Strength training and weight loss are a match made in heaven. The benefits of applying a resistance training routine are complimentary to all the physical changes that help a person lose weight. You might want to feel more energy and confidence, be harder to kill, or simply look good naked. Regardless of your goals, every person on planet earth can benefit from a strength training routine. That’s right, if you are a human you need this. So if you are ready for your hard work to translate into results, it’s time to start pumping some iron!
Let’s explore why strength training works, how it needs to be approached, and how you can get started today.
Why it works
Strength training is so effective at helping individuals lose weight because it has a tremendous increase on your body’s metabolism. You can think of this as building a bigger engine. Just to keep a large truck running requires a lot more fuel than to drive a moped at top speed. Remember when Harry and Lloyd got 70 mpg on their way up to Aspen!
The reason you need to build a bigger engine boils down to some simple math surrounding your Resting Metabolic Rate or “RMR”. RMR generally accounts for about 60% of daily energy expenditure. This means that you have way more opportunity to change your body by focusing on long term metabolic adaptations rather than burning yourself with activity in a short time frame. Many individuals try to put in endless hours of cardio to “burn fat”. The problem is that their routine lacks any sort of intensity that builds muscle. This leads to the dreaded “skinny fat” body. These individuals utilize long slow distance efforts and their results can disappear rapidly if they reduce their training volume.
Individuals who practice a regular strength training routine also develop confidence and discipline that they then apply to other areas of their life. An individual who is training hard will be more likely to make better dietary decisions or avoid alcohol. It will help you sort out your priorities and make decisions that align with your goals.
How to do it
When it comes to strength training there are a few major guidelines to be observed. The most important aspect to consider in a strength training routine is that compound functional movements are the foundation for growth, progress, and adaptation. Movements that recruit multiple muscle groups and replicate real world movements like squats, deadlifts, and overhead pressing provide the most “bang for your buck.”
Walk into most health clubs and you will see the general population performing isolation exercises. These are simply less effective and have low transfer to their everyday life. By “majoring in the minors” they are missing out on a huge opportunity. The question is…why?
Learning the proper form associated with compound movements can be intimidating if you’re new to training. The benefit of hiring an experienced trainer or coach is essential. In fact, it’s arguably one of the best investments in your health and in your life that you could ever make. A great coach will teach you proper form, common faults, and give you the proper progressions to make you better and better over time. They will also help you select a training program that has the right volume of work and intensity levels to safely achieve your goals.
Once you have learned the foundational movements needed to improve your fitness, there is no shortage of exercises and routines you can apply to meet your goals.