If you’ve hesitated to start a strength training program, it may motivate you to know that lifting weights can:
- Help raise your metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn all day long.
- Strengthen bones, especially important for women
- Make you stronger and increase muscular endurance
- Help you avoid injuries
- Increase your confidence and self-esteem
- Improve coordination and balance
Getting started with strength training can be confusing: what exercises should you do? How many sets and reps? How much weight? Knowing how to answer these basics questions can help you get started with a good, solid workout.
How often should you do weight lifting to build muscle? No more than every-other day. You need days in between for your body to repair and build new muscle. Walking is a good warm up exercise to get your body moving. After your walk, spend 20 minutes on an upper body weight lifting routine 3 times a week.
Before you get started on setting up your routine, keep a few key points in mind:
- Always warm up before you start lifting weights. This helps get your muscles warm and prevent injury. You can warm up with light cardio or by doing a light set of each exercise before going to heavier weights.
- Lift and lower your weights slowly. Don’t use momentum to lift the weight. If you have to swing to get the weight up, chances are you’re using too much weight.
- Breathe. Don’t hold your breath and make sure you’re using full range of motion throughout the movement.
- Stand up straight. Pay attention to your posture and engage your abs in every movement you’re doing to keep your balance and protect your spine.
You know that losing fat involves increasing your metabolism. What you may not know is that muscle plays a huge role in raising metabolism. A pound of muscle burns about 10-20 calories a day while a pound of fat burns 5 calories. That means any growth in your muscle tissue is going to help you burn more calories all day long.
In fact, strength training has all kinds of great effects on your body like:
- Increasing resting metabolic rate so you burn more calories, even while at rest.
- Making you lean and slim–muscle takes up less space than fat so, the more you have, the slimmer you are
- Strengthening bones and connective tissue, which can protect your body from injuries in daily life
- Enhancing balance and stability
- Building confidence and self-esteem
However…this only works if you’re using enough weight to stimulate that muscle growth. In other words, if you can lift the weights you’ve chosen more than 16-20 times, you might not see the kind of fat loss you would if you increased your weight. You may also want to check out our natural enhancers for what is the best muscle building supplement to use while lifting weights.