What comes to mind when you hear the term “weightlifting”?
In all likelihood, you immediately pictured the above and said to yourself, "That's not for me. I don't want to be bulky." If this is the case, you’re not alone friend. But the truth of the matter is that weightlifting creates that nice toned physique you're after. See example below.
This is what happens when you lift weights for fat loss. It's not bulky. It's toned. And that's what you're after right?? Well, then keep reading.
Many people believe that lifting weights is reserved for those looking to improve their muscle definition and bulk and for good reason. Weightlifting can help a person achieve those kinds of goals, but it also has a huge role to play in fat loss.
Many women believe that the key to fat loss is purely cardio exercise. There’s no inherent problem with this opinion. Cardio exercise will indeed have an impact on your ability to burn fat and lose excess weight. However, recent studies have come to the conclusion that weightlifting could actually be a more beneficial tool for fat burning than cardiovascular exercise alone. Best results were seen when a combination of two were present in the participants workout plan.
Weightlifting for fat loss: the evidence
Recent studies into the benefits of weightlifting are far more profound than just allowing people to “bulk up”. For example, a weightlifting session can boost your metabolism for up to 38 hours after you have concluded the workout. Your base metabolic rate will increase by around 10 calories per hour following a weightlifting session. This may not sound like a lot, but that’s a 380 calorie boost, which can help tremendously if you are trying to maintain a caloric deficit.
Admittedly, you will experience a metabolic boost after cardiovascular exercise also. However, you would have to be exercising for a very long time to even come close to what weightlifting can offer with a short, simple session.
Weightlifting is more convenient
One of the downsides of cardiovascular exercise is that it can be time-consuming. The time you spend on cardiovascular exercise will also need to increase as you lose weight and increase your fitness levels. You’ll need to do more, for longer, just to continue to burn calories at the same rate you were six months ago. Who wants to do that?
Weight-lifting, in contrast, is time-efficient. While the per-hour calories favor cardiovascular exercise, the additional calorie-burning benefits you derive from weightlifting make it an incredibly efficient form of training. If you have 15 minutes to spare, then chances are you’d be better turning to weightlifting over cardiovascular exercise.
Worried about bulking?
Many women worry that if they lift, they will gain muscle and “bulk up”. This, however, isn’t the case. There are is no better witness to this than my own in person and online clients. Gaining muscle requires dedication, dietary changes, and even biological advantages.
Men, for example, gain far more rapidly due to the higher levels of testosterone in their system. Essentially, bulking up doesn’t happen by accident, and you don’t need to be concerned that weightlifting will add unwanted bulk to your frame. If anything, you’ll benefit from lean muscle and toned abs due to weight-lifting. You’ll experience the enhanced fat-burning boost and tone, rather than bulk, your muscles.
If you have been hesitant as to how weightlifting could benefit you, then hopefully the facts above will have helped resolve some of your concerns. Weightlifting is a hugely (pun intended!) beneficial form of exercise if you are looking to achieve high levels of fat-burning. You don’t need to worry about gaining unwanted muscle, either. If you’re looking to burn fat and improve your physical fitness, weightlifting is an element you’ll want to add to your overall fitness regime.
I am a wife, mom, grandma & former professional “diet and exercise hopper" who understands the challenges of being 40lb overweight after having children & the damage repeated sense of failure can cause to your confidence and self-esteem.