Losing Weight and Strength Training

Losing weight and strength training is something that can accomplished through a good understanding of basic strength training principles.

Namely, strength training exercise is an anaerobic exercise which means it doesn't burn fat. Its primary function is to increase strength, endurance and size of skeletal muscles. Thus, performing a traditional strength training routine with weights and machines will not in itself help you lose weight. Rather, it needs to be combined with an aerobic aspect of workouts (aerobic exercises burn fat and help reduce weight).

Having this in mind there are two different options at your disposal for utilizing strength training workouts to lose weight. Before we list said options let's take a quick look at the list below:

Losing Weight and Strength Training - Must-know popular theory:

  • performing sets of one to five repetitions primarily develops strength and muscle size and will have no impact on developing endurance
  • performing sets of six to twelve repetitions develop a balance of strength, muscle size and endurance
  • performing sets of thirteen to twenty repetitions develop endurance, with some increases to muscle size and limited impact on strength
  • performing sets of more than twenty repetitions are considered to be focused on aerobic exercise. However, they still have the anaerobic aspect to them, but usually at a rate by which they can consistently remove the lactic acid generated from it (lactic acid makes your muscles tired to the point where you can no longer perform a movement when your muscle is filled with it - this is termed "muscle failure").

Thus, if you look at the last point above you will note that the key to fat-burning and weight reduction is in performing very high repetitions.

Hence, this is your first option for loosing weight and strength training. Do high reps with lower weights and shorter rests between sets. This will keep your heart rate within the fat burning zone (more on this on our heart rate and fat burning page).

The second option is performing a series of exercises with little or no rest between them, referred to as "circuit training", which will draw energy mostly from the aerobic (fat-burning) system. An exercise "circuit" is one completion (set) of all prescribed exercises in the program. When one circuit is complete, you begin the first exercise again for another (second set) circuit.

Traditionally, the time between exercises in circuit training is short, often with rapid movement to the next exercise. This keeps your heart rate up and within the fat burning heart rate zone. We must note that circuit training is physically very demanding and in no way suitable for complete beginners.

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