Resistance or strength training has long been considered a distant second to traditional cardio exercise when it comes to burning calories. New research, however, begs to differ.
A recent study by Arizona State University researchers showed that strength training may actually burn twice the amount of calories as originally thought. It found that the traditional equation used to measure energy expenditure during resistance training didn't tell the whole story.
The good news for you? You can adjust your own strength training routine to maximize weight loss. Here are some tips on how to do so:
1. Concentrate On Muscular Endurance
For many years there has been a debate of whether it's best to work on muscular strength or muscular endurance (the difference being that muscular endurance typically involves lifting lighter weights at higher repetitions). You can't go wrong with either approach, but studies have shown that concentrating on muscular endurance has more of an affect on weight loss.
2. Increase Your Protein Intake
Here's some more research: Studies have also shown that strength training is more effective in promoting weight loss than just cutting calories alone. Additionally, swapping some of your carbs for protein will help accelerate the process. Taking in protein right after resistance training can not only help improve body composition, but enhance recovery, as well.
3. Up The Intensity
You may have already heard of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in terms of cardio training. The theory is that you push yourself at a high intensity for a short period of time and then take a break before repeating the process for multiple sets. HIIT can also be used during strength training workouts. Exercises such as squats, burpees and mountain climbers can be utilized in this kind of training structure.
4. Compound Exercises
A compound exercise is when you target multiple muscle groups all at once. For instance, a bodyweight squat can significantly decrease body fat and help develop lean body mass. Using either a barbell or dumbbells, you work both your upper and lower body while getting an intense overall workout.
5. Weights Before Cardio
Typically, most people do strength training after cardio exercise and thus do fewer weight-lifting repetitions than they might be capable of. Many trainers and coaches now recommend doing strength training first, when you're fresh. Moreover, you'll be better able to maintain form and do the exercises correctly. One approach would be to alternate days of strength and cardio training, or do one in the morning and the other at night.
Working with a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts in Amarillo can help you take your fitness to another level. Get a head start on your New Year's resolution with Ralph's group training class!
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