November 8, 2016

Weight Training for Fat Loss

fat man cartoon

Weight training for fat loss is the ideal exercise to use.

In fact, it is the ideal form of exercise for Baby Boomers for a variety of reasons, including reversing the negative effects of aging on our bodies: Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass that comes with aging.

But let’s focus here on fat loss.

Resistance Training Wins vs Cardio Hands Down

Weight Training Sheds Fat

Weight Training Sheds Fat

Studies have proven that weight or resistance training buns fat for many hours after completing the workout. As much as 38 hours, in fact, even while you sleep.

Cardio only burns calories while you are doing it, and it doesn’t discriminate well between fat and muscle. You can lose both. This is not to say cardio is bad, it’s great for our hearts and lungs. Definitely do it, just don’t make it your principle means of losing fat.

Why does strength training work better to burn fat? Because you’re building muscle, and muscle needs fuel. It burns calories and fat. You’re in effect stoking your internal engine.

Be aware, your focus should remain on losing fat, not overall body weight. Muscle adds lean weight. You might, for example, lose 10 pounds of fat but add a few pounds of quality muscle at the same time. It’s not about the numbers, but the way you look and feel, how clothes fit, etc.

How Should You Train?

You want to focus on: high reps with lighter weights and keep a fairly brisk overall pace.

  • High reps, 8-12 per set to ‘failure’
  • Do 3-5 sets per exercise with 30 seconds of rest in between each set
  • Do 3 types of exercise for each body part
  • Focus on isolation exercises on specific muscle groups, with a goal of keeping tension on the muscle and working to failure each set
  • For example: Biceps:
    • Do 3 types of bicep curl movements. 3-5 sets of each of the three. For example, this might be:
      1. Curls with resistance bands – 3- 5 sets
      2. Curls with dumbbells – 3-5 sets
      3. Curls with a barbell or off a cable machine – 3-5 sets
    • Adjust the resistance or the number of reps downward as you go if necessary, with the focus on taking the target muscle to failure

I usually group some body areas together on each workout day. For example:

Day 1 – Biceps, Triceps and Forearms

Day 2 – Chest

Day 3 – Back and Shoulders

Day 4 – Lower body, Quads, Glutes & Calves.

In addition to being a good fat burning workout, I believe this style of workout is also the best for building muscle, especially for us older types.

The most important thing is keeping tension on the target muscle and keeping rest periods as brief as you can. You want to walk away feeling the “Pump.”

You don’t want an ounce of pain, but the pump is a good thing. It tells you the process is working. Blood is rushing into the targeted muscles and bringing nutrients. As you rest and sleep, your body will repair the microscopic damage you’ve done and you will be a little bit stronger because of it.

Your body will burn more fat because the engine inside you is running stronger.

What about Diet?

Well, you probably already know what foods get you into trouble – so knock those off, or at least down.

You need protein to build muscle, so make that a focus, as well.

Thanks for stopping by!

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