By Ana Snyder, M.S., Exercise Physiology; CPT, FNS
It’s almost summer—and that means it’s time to kick it into high gear and get your beach body ready!
One of the most common problems for people who exercise is that they give so much effort and see very little changes in their bodies. What gives?
What I’m about to tell you is very important, so listen up! Cardio is actually not the fastest or most effective way to lose weight. So if that’s what you’ve been doing, it might be time to mix your routine up by adding some weightlifting.
Most of you will be surprised when I tell you: Weightlifting actually changes your body faster than cardio! Here are 4 reasons why you should start pumping iron to get your summer body.
1. Speeds Up your Metabolism. When you lift weights, you build more muscle—which speeds up your metabolism and boosts your fat burning capabilities. Regular strength training is more effective at burning fat, because when you do cardio, you’re only expending calories when you’re exercising. Because weight training helps you build muscle, you end up burning more calories—even when you’re not exercising.
2. Less stress on your joints. Running can be a huge stress on your joints, whereas lifting is low impact and actually strengthens the tissues around your joints so that they are more stabilized. It’s not that running is bad, but it is a better idea to develop your core muscles first before you just jump off the couch and decide to go run.
3. Your Body Shape Will Change. Although lifting and cardio can both help you lose weight, cardio makes you lose muscle in addition to fat. Lifting, as I said before, increases your muscle as you burn fat. Because of this, you will look more toned while you lose weight. Lifting is the best way to change the shape of your body and add definition.
4. Your Mindset Will Change. The confidence weight training gives people is amazing. I have seen my clients’ mental states become completely revolutionized. It helps my clients accomplish all of their goals of feeling healthier, looking better, and getting stronger. It helps them see that they are capable of accomplishing anything they want in their lives, if only they dedicate themselves.
When you’re ready to start your weight training journey, check out my favorite piece of equipment that lets you hit every big upper body and lower body muscle group:
The Bottom Line
Strength training can help you lose body fat and is often a faster method than cardio. It is also safer, because it doesn’t require as much stress on your joints. Lastly, it is the best form of exercise to add shape to your body—and great for building up your mental confidence. B
If you really love running, no need to give it up; just remember to mix in a strength training program to help you prevent injury and improve your running capabilities.
As with any type of fitness goals, though: it won’t work unless you do. Time to get your booty to the gym!