Diet is the most important factor in weight loss, but exercise is important. It’s not just cardio that can burn calories and get the pounds off. Strength training, or muscle-strengthening exercises, can be another tool in your weight loss tool kit. With a smart approach and some diligence, strength training can help you tone up and slim down. Here’s how strength training can help with weight loss, and Post-Workout Recovery Formulas may help with muscle recovery.*
Benefits of Strength Training for Weight Loss and Health
First, let’s approach the elephant in the room. Strength training is nothing to fear. Unlike what many people believe, it does not bulk you up, that is, unless you want it to. Rather, strength training can help with weight loss in the following ways.
- It burns calories while you are doing it. This is especially true if you work out more vigorously.
- It can double as a cardio workout if you move from one exercise to the next instead of being still between sets.
- It increases metabolism the rest of the day as you increase muscle mass, since muscles burn calories even while you are resting.
- It can be motivating to look and feel better as your muscles give your body a more toned and lean appearance.
Another important point is that strength training is good for health. As long as your healthcare provider agrees that it’s safe for you, resistance training can have benefits such as the following.
- It lowers blood sugar on par with cardio exercise.
- It lowers systolic and diastolic blood pressure similar to the amount that cardio exercise does.
- It supports bone health by promoting normal bone density.
- It helps lower injury risk.
There is another benefit to strength training. It can vary your exercise routine and make it more interesting and motivating. That can help you stick with it, and that is the most important thing of all for long-term benefits.
How to Strength Training
Not everyone is familiar with how to strength train. Unlike, say, walking, people do not usually do formal strength training on a daily basis as part of their regular lives. But it does not have to be easy. You can do it at a gym, but you don’t have to.
These are some common pieces of equipment for strength training.
- Weight machines at a gym
- Resistance bands
- Body weight
Anything that gets your muscles fatigued can count. That means that lifting groceries or carrying boxes can count.
Ideally, you can work each muscle group 2 to 3 times a week. For each muscle group, do 8 to 10 repetitions, or until your muscle is fatigued. Then repeat the set once or twice, for a total of 16 to 30 repetitions per muscle group per workout session.
These are the different muscle groups to consider, and sample exercises for them.
- Arms: bicep curls, tricep extension
- Chest: push-ups, chest fly, bench press
- Core: planks, crunches, dead bug, bird dog
- Legs: calf raises, lunges, dips, squats
- Rear end and hips: dead lifts, hip extensions
- Shoulders: shoulder press, arm raises
- Back: standing or seated rows
The American Council on Exercise, or ACE, has a library of exercises for working different muscle groups. You can filter your search by experience level, muscle(s) to work, and equipment.
It is important to do your exercises with good form. This helps you get maximum results and to prevent injury. A trainer or group fitness instructor can help watch you and give pointers to help you achieve and maintain good form.
Recovery for Strength Training and Cardio for Weight Loss
When you work out hard, your muscles get minor damage to them. That is good because it means they can repair themselves and grow back stronger. However, you can support this process with careful nutrition.*
Netrition has a variety of products designed for you to take after a workout to support normal muscle recovery and repair.*
- Liposomal Creatine Monohydrate: 5000 mg per serving in an unflavored powder
- Animal PM 30 Packs: with glutamine and amino acids, as well as magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6. valerian, and other compounds to support normal mood, relaxation, and sleep.
- NOW HMB Powder: with calcium and HMB, which is a product of the amino acid leucine, which is part of muscles
- BSN Cell Mass 2.0: with glutamine. creatine, and whey protein, in a pleasant watermelon flavor.
- Scivation Xtend BCAAs: with amino acids that are essential for muscle health.*
- Beet Root Powder: to support normal endurance.
Check all of our options for post-workout muscle recovery!
More Tips for Strength Training and Cardio for Weight Loss
These tips can help you get better results.
- Take regular rest days, such as once a week, to keep yourself fresh and allow full recovery.
- Keep varying your workouts and setting new goals to maintain motivation.
- Be sure to use proper form. An expert can help.
- Start with light weights and few reps and progress only slowly to lower injury risk.
- Don’t out-eat your workout by eating more than you normally would after you work out.
- Even when you work out, nutrition is still the most important factor in weight loss.
- Get plenty of sleep.
Strength training is a tool to help with weight loss. You can get the most benefits when you do it consistently and when you do the activities properly. You can also support muscle recovery, so you can keep up your regimen better, with Post-Workout Supplements. Netrition has a variety of options for different goals,* so talk to your healthcare provider about how best to use strength training and nutrition muscle recovery to hit your goals.
The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. Netrition products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone with a medical condition should seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. Individual results may vary.