RESISTENCE exercise helps increase our metabolism during and after an exercise session. If a resistance program is followed regularly and for a sustained period of time it can also raise your resting metabolism (the amount of calories burnt at rest).
To put this into perspective, one pound of muscle burns 50 calories per day whereas one pound of fat burns only 2 calories per day! Therefore by decreasing the amount of body fat and increasing the amount of muscle tissue, you burn more calories by just sitting at our desks. Sound good...?
Building muscle may sound appealing to males but often females think ‘I don’t want to build muscle, I want to slim down.’ No need to worry. Unless you are training with heavy weights of which you can only perform a small number of reps, this won’t happen. In fact, resistance training can reduce the circumference of your body making your muscles actually appear smaller but more toned. To allow for a visual understanding of this concept, one pound of fat is the size of a standard block of butter whereas one pound of muscle is the size of a large strawberry, which is much smaller in comparison.
This illustrates that resistance exercise is important for long term weight loss and maintenance, but what strategy should you follow for best results?
Exercise selection: exercises used should be compound or total body exercises. Compound exercises are exercises that involve multiple joints and large muscle groups. Total body exercises are exercises that involve the use of most muscles in the body.
Example compound exercises: squats, leg press, step ups, lunges, chest press and push-ups.
Example total body exercises: squats with a row, steps with a shoulder press and walking lunges with a rotation and shoulder press.
Programme duration: Resistance exercise should last approximately 30-40 minutes (this does not include stretching, a warm up or cool down). As a guide, in a 40 minute time frame approximately 6 -8 exercises can be performed.
Repetitions (reps): This refers to the number of times a weight is lifted or a movement is performed. There is no exact number of reps which yield best results, however there is an effective range of reps for the best results when developing muscle. The range is 6-15 reps. Start with high reps such as 12-15 using moderate weights.
Sets: This refers to the number of times you perform a group of reps. Start off with two sets of each exercise and if time allows progress to three sets.
If you would like to learn more about effective weight training contact me to book Personal Training sessions on 07851490515 or check my website: www.kfpt.co.uk
Next time: Karen Falconer Personal Training helps you ... get active with your kids.