4 Reasons to Start a Strength Training Regimen

strength training

For the fifth day in a row, you encounter difficulty zipping up your pants before heading to the office. After critically gazing at your reflection in your full-length mirror, you promise to start a weight loss plan tomorrow. Does this common scenario sound frightfully familiar? If you’re desperate to drop the pounds for good, you might be planning on spending more time on your favorite treadmill at the gym in the near future. Before committing to daily treadmill or elliptical training sessions in an effort to fit into a smaller size of jeans, consider the following 5 reasons to start a strength training regimen.

Immediate Metabolism Boost

After a strength training routine at the gym, you might experience a boost in your metabolism for the next 36 hours. This means your ability to burn calories at a higher rate than normal may persist for an entire day and a half after your weight training session. If you burn an additional 10 calories each hour, you would incinerate 360 extra calories over the 36 hour time span. While your body burns additional calories after a cardio workout, the result is not nearly as impressive. In addition, to reap the benefits of a post-cardio metabolism boost, you need to work out at an extremely high level during your exercise session. If your new to fitness, taxing yourself at this level is likely not safe or possible.

Long-Term Metabolism Gains

strength trainingBesides providing short-term metabolic increases, weight training also gives you long-term metabolism gains. The reason is lean muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat. As you build muscle as a result of your strength training workouts, your body burns calories at a faster rate. As long as you build, or at least maintain, your muscle mass, you will reap the benefits of this phenomena. Keeping your muscles long and lean is a great way to control your weight as you age.

Body Reshaping

Cardio, like weight training, promotes weight loss. However, if you solely focus on cardio, you will probably experience a combination of fat and muscle loss. In the end, you will develop a smaller form of your current body. Fortunately, if you eat a healthy, balanced diet, weight training should allow you to enjoy almost exclusive fat loss. While losing fat, you will also enhance, tone, and totally reshape your body. For instance, weight training can help you sculpt shapelier:

  • Shoulders
  • Arms
  • Abdominals
  • Hips
  • Thighs
  • Quads
  • Calves

Cravings Control

Many online and print publications alike seem to have an eerie obsession between calories and cardio. For instance, a publication might proclaim that walking on a treadmill for an hour will burn the same amount of calories contained in a piece of pecan pie. Sadly, many people indulge in a calorie, sugar, and fat laden treat after completing a cardio routine. They feel they deserve a reward for working out so hard. In fact, cardio may actually increase your post-workout cravings for food more than resistance training does. So, stick with weight training and leave the pecan pie at the bakery.

If you want to lose weight quickly, you might want to concentrate more on strength training than cardio. However, you definitely shouldn’t embrace the one while completely forsaking the other. Both weight training and cardio are essential components of weight control and optimal health. If you are new to strength training, consulting with a personal trainer is a great idea. This professional can teach you proper weight training technique and develop a program that will help you meet your weight loss goals.

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