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Weight Training Wins.

As you increase your muscle mass you burn more fat. It is a simple concept, but one that many aerobics addicts seem to miss in their quest for leaner bodies.

For those that want to lose fat, aerobic activity isn’t enough. Yes you burn calories by doing cardiovascular activity, and yes it is an important part of a body fat reduction, but it is only half the story.

If you were to jump on a treadmill and hammer out a few miles, how many calories will you burn? Well, on average, between 600 to 800 calories. But considering you swallowed down just as many with your morning bagel, can you really expect to make progress? Granted, you still burn energy when you are off that treadmill, but if you really want to get serious about body fat reduction you need to start lifting weights.

Weights?! I must be crazy; weights make people bigger, not smaller… don’t they?

Resistance training, or weight training will increase your muscle mass, but if you stick at it, you can actually reduce your overall size. You have control over just how much muscle tissue you put on, and believe me, it takes incredible willpower and dedication to put on the type of muscle you may be worried about.

Resistance training for body fat reduction gently increases the bodies muscle mass, while sculpting a beautifully defined body. When people admire ‘toned’ bodies, they are admiring a body that has some muscle definition. Weight loss without muscle gain will result in a soft, spongy body, not the ‘toned’ look that so many people admire.

More importantly, for those who are aiming to lose body fat, weight training actually helps you do it faster. Muscle tissue utilizes more energy than fat. If you have more muscle fibers, you will burn more fat, both during and after your aerobic activity. Resistance training and cardio go happily hand-in-hand in a body fat reduction program. They complement one another. Anyone, who is serious about losing fat; needs to incorporate lifting weights. It may sound counter-productive, but believe it or not, this is how your body works.

So now that you have the training side under control, all you need to do is go on a diet, right? Wrong. Diets will not help. If you choose to drastically reduce the number of calories in your daily diet, your body will do what it does best: survive. It will quickly switch into survival mode. Realize that your cells don’t understand what you are doing to them when you take away their food source. They believe they are starving. And a starving body will conserve fat stores in order to survive. It will hold onto any source of fuel that it can, with a preference for fat, but it still needs to burn some energy to live. This means it will grab a tight hold of your fat stores and instead utilize the protein — your muscle – as food. So, indeed, a diet will help you lose weight, but it is the wrong type of weight. Not only is this not the original intention, it is dangerous.

Don’t shy away from training with weights. Women especially, turn away from the gym, in the false belief that they will get ‘big’. The problem for many is that they have actually tried weight training — once. They saw that initial muscle gain – didn’t continue long enough to see the fat loss – and only saw themselves getting bigger. They stopped training, too scared to continue, not realizing that just around the corner was the moment when their body composition tipped the balance in their favor and they started seeing a smaller, yet more defined body.

It does happen; you just need to have the courage to see it through. Resistance training is an incredibly important part of any training program; whether it is endurance, strength, sports, training, or body fat reduction program. Not only will it increase your metabolism and help you reach your goal more quickly, it will provide you with definition and shape once you have lost the pounds that plague you.

Get started on a full body program that incorporates all the elements you need for health and wellness at NJ Fitness