When most people think of losing fat, their mind shifts to endless, mind-numbing hours of cardio. This belief may lead them to limping along on a treadmill, elliptical... or going for long-distance runs every day. And maybe even an absurd combination of all these to burn as many calories as possible. Unless you really enjoy doing this, I promise you this is not the best way to get leaner so you can look and feel your best.
It took a while, but finally, more people are starting to understand the power of resistance training… specifically its potent fat-burning effects. For long-term fat loss, nothing is more crucial than strength training. While it may surprise you now, hopefully, by the end of this article, you will be dead set on implementing resistance training into your exercise routine. So without further ado, let's jump into it.
Before we talk about exercise, diet is the number 1 thing to focus on for fat loss. I know it's not sexy, but what you put in your body impacts your weight more than anything else. You can have the most perfect exercise routine in history, but it won't mean a thing if your diet is off. We have tons of nutrition articles on the Mind Pump blog, so be sure to check them out. But let's say you are eating right; it's time to get your exercise routine dialed in.
If you start doing only cardio, you are on your way to burning off all of your muscle. And getting rid of muscle is the last thing you want to do. With cardio only, the weight on the scale may go down initially. But your physique will suffer, and you'll feel like crap. You start to look smaller, but not in a good way. The term for this is called skinny-fat.
Resistance training is excellent because it increases your metabolism. Doing only cardio, on the other hand, doesn't. With lifting, you are slowly adding more weight and providing your body with a heavier stimulus, so it has no choice but to build muscle to keep up. And when you have more muscle, your body burns calories at rest. Without getting all sciency, more muscle allows you to burn more fat.
Bottom line, if we want to look good and feel good, we need to use resistance training as the foundation of our exercise program. It's what helps us shape our bodies to our desired look and burn fat for the long haul. We suggest a full-body split focusing on compound exercises performed 3x a week. In addition, get as many low-impact movements as possible by doing activities like walking, biking, swimming, etc. This is, without a doubt, the best way to pack on muscle and continuously lose fat.
So please, get off the cardio bandwagon and make resistance training your main priority. I promise you that you will like how your body looks more and walk around with more energy and vigor. The key is to not get caught up with the scale. I know it's hard to break this thought, especially for women. Still, I promise you will develop a much healthier relationship with exercise through resistance training. Watching yourself get stronger in the weight room is one of the best things you can do for your well-being.
If you aren't sure where to start, we have many programs to help you get the body you want. Click here to check them out.