Updated: Oct 28
We all now know that nutrition is the cornerstone to achieving the body we want. Don’t fall into the false security of thinking that you can exercise your way out of consistently poor food choices.
However, exercise is a brilliant complement to nutrition and resistance training in particular, is one of the most valuable types of exercise you can plan into your week.
The value of resistance training is enormous; from increased strength, balance and coordination, to improved hormonal balance, self confidence and fat burning capacity and so many things in between, resistance training gives us so much.
When we are short on time (and most of us are these days!) and we are looking for the type of training that will give us the most bang for our buck, it's hard to look past resistance training.
Resistance training is a form of physical activity that is designed to improve muscular tone, strength and fitness by exercising a muscle or a muscle group against external resistance.
Think; body weight squats, pushups, lunges or dips. Using dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells or the TRX. These are all different types of resistance training. It can also be performed with different levels of weight; light to heavy, as well as different speeds; fast to slow.
If your goal is Fat Loss resistance training will benefit you in 2 major ways:
1. Increased muscle mass = increased metabolic rate. Training with weights leads to an increase in our muscle mass if performed frequently and consistently. The more muscle mass we have, the faster our resting metabolism is.
So, as long as we aren't filling our bodies up with endless supplies of refined carbohydrates (the body's first choice to use for energy burning) then we're going to burn body fat at a faster rate with our newly gained extra muscle mass, even if we are just lazing on the couch, watching tv or even sleeping!
2. Resistance training signals the release of 2 potent fat-burning hormones. During and immediately after your actual weights session, weight training elicits the release of a few specific hormones which specialise in ramping-up our fat burning capacity. 2 of the main ones are Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and Testosterone (T).
The harder our muscles work during a weights session, the more HGH and T we release, therefore the more fat-burning we experience during and immediately after that session. If we aren’t ever putting our muscles under a high enough load stimulus, then we are never giving these magical fat-burning hormones a chance to work at their best and we are cutting short our own chances of burning the most fat possible in any given weights session and in the hours afterward.
Our advice for the 5 weeks of the Comeback Challenge is simple: do a little more heavy weight training than you were doing before. You can achieve this by working with your trainer to add in more sessions per week or maybe by adding more time to your current sessions. If you're already doing lots of resistance sessions each week (4 or more) you could aim to increase the intensity of each of those sessions by increasing sets, reps or load. Again, please consult your trainer on how to safely achieve this!
Please be careful! When increasing the frequency, intensity, time or type of any training program there is a risk of overtraining or injury. So please don’t make changes to your current weight training regime without first discussing with your PT. That’s what we are here for!