Strength training (also sometimes referred to as resistance or weight training) can help build muscle mass, increase your metabolism, and reduce your risk of injury. Strength training increases muscle tissue by sculpting shape and providing structural support. Because fat is burned in muscle tissue, the more muscle you have, the greater your fat-burning potential is. Weight training burns 4-10 calories per minute depending on your size and fitness level.
You are likely to experience the positive effects of resistance training very quickly. Research shows that muscle performance increases by 45-65% after 2 months of strength training. Resistance training should be performed 2-4 times per week, or as recommended by your trainer. Allow at least one day of rest per muscle group between resistance training sessions. And as always, consult with your health care provider before beginning any new weight loss program.
Cardiovascular, or aerobic, training increases your cardiovascular fitness, circulation, and endurance. It also burns calories and body fat, reduces stress and improves your overall health and well-being. A well-conditioned heart is stronger and more efficient. We generally recommend including three to five cardiovascular workouts per week for 15-45 minutes each time. However, your personal trainer may change this to fit your specific needs.
Cardiovascular exercise uses body fat and carbohydrates for energy. Your body uses a significant amount of energy during cardio workout because the body is moving continuously and for a longer period of time. Aerobic activity that is sustained at your target heart rate range (65-85% of maximum heart rate) will burn more calories from fat. Your personal trainer will help you calculate your target heart rate range.
One pound of fat burns approximately 8 calories daily and stores 3,500 calories of energy. On the other hand, one pound of muscle tissue burns approximately 35-75 calories daily and only stores 450 calories for energy.
The two keys of changing body composition are performing activities that cause your body to use its stored fat and strengthening muscles to become better fat burners. This can be accomplished through a healthy diet, strength training, and cardiovascular workouts.
While rapid weight loss may be temporarily satisfying, your percentage of body fat may not decrease significantly. By fueling your body with proper nutrients, your body will transport fat into the muscle to be metabolized and will result in a decrease of fat tissue.
To learn more about the ways your body uses stored energy during exercise and how that affects fat loss and calorie burning, please ask your or personal trainer about our nutritional analysis program.