You hear it all the time, but how many of us truly listen?? You must build more muscle to lose weight. But cardio is easier, a quicker sense of accomplishment or if you’re like me, you prefer to clock minutes on the treadmill or bike to get the calorie burn so that you don’t feel guilty at the dinner table later that night. Sound familiar?? That’s why the cardio equipment is always full at the gym, and you only see the big guys at the squat rack or the free weights. The reality is this – you won’t get big and bulky by lifting weights! Even for women. So get off the treadmill – let’s learn how and why you should build muscle to lose weight.
Why? Build Muscle to Lose Weight – The Science
Let’s to back to basics when it comes to weight loss. Weight loss occurs when calories burned is greater than calories consumed. And when you burn 3500 calories that will result in 1 pound of weight loss. So think about that over a 7 day period, burning or consuming 500 less calories a day will result in a weight loss of 1 pound over a week. But let’s throw in a variable – metabolic rate. “Muscle is the single greatest determiner of your metabolic rate – how many calories you burn each and every day.” Rather than focusing on increasing cardio activity to lose weight, experts believe that you must establish a routing of strength training or weight training. “In one 2015 Harvard School of Public Health study of 10,500 adults, those who performed strength training gained less abdominal fat (while building more muscle) over a period of 12 years compared to those who spent the same amount of time dedicated to cardio.” When you think about it, this is incredible. It’s not to say that you don’t need the time on the treadmill. Cardio is important, but for weight loss, it is best in high intensity workouts, like HIIT workouts. Weight loss will be at its peak in this form of a cardio.
How? Build Muscle to Lose Weight – The Plan
When it comes to your plan, it is important to stay steady and consistent. Weight loss won’t happen overnight, and if it does, it won’t be sustainable. Building that muscle over time will aide in the weight loss over time.
- Create a Plan – Start with a well-defined plan. Strength train or weight train at least 3 days a week, in addition to your cardio plan. Alternate the part of the body you wish to train – I usually focus on chest early in the week and end the week with legs. No rhyme or reason, but I do have a plan, and a written workout, so that I am not fumbling when I get to the gym. I don’t need to give myself any more excuses to avoid the weights – it’s already not my favorite part of the gym, and if I go in there without a plan, I will have a crappy workout, which will give me another reason to avoid the weights!
- Write down your Workout – What specific exercises will you do on chest day? Back Day? For me, if it is written out and if I can easily log my workout (make sure you download our app), then I will know what I am doing, I can easily check off what I have completed and I get a huge sense of satisfaction.
- Log or track your Progress – Why do you keep a to-do list? I love the sense of accomplishment I get from checking off my to-do list and I think that’s why I love the concept of a workout journal or food journal. I can see my progress on paper or in my app. It’s priceless – my own personal accountability coach in my iPhone. And the best of part of the Focused on Fit app – you can see your progress over time on any given exercise. I won’t keep benching the same weight over and over at the gym and expecting different results. Isn’t that the definition of insanity?
Truth? This is the hardest thing for me. I know the science, I get it. But I love the calorie burn. I am addicted to it. But here it is – to my Focused on Fit family – I am making a commitment to all of you to hit the weights more often. Get back to my routine. Build muscle to lose weight. The injury in April set me back and I have been making excuses since then. My goal is to hit the weights at least 4x a week, and see the weight loss that I need. Are you with me? If you are, then register with us, and become my pacing partner. Please comment below and I promise to reach out, connect and be your biggest cheerleader, if you can return the favor! Let’s do it!