Written January 15, 2006
Resistance training is training your body to overcome resistance in the form of bodyweight, dumbbells, barbells, sandbags, bands, and machines.
Many people shy away from this form of training for a variety of reasons, however many studies have shown this type of training is by far the most effective fat burning strategy.
Metabolism & Resistance Training
Muscles require the body to burn more fuel when in motion, namely fat and carbohydrates. Each pound of muscle burns approximately 50 calories a day.
Fat takes up significantly more volume on the body than muscle that explains why a woman with little muscle who weights 120 pounds (a skinny number in most people’s minds) looks worse than a woman with more muscle weighing 140 pounds.
Guys (and especially girls), you will not end up looking like a muscle-bound monster unless that’s your goal! Building muscle and gaining size is difficult and requires an understanding of the complicated training protocols as well as a hefty surplus of calories.
Take a look at this.
A study by Staron et al. (1990) showed that after a 20-week program of heavy resistance training, female participants showed decreased body fat with an increase in muscle tissue, however, with no change in physical size. So the muscle you build gives tone and shape to your figure, gives you stronger bones, also improving your body image and posture.
Steady-state cardio is a good measure to keep up your overall fitness & health. However, most people don’t know what you need to change your training regularly to continue burning the same amount of calories.
NOTE: steady-state cardio is any repetitive, rhythmic, low-intensity exercise done for an extended period.
This is because your body is a lot smarter then you think, the body wants to remain comfortable it doesn’t want to work so hard so it becomes more efficient at doing the same amount of work. For example, your steady-state cardio routine that use to burn 300 calories now only burn 150 calories a few weeks later. You will continue to not get the same results you once did.
BURN FAT FAST
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a strategy of cardio that will produce great fat-burning results overall in less time than a normal cardio session. Usual HIIT sessions last from 9–20 minutes. The protocol is a 2:1 ratio for work to rest periods. For example, a runner would alternate between a 20-second sprint and a 10-second walk. You would go back and forth between work and rest until your session time is over.
Here is a study backing HIIT.
A study by Gibala et al. demonstrated 2.5 hours of sprint interval training produced similar biochemical muscle changes to 10.5 hours of endurance training and similar endurance performance benefits. According to a study by King et al. HIIT increases the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) for the following 24 hours.
Try this on your next cardio session.
Start on the treadmill with a 3 min jog at 1-2%i incline, stop. Then go as fast as you can safely go for 10 seconds. then walk for 2 mins then go for a 20-second sprint. Walk for another 2 mins then go for a 30-second sprint. Walk for 2 more mins and finally a 60-second sprint. Slow down the pace to about 3 mph and raise the incline to 10% for a 10 min walk. In only 20 mins you’ll have the best cardio session of your life.
Something to think about
Doing too much steady-state long-distance cardio training is not the most beneficial way to lose fat. This type of training is catabolic, meaning that it can break down muscle mass. Marathon runners are a perfect example of this – they have trained long past any cardiovascular health benefit and have lost a majority of their muscle mass and strength in the process.
Human beings love comfort and familiarity. We learn a few exercises from a known strong guy, fitness guru or anyone that looks like their in good shape then do them forever.
Sure the first few weeks you see a change, then after that its back to the same body, you had before you started even though you’ve just implemented a seemingly good workout routine.
That’s part of the problem – its a routine!
We head to the gym and just go through the same motions all the time every time and what’s worse is we might not even be putting much effort into the routine we’ve been doing for so long!
Now just like the cardio as stated earlier, our body has gotten used to this “routine” therefore again the body becomes more efficient at doing the same amount of work.
We must change what we’re doing every 4-8 weeks. I don’t mean change your current routine for another set of random exercises.
Be cautious and understand how and what you are training. Know what your goal is!
Now your probably thinking “OK, I’ll just use more weight and still get results.” but if that was the case we’d all be able to squat 500 pounds and be lean and muscular with great bodies.
Make gradual progressions in whatever training program you choose. Don’t wing it, at least not all the time.
So you see there is an alternative to burning fat. You don’t have to do tons of miles on the treadmill or tear apart the pedals and seat on your exercise bike. Do not misunderstand what I say here, I do strongly believe that a certain amount of steady-state cardio will help trim the body fat.
However, we must include a proper resistance training program, not routine, into our training sessions. This will help achieve our health and body transformation goals in less time.