Exercise: Weight training

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If you understand how you burn calories, you understand why it is important to keep muscle mass.  Weight lifting is one way to protect and build more muscle mass.  

Many consider weigh liftings or residence training to be one of the most important methods of losing weight and I tend to agree.  Weight lifting not only burns calories, it burned them for more than one day and it raises your metabolism.   You may ask, how does it do this?  Well, it is quite simple, lifting weight makes small tears in the muscle fibers that require repairs.  These repairs allow the strengthening of the muscle and require energy to rebuild.  

Examples of Resistance Trainings:

  1. Weights
  2. Body Weight exercises such as push up, pull ups, and sit ups
  3. Isometrics
  4. Resistance bands

I cannot tell you how many people have told me in my nearly 50 years that they were not going to lift weights because weight lifting makes you gain weight.  Although this my be true, it will also make you leaner if you eat wright.  As I indicated above, resistance training in all forms is another effective way to burn calories and lose body fat.   It has been shown to increase your resting metabolic rate which means you’ll continue to burn calories even after you finish working out.  This means that you will eb able to eat more without gaining weight.  

Research:

  1. One study by Feurer looked at moderately to severely obese patient placed on a six week exercise program.  In this study they look dat subject 18-70 years of age and put them in an exercise program twice a day with both resistance and cardio training.  They found that the mixed 6 week training program led to not only decrease body fat and increased strength, but is also led to higher quality of life[1].  
  2. Another study looked at the effects of resistance training and caloric restrictions on metabolic syndrome.  The subjects had conformed metabolic syndrome which a diabetes Type 2 precursor which included high blood pressure, central obesity, metabolic changes.   During the study, the test group lost over 5% body mass and significant improvement is all aspects of the metabolic syndrome when compared to the control group[2].  

Recommendations:  The bottom line is you will likely gain weight lifting weights but it will be the more dense muscle that will reduce your waist circumference and increase you overall health.  You still need to watch what you eat and do some cardio to work your heart, but it will work to lean you up if done right.  Also, remember, your knees don’t care what kind of weight is on them.  If you put a bull dozer on a compact car chassis, it will fail and so will you knees if you overload them.  It does not matter if it is muscle or fat.   Most of us will not go to that extreme so a little muscle mass will improve your health and hel[ you keep the fat off.  

Footnotes
[1]Feurer, “Effect of a Mixed 6-Week Training Period on Body Fat in Moderately to Severely Obese Patients, without Caloric Restriction, with a 3-Month Follow-Up.”
[2]Normandin et al., “Effect of Resistance Training and Caloric Restriction on the Metabolic Syndrome.”
Feurer, J. “Effect of a Mixed 6-Week Training Period on Body Fat in Moderately to Severely Obese Patients, without Caloric Restriction, with a 3-Month Follow-Up.” Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 59S (September 1, 2016): e53 [PubMed]
Normandin, E, E Chmelo, MF Lyles, AP Marsh, and BJ Nicklas. “Effect of Resistance Training and Caloric Restriction on the Metabolic Syndrome.” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, October 13, 2016 [PubMed]
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About the Author

ChuckH
I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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