Yup, it’s true, “cardio is hardio.” I, for one, abhor the idea of spending hours on a treadmill or elliptical, which can torch a bunch of calories while you’re doing them, but which really don’t create a sustained, post-workout burn. But what if there was a way to get a days-long calorie burn that helped optimized fat loss—sound good? It’s possible!
If you want to lose fat (and weight), then you need to train with weights! It’s THAT simple, and the reason is that the recovery process from weightlifting is usually longer and more intensive—and thus requires more energy (and calorie burning!)—than from steady state cardio. Plus, muscle is more “metabolically active” than fat, so the more you gain from lifting weights, the more calories you’ll burn all day long.
Oh, you don’t want to look like a bodybuilder and have big, “bulky” muscles? Well that’s fine, because it’s not going to happen for most people, especially women. Studies show that while women can enjoy similar strength increases as men from weightlifting, they typically don’t see similar increases in muscle size. In short, they get all of the strength without the bulk. It’s a win-win. Most men will never reach bodybuilder status, either; it takes years of intense, focused training to get to that point. But guys, you can still build plenty of head-turning muscle with the right program.
So how do you get started? Find a trainer or streaming workout program that motivates you, and start LIGHT! If you are newer to lifting weights, you want to be sure to learn the proper mechanics (AKA form) before you start lifting heavy. The better your form is, the more effective your training will be, the faster you’ll reach your goals, and the fewer injuries you’ll have along the way. Easing into your training will also minimize the soreness that often comes with starting a new program (or switching up an existing one). But don’t let soreness deter you! Stretch, rest, hydrate, eat healthfully, and you’ll recover quickly and optimize your results. You can do it!