However, even if you’re doing everything right, you might not be seeing the results you want. The most common reason people start to lift weights is to lose weight. However, even if a person is doing everything right, such as exercising regularly, eating well, and getting enough sleep, they may not see the results they want.
Albeit this article discusses the advantages of including muscle development in a weight-reduction program, it is important to note that diet plays the most important role in weight loss.
Is lifting weights good for weight loss?
So, by adding muscle mass, you are effectively increasing your metabolism and, as a result, expediting the weight-loss process. If you want to lose weight, lifting weights can help. Strength training is a great form of exercise and an excellent way to burn calories. Additionally, lifting weights can help you maintain and build muscle mass. The reason that this is such a benefit to someone trying to lose weight is the fact that muscle tissue burns more calories than fat. So, by adding muscle mass, you are effectively increasing your metabolism and, as a result, expediting the weight-loss process.
1 pound of muscle is more dense than 1 pound of fat, so it takes up less space in your body. I’ve noticed that my clients who lose body fat during a strength training program see their physical appearance change more than their weight on the scale.
While they may have lost weight and attained the physique they desired, some people may be disheartened to see that the number on the scale is higher than they anticipated. It is common, however, for body fat percentage to decrease and muscle mass to increase without a large decrease in weight when strength training. There is no need to panic.
5 Tips To Build A Weight Training Regimen For Weight Loss
- Assess your mobility. Before you pick up any weights, it’s a good idea to understand what your body’s mobility and stability look like, according to Alex Silver-Fagan, CPT, RYT, Nike master trainer and creator of Flow Into Strong. Try hanging on a bar, holding a plank, or sitting in a squat. “If you can’t hold your body in those places, I wouldn’t add load to those movements,” she says.
- Master the basics. Silver-Fagan adds that there are four functional moves you should be able to conquer before starting your weight training routine: squat, push-up, deadlift, and horizontal or overhead row. Having these under your belt will help prevent injuries in the future. Consider working with a trainer for even just a few sessions (virtual or IRL) for feedback and guidance.
- Gather your equipment. To start, Silver-Fagan suggests finding three sets of dumbbells: a light, medium, and heavy pair. Usually, these sets only need to be 5 to 10 pounds apart (unless a trainer says otherwise). You should be able to easily lift the lightest ones with little to no effort, while the heavy ones should be tougher. Sometimes, even your own body weight can be enough, she adds—start where you’re most comfortable.
- Eat plenty of protein. Sims says protein contains amino acids, which are what actually help build up your muscles. They also “keep signaling your body to build the lean mass and lose the body fat,” she explains. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends eating at least 0.35 grams of protein per pound of body weight every day if you’re sedentary. But if you’re active and looking to build muscle and lower your body fat percentage, aim for more than 0.73 grams of protein per pound of body weight, per the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
- Listen to your body. Pay attention to how you’re feeling while lifting weights. “There’s a difference between pain and discomfort,” Silver-Fagan notes. “If something is painful, then you should be backing off. If something’s uncomfortable, you have to ask yourself, ‘Is this because I haven’t done it? Is it hard?’ ” Plus, remember that you can always take a break in between reps.
Sample Weight Training Plan
There’s no need to worry about how much or how often you should lift weights – these three workouts can easily be incorporated into your current fitness routine.
Equipment: Hand weights or dumbbells
Best for: Total-body strength
To see the best results, Silver-Fagan suggests doing each of these three workouts once a week for four weeks while gradually increasing the weight or number of reps. She also recommends combining these workouts with one to two days of cardio, one to two days of yoga, and a rest day every week. To warm up, she recommends going through the exercises without any weights first.
Monday: Workout 1
Wednesday: Workout 2
Thursday: Cardio or yoga
Friday: Cardio or yoga
Saturday: Workout 3
To complete a rep, stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a weight in front of your chest, with your elbows pointing toward the floor. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat. Push yourself back to the starting position.
With your feet under your hips and your hips hinges, slightly bend your knees with your arms just in front of your legs. With weights in hand, drive your elbow back towards your hips, feeling your shoulder blades squeeze together. Slowly lower them back down. That is one rep. With a medium-heavy weight, complete three to five reps.
Complete five sets total of these two exercises.
To complete this exercise, you will need a weight to hold at your chest. Start by standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Take a large step to the left, sit your hips back, and lower down until your left knee is nearly parallel with the floor. Your right leg should be straight. Return to start. That’s one rep. Complete ten reps on each side with a medium weight.
Row one dumbbell up and to the side of your rib cage, then lower it back down to the floor. Repeat this with the other dumbbell.
To complete this exercise, sit on the floor with your legs out straight. Next, lean back slightly so that your torso and legs form a V-shape. To engage your core, brace your abdominal wall. While balanced, twist your torso from side to side without moving your legs. One rep is complete when you have twisted your torso from side to side 16 times with a medium weight.
