Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Strength Training is the Ultimate Exercise

People sometimes look at me like I’m crazy when I proclaim that I don’t need to run several miles a day or diet to get in shape.

What is wrong with this guy? Isn’t cutting back on food the first step to a six-pack? Isn’t cardio the best way to burn calories and lose weight? No and no. You do not have to starve yourself or run miles upon miles to get in shape.  Yes, that’s right!  No more hours running on the hamster wheel and staring at the wall or eating measly, miserable salads at every meal.  Dieting is a horrible idea by the way (more on this later).

There are several benefits to running and other cardio exercises, so if running is something you enjoy then by all means keep it up. But if you’re anything like me, you can’t stand running on a treadmill or jogging in big circles every day of the week.

90% of you probably know what I’m talking about when I use the term ‘strength training,’ but for those of you who don’t… Strength training is the use of resistance to contract muscles in order to build strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles.

Strength training is 100% without a doubt better for losing weight than cardio.  Cardio exercises like running, swimming, and cycling all promote cardiovascular health, but when it comes to losing weight, strength training is king.  Why, you ask?  Muscles require more calories than fat to maintain them. People who lift weights increase their muscle mass so their bodies are burning more calories even when at rest. This means you are burning fat even when you’re watching TV or sitting at the dinner table!  Some studies have shown weightlifting can cause your metabolism to increase by up to 15%.  I’ve learned the truth of this statement first hand. My wife complains that I eat everything in the house whenever I start a new lifting regimen.  This is not a problem though, because my body is getting stronger and leaner as I continue to lift.

If you want the body you’re looking for, it’s time to get in the gym and pick up some weights! I’ll suggest some great workouts in upcoming blogs. Until then, check out the fitness sections on or Train at least 3 times a week and make sure you work all of your muscle groups each week. I like to divide my workouts by muscle groups. A good example is: Day 1 - Chest and Triceps, Day 2 - Back and Biceps, Day 3 - Shoulders and Legs.  You can work abs in wherever you like. Try to use free weights instead of those machines. Start light and focus on technique! If you can’t get access to a gym or weight room, there are plenty of exercises you can do at home. Try googling a few ‘home workouts’ for now. I will post some workouts for you soon!


Here's a little food for thought.

Benefits of Weight Lifting
Leaner body
Better athletic performance
Boosts metabolism
Provides fat loss
Increases strength
Improves the immune system
Slows down aging
Improves posture
Improves libido
Reduces stress
Lowers high blood pressure
Improves circulation
Reduces risk of diabetes
Increases confidence
Improves balance
Improves flexibility
Builds stronger bones

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