An inclusive guide to weightlifting for weight loss
Weightlifting can make you think about iron weights and racking up the #gains. But even though it looks like society wants you to believe lifting is a “male” practice, it is not! Strength training is a great way for people of all genders to improve bone health and improve body mechanics.
If you are looking to lose weight, lifting is also a top notch option. Here’s how to make weightlifting part of your workout routine to achieve your goals (and how to do it safely).
Weightlifting can be very intimidating if you are new to fitness. But don’t worry, fam. We have the scoop on how it’s done.
1. Choose the right lifting style for your goals
Compound elevators work multiple muscle groups at the same time. These workouts burn more calories in less time than the isolation exercises.
Here are some examples of compound exercises:
While you get more for your money with the compound exercises, the isolation exercises are also very beneficial. They are great if you want to focus on a specific muscle (like your pecs or biceps). Isolation exercises are also helpful in rehabilitating injuries.
Here are some examples:
- calf lift
- bicep curls
- side elevations
- leg extensions
- hamstring curls
2. Always prioritize quality over quantity
Focus more on what you want to accomplish in your routine than on the length of each workout. You can get better results with a shorter, more intense workout than with a longer, poor quality workout.
Good form is also very important. If you rush into an exercise or exceed your limits, your form can get sloppy. This increases your risk of injury and may even decrease your training results.
3. Set realistic goals and don’t give up
People who set weight loss goals might have better long-term success, according to a 2016 study. Just keep in mind that you won’t go from 0 to Xena Warrior Princess overnight. And that’s OK!
“Start slow and don’t give up,” says bodybuilder Alexis Donner. “It takes time, hard work, and consistency to achieve fat loss / muscle building goals.”
The most important thing is to set realistic goals. It can help you stay motivated throughout your training program. And if you’re wrong, don’t be too hard on yourself.
“If you mess up your diet or your workout one day, just get back on track the next day,” Donner says. “Don’t give up completely.”
4. Add cardio to your strengthening routine
Studies suggest that long-term weight loss results may be better when you combine cardio with strength training. Cardio can help you achieve the calorie deficit needed to lose weight. You’ll burn more calories in one session than you do alone.
BTW, you need to burn 500-1,000 calories more than what you eat each day to lose 1-2 pounds in a week.
5. Fuel your body with a healthy, balanced diet
Studies suggest that consuming protein (the macronutrient that acts as a building block of muscles) can help you achieve greater muscle gains and improve your physical performance. But carbohydrates and healthy fats are also essential sources of energy.
Here are some delicious protein choices to add to your weight training regimen:
- nuts (such as peanuts, almonds or cashews)
- fish (such as salmon, tuna or tilapia)
- dairy products (such as milk, cheese or yogurt)
You don’t have to be a 24/7 gym rat to reap the benefits of weightlifting.
“Strength training can be broken down into working certain muscle groups so that your whole body isn’t sore at the same time,” Donner explains.
Here is an example routine for beginners:
Donner suggests that beginners start with a 30-35 minute workout. Try to choose weights that allow you to perform 3 sets of 10 reps for each exercise. Take short rests of 30 to 40 seconds between sets. She also recommends doing 25 minutes of cardio 4 times a week.
Remember, these are general guidelines. It’s a good idea to see a certified personal trainer who can offer a personalized plan for your goals and needs.
Here are some other weight loss tips to help you reach your goals:
- Drink more water. H2O reduces your risk of dehydration and may help prevent muscle fatigue.
- Cut out refined carbohydrates. Stick to complex carbohydrates like vegetables, quinoa, barley, legumes, and whole grains. They’ll keep you feeling full and full for much longer than simple carbs (like white bread, white pasta, white rice, cookies, and cakes).
- Practice mindful eating. It is not a diet. Rather, it is a healthy approach to eating that can change the way you think about food. This can help you recognize your body’s hunger signals and can make meals more enjoyable.
- Be kind to yourself. Studies show that internalized stigma surrounding weight is associated with poorer weight loss outcomes. But remember, results take time. Try to be patient with the process and treat yourself with kindness. You deserve it ❤️.
Weightlifting is a great way to strengthen and tone your body. It can also help you lose weight, especially when paired with a healthy diet and a cardio program.
But always talk to your doctor before making any major changes to your diet or fitness routine, especially if you have any health concerns that could be affected.