When it comes to weight lifting for weight loss, there are a few key points to consider. Firstly, you will not get big from lifting weights. You can get ‘big’ from overconsumption of energy (calories), which can be converted into fat or muscle, based on the types of foods you eat and the exercise you do. Secondly, you can lift more than you think, and finally, if weight training is done properly you will likely be sore the day or two after your workouts (especially if you are new to resistance exercise). This is called delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, and it is a normal response to weight training. Be sure to stretch, drink plenty of water and incorporate good nutrition to help your body recover quickly between workouts. Here are five points to keep in mind while working toward your weight or fat-loss goals.
1. Lift heavy weights. You won’t get results lifting the same weights you’ve been lifting (if you’ve been lifting). You have to go up in weight. Increase weight and you’ll increase your strength and muscle mass. Increase your muscle mass and you’ll increase your metabolic rate. Increase your metabolic rate and you will burn more calories. Burn more calories than you consume and you will lose weight.
2. Intensity. You don’t have to spend more than 30 to 45 minutes on your weight workouts. You could cut this down to 20 minutes. The key is to work hard throughout the entire workout, minimising rest and keeping your heart rate elevated.
3. Lift to failure. If you want your body to change, you have to push past your comfort zone. You can’t expect results doing the same thing you’ve always done. Ensure the last rep or two is challenging, because you picked up the heavier weights. By pushing your body out of its comfort zone, you are forcing it to respond and to change. Your body has to use energy to repair and recover. Make your body work for you, and don’t be afraid to fail.
4. Do supersets and hybrids. A superset involves doing two or more exercises that target the same muscle group, back to back with minimal rest in between. For example, doing a set of 12 squats followed by a set of 12 lunges is a superset. A hybrid involves combining two or more movements into one movement. Combining a squat with a shoulder press or a lunge with a squat followed by a lunge are examples of hybrid exercises. Incorporating these into your weight-training workouts can increase the intensity of your training, which is ideal for losing weight.
5. Circuit Training. Circuit training is a great way to get in multiple exercises. You can focus on your upper body, lower body, or total body, all while keeping the intensity up. Of course, you still want to focus on using a challenging weight.