolic rate high for 48 to 72 hours afterward as the body repairs the muscles that have been worked out. Break it down and build new muscle.
For more information, check out this 5-move at home workout that will help you build strength.