While many people hit the gym and do cardio to lose weight, strength training is often just as important for weight loss. Strength training, which offers a myriad of benefits on its own, is best paired with cardio to provide the most significant burn. Still not convinced? Here are a handful of benefits and some sample strength and cardio routines to help you torch that stubborn fat.
Strength training helps build lean muscle, help you manage your diabetes, can combat osteoporosis, and can promote healthy bone mass. Strength training can also help you keep the weight off and boost your mood. If you’re looking to lose weight and keep the pressure off, strength training is a beautiful addition! Although it can be hard to get started, the benefits well-outweigh the difficulties in starting. Strength training can mean a variety of things: weightlifting, resistance training, and circuit training. Each type of training has different benefits, too.
For weightlifting, you can choose exactly what muscles you want to isolate, can have machines to help you maintain form, and you can do them at home and the gym. Types of resistance training, like swimming, bodyweight exercises, and resistance band usage are also easy for you to perform at home. Circuit training is the perfect blend of cardio and resistance: exercise routines like high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, mesh cardio with resistance training for a short exercise session with an intense calorie and fat burn lasting for a few hours after the meeting.
Getting Started with Strength Training
Bodyweight exercises are a great way to start doing strength training. You can also utilize devices like free weights, medicine balls, TRX machines, weights, and sliding discs, to help you incorporate strength training into your daily exercise routine. Keep it straightforward and center around hardware-free exercises first. Regardless of what you do, the most critical thing is to discover something that you enjoy doing.
Ideally, you should be strength training three to five days a week, with two days a week being a good starting point. Once you feel comfortable with that, try exercising three days a week, and then four, and then five! When you start strength training, working out for twenty minutes before increasing your time exercised is a great way to get started on strength training routines without hurting yourself. But shortening your weightlifting doesn’t mean you should cut out cardio: cardio is an essential part of any weight loss routine.
Being sure to stretch, warm up your muscles, and be properly hydrated and fueled with healthy proteins are all crucial parts of hitting the gym. Dynamic stretching, or stretching every muscle for thirty seconds or longer every day, is an essential part of weight training. Loosening your muscles means you can get deeper into that squat, protect your joints, and lift safely. Staying hydrated is an essential part of joint lubrication and eliminating muscle soreness, both necessary for weightlifting and feeling okay the next day!
Eating the right foods both before and after a weightlifting session is vital for muscle growth and development. Having a carb-heavy snack, like a granola bar, before a workout can give you the fast-burning energy that you need to power through those weights! And everyone knows to eat protein after you complete your workout for optimal muscle growth!