"But won't this make me look bulky?" This is a very common question among people who start weight training. They think that if they are holding a dumbbell or barbell, they must be training to compete in a body building competition. I am here to tell you, once again, that this is simply not true!! Sure, weight lifting can get you to the competition stage with the right tweaking in nutrition and training, but for the majority of people, it's just going to make you look fabulous in a bathing suit. Acquiring an awesome bikini bod aside, it also gives you an extra edge on fighting unnecessary tummy fat, stress, diseases, etc. And yet, there are people who are still hesitant about incorporating weight training into their fitness routine. For those that question it, here are a few reasons why you shouldn't!
"IF I DO MORE CARDIO, I WILL LOSE THE FAT". False. Most of the time, "doing cardio" to someone just means walking on the treadmill at a chill pace for an hour. That is NOT going to do anything more than burn some useless calories. Maybe you're thinking "burning calories is good, so i'll continue doing that", but really, we've just been wired to think that that's all exercising is about. That's just not true. Why do something that JUST burns calories in that moment? Weight training will do that and more. Doing a half hour weight training circuit will burn calories during and after, whereas the same amount of time in cardio will only burn calories during that time and nothing after. How? Basically, after each workout with weights, your muscles need energy to repair, which burns calories. This also raises your metabolism, which helps to burn fat, for up to two days. Also, increasing your lean muscle mass raises your metabolism over time. This means that you'll be burning more calories while doing your typical everyday activities than if you weren't weight training. Also, to burn the same amount of calories with cardio as you would with weight training in the same amount of time, you'd need to be running for your life the entire time, not walking while carrying an in depth conversation.
As you get older, it is common for muscle to be exchanged with fat. A pound of the fat takes up about 20% more space than a pound of muscle. That means the jeans you might have been wearing for years will not look good or even fit. Your waist will increase as well as other areas you can't stand when you look in the mirror. Cardio should help that, right? A little. The problem with just doing cardio is that you will typically lose some of the weight you want, but in fat AND muscle. In the end, you will be smaller, but without any shape, still holding onto the belly fat that hangs over your jeans. With resistance training, chances are, you will lose the fat you want without losing your precious muscle and allow the natural curves of your body to shine through. The goal of training with weights is to tighten up those areas, keeping you looking trim, toned, and healthy.
This is not to say at all that there is no room for cardio in your training regimen. Cardio is great, but not alone. It is safe to say that you will probably have a really hard time achieving the body you want with just cardio. The key is having a combination of cardio and weight lifting. With all the awesome reasons proven time and time again for why working out with weights is best for weight loss, why not try? Now is the time to pick up those heavy weights and work for the body you want.
Breanna is an ACSM certified Health Fitness Specialist and a degreed professional with her Bachleors of Science in Exercise Science. Breanna has a passion for helping others and for health and wellness. She is eager to help you reach your fitness and body goals, contact her by phone at 210-495-3131 or message on the website and get started today!