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When you want to start losing weight you probably think, I should do cardio to burn calories. While cardio is a great tool to help you increase calorie burn at a specific time and for the day, it may not be the best form of exercise for weight loss.
In 1 hour of a traditional beginners weight training workout you will burn about the same amount of calories as walking for 1 hour, but the weight training will keep your metabolism up higher throughout the day and it will help manage your blood sugar and insulin longer!
Weight training will also help you slowly build muscle. In time this muscle will permanently increase your metabolism at rest, or while doing nothing! This means the muscle you build will burn calories for you without even exercising.
Now if you are brand new to exercise and trying to lose weight, then any exercise is better than no exercise at all. More importantly you should start off with the basics, including walking and learning how to do basic exercises properly.
No matter your fitness level there are always ways to make weight training more effective for your goal.
Weight training and fat loss go hand and hand. You burn calories during your workout, after your workout, while your body is recovering and long term as your body builds muscle. You can stick with the basics, meaning you complete a set, rest a minute or two and complete another set and so on, and eventually you will see progress, but there are more effective ways.
If you are a beginner you can still do one exercise at a time, but make your rest times short! This will help keep your heart rate up and will not have to use heavy weight. Ideally your sets are anywhere between 6-16 reps.
As you become more comfortable with weight training you should also choose more compound exercises which use more muscle groups and burn more calories. So maybe you started with leg exercise and leg curls but after a few weeks went onto leg press and lunges.
The more muscles you utilize in a workout, the more calories you will burn during the workout and after as your body recovers. Once you get better and weight lifting and need to progress further to see more progress, you can now try full body workouts. Maybe you do one lower body exercise and then one upper body workout and go back and forth. This will limit the amount of damage in one muscle group allowing you to come back the next day and try different exercises for both lower and upper body.
One last tip to help you get the most out of your weight training for fat loss… superset! This means you complete one exercise and immediately go into your next exercise and then you take a short rest. Once again help to push your heart rate up! You might even think you are doing cardio!
Next time you want to lose weight and are heading to the treadmill, think twice if you want to make the most of your time and achieve your goals faster and keep your progress!