In order to complete this exercise, you should begin by standing with your feet shoulder distance apart. There should be a weight positioned in front of you before you begin to hinge at your hips and lower yourself down. Your knees should have a slight bend as you lower yourself down far enough to grab the weight. You can use an overhand grip, underhand grip, or mixed grip when grabbing the weight. Be sure to keep your spine neutral by looking forward instead of up. Additionally, you should keep your shoulders back while grasping the weight. Once you have the weight, you should squeeze your glutes and your core as you stand up straight and tuck your pelvis. You should pause for a moment at the top before slowly lowering yourself back down to the ground. This completes one rep. You should aim to complete three to five reps with a heavy weight.
1. To start, lie flat on your back or on a bench with your feet flat on the ground. 2. With a dumbbell in each hand, extend your arms directly over your shoulders, palms facing toward your feet. 3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and slowly bend your elbows, lowering the weights out to the side, parallel with your shoulders, until your elbows form 90-degree angles. 4. Slowly drive the dumbbells back up to start, squeezing your shoulder blades the entire time. 5. That’s one rep. Complete three to five reps with a medium-heavy weight.
Complete five sets total of these two exercises.
To perform this exercise, hold a dumbbell in each hand using an overhand grip, and stand with feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back, knees slightly bent, and lower your chest to bring the dumbbell between your legs. Keeping your core tight, push your hips forward and swing the dumbbell up to shoulder height. Reverse the movement, swinging the weight back between your legs. That’s one rep. Complete ten reps with a medium weight.
Split Stance Shoulder Press
To complete this exercise, you will need a pair of dumbbells. Start by staggering your stance into a wide step, with one foot forward and one foot back, and ensure that your hips are squared. Next, you will need to hold the dumbbells just above your shoulders, keeping your elbows close to your sides. From here, you will need to lean forward ever so slightly, and bend both knees to come down into a lunge position. Once in the lunge position, press up through your front leg while also lifting the dumbbells straight up into the air. It is important to keep your elbows pointing forward and your arms in line with your ears while doing this. Finally, lower back into the lunge position for the next rep and lower the dumbbells back down to your shoulders. This completes one rep. You should aim to complete ten reps, alternating your feet for each set.
Half Turkish Get Up
Lie face-up on the floor with a kettlebell in your right hand, palm resting on right shoulder. With right foot flat on the floor, extend left arm and leg out to the side at a 45 degree angle. Grip the kettlebell handle tightly and press the weight up towards the ceiling, locking out your elbow and keeping your gaze on the kettlebell. Continue to look at the kettlebell as you rise onto your left forearm, then press into your left hand to sit up. Engage your abs and push through your right heel as you squeeze your glutes to lift your hips until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Reverse the steps until you are lying on the floor again. That is one repetition. Complete five repetitions with a moderate weight on each side.
Complete four sets total of these three exercises.
Single Leg Deadlift
1. Start by standing with both feet under your hips, with your weight shifted to the right leg. 2. Bend your right leg slightly at the knee and use your left foot to stamp the bottom of your foot on the wall behind you, keeping your leg straight. 3. Simultaneously, slowly start hinging at the waist, tipping your torso forward until it’s almost parallel to the floor. 4. Keep your arms straight, at shoulder height, and perpendicular to the floor at all times. 5. At the bottom of the position, your body should be in a straight line from the top of your head to the bottom of your left foot. 6. Pull your left leg forward while keeping it straight, and lift your torso up until you’re standing again. 7. Repeat this 10 times with a medium weight.
Kneeling Chest Press to Tricep Extension
Start out by kneeling on the ground with your knees slightly wider than hip distance apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and extend your arms straight out in front of your chest. Bend your elbows to pull the dumbbells toward your chest, then press your arms back out to straight. Next, raise the dumbbells up overhead, and bend your elbows to lower the weight behind your head. Finally, extend your elbows to press the dumbbells back up overhead and reverse the movement to return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Complete 12 reps with a medium weight.
Complete three sets total of these two exercises.
Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and engaging your core. Stack the weights on your shoulders, then lower yourself as far as you can go. Drive through your heels to return to standing, then push the weights overhead as you come up. Keep your knees soft. That’s one rep. Complete ten reps with a medium weight.
Alternating Lunge to Bicep Curl
Use dumbbells to lunge while curling them up to your shoulders, then lower them back down. Repeat this twelve times using a medium weight.
How Many Times a Week Should You Weight Lift for Weight Loss?
Physical activity is important for Americans, according to the CDC Physical Activity Guidelines. Getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (jogging or running) per week, as well as two or more days of strength training per week is ideal.
The following recommendations are not only for general health, but also for anyone trying to lose weight.
If you lift weights 2-3 times a week, you will be able to have enough time to recover between strength training days while still making progress towards your goals.
The key to being successful in weight lifting is to find a schedule that you can stick to. It is important to be consistent with the days you choose to work out. If you are only able to work out twice a week, make sure you pick two days and stick to them. The same goes for three days a week. Choose the days that work best for you and be consistent with them. Working out consistently over time is the best way to see results.