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October 12, 2007

Lose Fat With Weight Training

By Serena Daniels

Women are always told that cardio exercise is necessary to burn away the fat and strength training is necessary for gaining muscle, but what if I told you that you can lose fat with weight training?

Fat is bulky while muscle is lean, so it’s possible to weigh 120 pounds and have plenty of either. But a woman who has 38% body fat will look much different than a woman who has 19% body fat.

Building muscle throughout your body will make you look leaner and help raise your resting metabolic rate, or RMR, so that your body burns calories (from fat) at a higher rate.

The best way to raise you RMR is by doing consistent weight training exercises for 30 minutes a day, at least three times a week. And don’t bother with two-pound weights; you need to lift weights that are heavy enough to exhaust your muscles.

Cardio can cause muscle loss

Extended periods of cardio exercise can actually lead to muscle loss, so it’s doubly important to weight train on a consistent basis. When you do cardio exercise, some of the weight loss you incur will inevitably come from muscle tissue.

That said, there are a variety of ways to ensure that you manage to make muscle gains with each workout without having to dedicate all your time in the gym to it.

Doing your cardio workout before or after your strength-training exercises is fine, so long as you don’t exhaust yourself to the point where you feel weak. Your objective is to lose fat with weight training.

Watch your diet

Of course, fat loss does not occur through strength training and cardio exercise alone. What you put in your mouth every day also has a serious effect on your body.

That said, eat clean as often as you can (fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and fish) and drink half your body weight in ounces of water every single day.

So you won’t lose fat with weight training alone; you need to ensure that you maintain a healthy, steady diet.

Lose fat with weight training

Do compound exercises
Compound exercises work more than one muscle group at a time. For instance, deadlifts work your lower back, glutes and hamstrings simultaneously. These exercises are ideal for people who don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to exercising or who prefer more of a challenge.

Do superslow repetitions
To complete superslow repetitions, you need to count for the positive and negative parts of an exercise. For example, when lifting a dumbbell for a bicep curl, the lifting toward your shoulder is the positive part of the rep and lowering it back down to the starting position is the negative part.

Count to 10 when you’re lifting the weight up and count to five when you’re lowering it back to the starting position. Complete four to six repetitions of the exercise and aim for three sets. If you’ve been doing weights for a while already, lower the weight you’re doing by about 20% to 30%. It sounds easy, but believe me, this will exhaust your muscles quickly and help you lose fat with weight training.

Superslow reps ensure that you do not use momentum to lift the weights and will improve muscle gains.

Stick to free weights
While machines are great for beginners or women with injuries, free weights are the better option for any woman who wants to use all her muscles when working out, especially her core. This will maximize your ability to lose fat with weight training.

Free weights require that you maintain your balance, tighten your stomach, and firm your muscles. Therefore, if you have the choice between a free weight squat and a Smith machine squat, I recommend opting for the former.

Lose fat with weight training!

When you start weight training, you’ll notice great changes in your body and your clothes will start fitting differently. And I’m pretty certain you’ll be quite pleased with the changes.

Keep in mind, however, that the number on the scale might not change and may even increase. Don’t worry; it just means that you’re making muscle gains.

And a muscular body is sexier than a flabby body any day of the week.

Work it out.

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