I Want to Lose Weight But Hate Doing Cardio!

How many people think that the only way to lose weight is by doing cardio? I know that I hear that statement all the time. Well I’m here to tell you that there are plenty of other ways to lose fat and burn calories; one of the easiest ways is to start a weight lifting program.

Weight lifting is a great way to increase your lean muscle mass, gain strength, gain flexibility, get coordinated and jump start your metabolism for a week at a time in one workout. Doing cardio is a great way to burn a lot of calories all at one. The average person (150 lbs) using an elliptical will burn about 450 kcal per hour; but their calorie burning would soon subside within about 60 min of finishing the exercise. That same person would only burn 300 kcal in a moderate weight lifting workout for that same time frame. The difference is that the weight lifting workout will increase that person’s metabolism for about a week, and they end up burning more calories total from that one hour workout through the week than by doing that one hour on the elliptical.

Weight lifting using large muscle groups (legs, chest, and shoulders) also releases large amounts testosterone and growth hormone into your blood stream. These hormones start circulating through our body, causing all the muscles to burn fat and build muscle. These and more beneficial hormones are usually only released in these are quantities during weight lifting exercise. Along with a release in hormones, weight lifting also will increase the amount of neurons attached to a muscle fiber, giving you more coordination and balance. You can go from 10 neurons on one muscle to over 1000, imagine how much stronger and graceful that muscle would be if it had that many neurons helping coordinate it. This adaptation is helpful if you are a 15 year old soccer player or a 60 year old still taking the stairs and not wanting to catch a foot on that last step.

One can increase their endurance and flexibility through weight lifting too. When comparing two groups of subjects; one who just cycled and one that just performed vigorous weight lifters over a three month period. The weight lifters had almost the same VO2max as the cyclists. How can one get a cardiovascular workout through weight lifting? Try making a mini circuit with three exercises; two of the exercises can be opposing muscle groups like bench press and rows, while the third one can be a core exercise like a V-situp. Perform each exercise back to back and only rest after you have completed all three. By doing a mini circuit with opposing muscle groups you never overwork a muscle group and don’t have to take a rest between exercises, keeping the heart rate elevated and making it a more efficient, higher calorie burning workout. Flexibility can also be increased if you do a weight workout as long as you perform the full range of motion. In a study done of all the Olympic athletes, the second most flexible athlete, next to gymnasts, was the Olympic lifters! Full range of motion lifting creates long powerful muscles; when someone performs partial range of motion lifting they start to make their muscles adhere to its self and flexibility decreases. The strongest muscle is a fully hydrated muscle and fully elongated muscle!

When it comes to burning calories, just do something…15 min is better than nothing! When it comes to an actual workout program, if you want to burn a lot of calories in one workout, cardio can be the right answer; but if you get bored quickly with the cardio then try hitting the weight room. When it comes to a “weight” lifting workout it doesn’t just mean dumbbells and barbells; it also means machines, cables, group exercise, Pilates, yoga, pool workouts, anything that is weight bearing works (dumbbells and barbells just add to the workout’s fun factor). If you don’t know where to start you can always ask our fitness director Jacob Galloway to set you up with the Seattle Athletic Club’s complementary ActivTrax workout program or get you in contact with one of their highly qualified personal trainers to guide you to a new body.



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