We all do it, eat without thinking until one day we look in the mirror and think. “Where did all that weight come from?” But what if the weight isn’t the problem, what if you could be the same weight or heavier, but without the bulging midriff?
Well that’s exactly the case. A pound of fat is the same weight as a pound of muscle and the same as a pound of feathers. But what people over look is the volume; that is the amount of space occupied by a pound of fat vs a pound of muscle. Muscle fiber is dense, tightly packed protein where fat — well fat is fat, loose and watery. The same weight of fat takes up more space than its muscle equivalent.
With that in mind. Should weight loss be the goal? No. The goal should be lowing your body fat ratio. But how to go about that, what is the best way to lower your body fat ratio? Hours on the treadmill? starvation diets? what about just not eating carbs? No, no and no. We are all familiar with these popular diet fads. My personal favorite was the treadmill; I love running, especially outside on a nice day. Sure you burn a lot of calories, but you can loose a lot of muscle too.
Better options? Eat all the things! Yes you read that right. Lean meats, fresh fruits, veggies and yes. Even the dreaded carbs. These are called Macro Nutrients and you need to eat them all in the right ratios to induce proper metabolic function and overall good health. This is the fuel your body needs to grow muscle, arm your immune system and handle proper digestion. That Big Mac is all the wrong things in the wrong ratios, combined with a fountain pop which contains enough sugar for a year — can we say diabetes?
But eating clean is only the first step, next comes exercise. Cardio is good — I run half marathons, I love cardio — but weight lifting is better, much, much better. Not only will you see results in the mirror quicker, but a whole host of other benefits.
Benefits of Weight Training
- You will burn more calories. While you might burn 400-600 calories running on the treadmill for an hour, that burn stops within an hour or two of completing your workout. With weights, it can take up to 72 hours; Research has shown that regular resistance training can increase your Basal Metabolic Rate by up to 15%. As long as your muscles are sore, they are in repair mode and that means calories are being burned to build lean muscle.
- Your mental health will improve. Exercise produces endorphin’s; the happiness hormone. Researchers found that people who performed three weight workouts a week for six months significantly improved their scores on measures of anger and overall mood.
- Your cloths will fit better. Man or woman, the human body has an optimal shape and designers cut their cloths to match. For guys its that broad shoulder V-taper, for ladies its the hour-glass curves. Weight training will accentuate that shape. Who doesn’t want to look better in their cloths?
- Bone density will improve. This is a big one for the ladies, with osteoporosis so common among elderly women getting a head start young and keeping those bones strong is an absolute must!
- You may live longer. University of South Carolina researchers determined that total-body strength is linked to lower risks of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Similarly, other researchers found that being strong during middle age is associated with “exceptional survival,” defined as living to the age of 85 without developing a major disease.
- Increased Intelligence? I know, that goes against the stereotype but… Brazilian researchers found that six months of resistance training enhanced lifters’ cognitive function. In fact, the sweat sessions resulted in better short- and long-term memory, improved verbal reasoning, and a longer attention span.
- Overall health improvements. Research has proven that resistance training provides a positive affect on insulin resistance, resting metabolism, blood pressure, body fat and gastrointestinal transit time, factors that are linked to illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
(Ladies) I don’t want to get big and bulky
Do not worry about it! This is a common concern with women and it doesn’t need to be. Weight training wont make you huge, unless you want to get huge and take the necessary steps to do so. Women don’t produce enough testosterone naturally to really pack on the mass, and you don’t need to lift really heavy weights to get results. What it will do is enhance your natural feminine curves, the sexy hour-glass figure.
I want to start lifting, where do I go from here?
My personal favorite program is BodyBeast, Sagi Kalev is an excellent trainer — two time Mr. Israel — you will love this work out, but it is focused on men who want to bulk up. Some other options are 21 Day fix, which is a great place to start and will get you on the right track quickly. And The Masters Hammer and Chisel; Sagi and Autumn teamed up to create this amazing program.
Get on a program, take your before and after photos, and take your measurements. I promise, you will not be disappointing. These programs, when followed, produce results. Remember, I am here to help you too. Contact me here or through Facebook, I have challenge and accountability groups and will provide free personal support as well.