If you are someone who wants to lose weight, lifting weights is definitely a good place to start. However, a lot of people shy away from doing this or end up lifting very light weights because they are under the misconception that they will gain too much muscle by doing it, and end up having a bulky body.
Let us understand more about weight lifting and how you can plan out the perfect lifting session to aid weight loss.
How Weight Lifting Can Help You
Weight lifting is often referred to and included as a part of strength training or resistance training. This is primarily because it helps you build your core and increase muscle stamina. Here are a few effects that your body may experience from lifting weights.
Your body begins to lose weight when all the stored units of fat are converted into units of energy, which is then utilised to carry out essential functions. This process is called metabolism. Your metabolic activity is primarily determined by the amount of muscle or fat you have in your body. A single pound of fat only burns about 10 calories a day, while a pound of muscle can get you up to 30 calories.
If you lift the right amount of weights, your muscles get stimulated and release enough energy to burn up most of the fat in your body. One thing to keep in mind is that by doing this, you are not only burning fat but also putting on quite a bit of muscle, which means that the numbers on your bathroom scale might go up a little.
Muscle is also relatively leaner and less space-consuming, which means that weight lifting gives you a leaner and more toned appearance. Doing so also pumps up your body’s metabolic activity by a few notches, helping you burn more calories throughout the day while being at rest.
Weight lifting can also prevent chronic illnesses such as heart disease by lowering the triglyceride count and blood pressure levels in our body. Additionally, it can also help with strengthening your bones and tissues by improving cellular regeneration and the flow of blood and oxygen.
Choosing the Right Weights
Now that you know how weight lifting can help benefit you, you might be wondering how you can get started with the process. This can be a bit tricky for you to figure out because the recommended lifting amount is based on the maximum weight that you can lift at once.
A lot of people skip the process of testing out how much weight they can lift, causing their progress to take a hit.
Calculating Your One Rep Max
In order to stimulate your muscles to the maximum, you need to figure out the one-rep max weight and lift nearly 60-80% of that weight until you are comfortable with that pace. The burn that you feel during this process is your body actively using up all the fats present in it. However, it is important that you have an experienced gym coach or fitness trainer present by your side while you figure out how much weight you can lift at once.
Alternatively, you can also try and get a close estimate of your one-rep max by using another formula. The first thing to do here is to figure out how many reps you can get in with different kinds of weights. These weights do not have to exceed your comfort zone and can stay within your regular range. Once you have jotted down the numbers, you can figure out how many reps of each exercise you can get in.
Ideally, you need to keep your reps above 8 and below 16, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Lifting between 60-80% of your one-rep max makes sure that you can get at least 10 repetitions. This is useful for those who want to maintain a toned appearance and not bulk up too much.
Going above 80% of your one-rep max while maintaining good form will still result in fewer reps. This is useful for those who want to gain size. It is also comparatively harder to pull off, which is why beginners are advised to stay within the recommended limits of their one-rep max.
It is also important to balance out a decreased rep set with a heavier weight. For example, if you wanna hit 10 reps instead of 16, then you should swap out your usual weights for a slightly heavier one. This makes sure that your muscle goes into shock and stimulates fat burning.
How To Time Your Lifting
The most important thing to remember here is that weight lifting is a discipline that takes time and endurance. The name of the game is to exert your muscles to the point that they begin to rebuild themselves. At the same time, you also need to up your mental game as well.
This process can be all the more difficult if you are someone who is new to bodybuilding or even has not worked out in a while. Set very basic goals for yourself that you can accomplish no matter how worn out you are. This makes sure that your muscles get used to the process. Eventually, begin increasing your rep and circuit time.
Only when your body is comfortable with these sets, can you move to add some extra weights to your workout. This process can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks. You can also build your reps every single week by putting in consistent additions. However, make sure that your reps do not go higher than 16 because that would cause you to bulk up more than you intended.
Lastly, maintaining a proper nutritional intake is a huge aspect of bodybuilding. Make sure to supplement your diet with supplements such as whey protein isolates so your body can get the required amount of protein.