Strength Train or Die Fat

March 24, 2010 · 4 comments

This is a guest post by Dr. Kal from Dr. Kal’s Weight Loss Tips.

Woman Strength Small
Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: Adifansnet

After reading You: On A Diet by Dr Oz and learning more about the dangers of belly fat, I have changed my focus. Instead of focusing on losing weight, I began to focus on losing waist. Now, on my blog, I focus on the best way to lose belly fat.

In regards to belly fat, most people believe that the best exercises to decrease belly fat are core training exercises. They believe that if you do 1000 crunches and 2000 leg lifts a day, your abs will start to miraculously appear. They couldn’t be more wrong.

In order to decrease visceral fat, improve your health, decrease your chances of having a chronic disease, and release your abs, you should adopt a multi-faceted activity plan. Your activity plan should include core training, aerobic training, and strength training. However, of the three, strength training is the most important.

Strength Training

Strength training uses resistance of muscular contraction to increase strength and/or size of your muscles. This resistance comes in the form of free weights, body weight, weight machines, or resistance bands. Strength training is used by many to improve their physical appearance, but it has benefits far beyond that.

The benefits of strength training include:

Benefit #1: Burns Calories During

As with any exercise, you will burn calories while strength training. These calories burnt will help you create the calorie deficit you need to achieve permanent visceral fat and weight loss.

Benefit #2: Burns Calories After

If done correctly, a strength training workout should result in small tears in the muscles you used. After your workout, your body must use calories and other resources to repair these tears. For up to 48 hours after a good strength training workout, you will still continue to burn extra calories. This does not occur with aerobics or cardio.

Benefit #3: Prevents Muscle Breakdown

When you create a calorie deficit and you start to lose weight, your body will start to burn through your glycogen (carbohydrate) stores. Eventually, your body will look for other sources of energy including fat and protein (muscles). Your body would especially like to get rid of your muscles, because, pound for pound, muscles require more energy to maintain than fat stores require.

Strength training prevents this. When done correctly strength training tells the body that it should not use your muscles for energy because you need them.

Benefit #4: Burns Calories 24 Hours a Day

By preventing muscle breakdown, strength training helps to keep your metabolism from decreasing. Your metabolism represents your body’s ability to burn calories 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Your metabolism burns calories even while you are sleeping.

Strength training may also be able to help you become one of the few people who manage to increase your muscle mass while losing fat. This increase in muscle mass will boost your metabolism and the calories you burn through out the day.

Benefit #5: Keeping You Young

We have all grown accustomed to seeing older people looking frail, looking weak, and needing help. But, it doesn’t have to be that way for you. As you get older, your body naturally begins to cannibalize your muscles because it doesn’t think you need them. You can prevent this with strength training, because strength training tells your body that you do need your muscles. Look at Jack LaLanne.

Benefit #6: Improves Cardiovascular Health

Strength training has been shown to increase the strength of your heart similar to the way aerobic exercises do. It has also been shown to increase HDLs, better known as “good cholesterol”. HDLs are not actually cholesterols. They are lipoproteins that clean cholesterols out of your arteries. Increasing the strength of your heart and increasing your HDLs will help you live well for a long time.

Additional Benefit For Women

Many women avoid strength training because they fear they will get bulky. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Unless you are a woman with a full beard, chest hair, and an Adam’s Apple, you are unlikely to get very muscular while strength training. As a woman you will not only receive the six benefits I discussed earlier, but you will get one more. Strength training will help prevent osteoporosis as you get older. Do some squats to prevent a fractured hip.

To lose waist and get healthy, you must increase your activity. The best activity for this is strength training. So, get started today!

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Darren March 25, 2010 at 8:33 am

Dr. Kal has some great tips here for people wanting to lose weight.
I have found myself enjoying strength training much more than other forms of exercise and it’s good to know that it will be benefiting me on my goal of losing fat.


D.C. March 25, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Good article! How many days of strength training do you think is good for women? is 2-3 days enough?

Dr. Kal March 25, 2010 at 8:16 pm

@Darren: I’m totally with you there. I love strength training. I could live without cardio. But a comprehensive plan should include both.

@D.C.: 2 - 3 days would be great. I would do 2 to 3 full body workouts weekly to keep your metabolism boosted at all times.

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