Feb 6, 2014

Burn More Calories Lifting weights

I love burning more calories lifting weights.  Several years ago a trainer taught me how to condense my typical hour and a half workout into 30 minutes.  I did not think it could be done and was shocked when I did not even have to do cardio to get the same results.  Matter of fact, the results were better!

He taught me to super set my weights and lift heavier this way I would make my body work harder during a shorter period of time.  My heart rate increased and shredded fat even better than cardio alone.  Increasing weights meant, again, my body works harder and increases my heart rate.  The cool thing about lifting heavier is that it increases lean muscle.  Many people are learning that lean muscle requires more calories (or energy) to fuel so even at resting, the body with more lean muscle burns more calories than another person who has less muscle mass.

The common concern for women is that they do not want to get bulky.  This will not happen and I am not sure why girls even think it will happen.  Maybe it is because they have seen body builders who are huge and ripped but the fact is those women did not just do the routine that I do or that the average woman would do.  They are consuming massive amounts of protein and lifting massive amounts of weight.  Women have higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of testosterone than men do which makes it MUCH more difficult for us to gain muscle, let alone gain bulk.

Let me point out that it is difficult for some of us to lose weight, right?  With that being said, wouldn't it be just as difficult to gain so much muscle that a woman becomes bulky?  Remembering that what it takes to gain fat is totally different than what it takes to gain muscle.  It seems like it is easier to gain unwanted body fat than achieve our goals.  At least it is for me.  Anyone who has ever decided that it would be nice to have a six pack or nice sculpted arms but found that it did not come that quickly.... or even come at all... should really pay attention to this blog because women have to work harder at it than men do.

Increasing your weights, gradually, is the way to go.  This will sculpt your muscles so they are sexy and lean, not big and bulky.  Increased weight means my body is burning more calories than it did before because of exerting more energy to complete the task.  Once lean muscle mass is developed then the body continually burns fat at a higher rate.  This also equals more food .... I  love this because I love food!!  I saw a documentary about a girl who was training for a show and was consuming 6-7,000 calories a day!!  And when she was dieting down she was consuming 4,000 calories a day.  That is a lot of food!!  Burning more calories does not mean it is a free for all but it certainly helps around the holidays and with cheat meals :)

Want to burn more calories?  Lift heavier weights.  If you do not work out at all and do not know where to begin, start small.  Check out this short video which requires no gym.  No matter how small the activity is, it is good for you and once you have built enough stamina, you should consider hitting the gym.  It is ALWAYS recommended to check with your physician first because you may have some physical condition that I do not have (or know that you have) so as I write this post, know that I have no idea if you have any conditions to be aware of.  Check with your physician first, before starting any routine and once you have clearance it is also good to get with a trainer so they can teach you proper form and technique.  This is THE BEST way to avoid injury and get the most out of your workout.

Those of you already lifting go ahead and give it a try!  If you currently use 12.5 pound weights for your curls, try 15 pounds.  If you can do a full set of 10-12 then increase the weights to the next level of 17.5 pounds.  The goal is lift heavy enough that you can only do about 6-7 reps and you are literally squeezing the last ones in.

These weights are just an example.  If you are using 5 pound weights then jump up to 7.5 pounds and then up to 10 pounds.  Most of the time when women are using 5 or 7.5 pounds they are really underestimating the strength they really have.  Think about how much your groceries weigh or how much your kids weigh and you lift that stuff every day.  Kids in the car seat are 20 pounds and up!

It is difficult for women to get bulky so lifting heavier weights will not make you bulky but instead will help you burn more calories and gain lean muscle.  Another side effect of this is that your body will change for the better which usually improves mood and attitude!

Guess what else? More muscle increases bone density which is significant because it helps reduce the risk of breaks as we age.  Especially women who are at higher risk for osteoporosis. To be specific, it is the act of strength training that increases bone density so go ahead, lift today!

PS, the above image I found about lifting does not make you bulky was extremely great and I asked Sweat Salty if I could borrow.  She said yes, and while I was asking I noticed she has a pretty awesome page.  Check it out here:  http://sweatsalty.tumblr.com/ 

What do you think about lifting heavier weights to burn more calories?  Leave your comments or questions and I will reply back to everyone!

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  1. I can't speak for everyone, but when I was "trying" to lose weight...my main focus was cardio. Never was I told...by the trainers in the gym (who get paid to help people) that by incorporating weights in my workout, it would have been more beneficial for me. I lost very little weight during that time and therefore got discouraged. Thanks again for sharing this great info.

  2. Hi Suzette, thanks for sharing. I commonly hear that people lost little to no weight while working out. Sometimes I even hear that people gain weight. There is a lot to getting in shape. While the science is simple, the "must dos" and "must NOT dos" can get complicated.

    Another suggestion to incorporating lifting weights is keeping a food diary. This way people have a starting point to their fitness. From the starting point adjustments can be made. Until then, it is all memory based- and sometimes speculation.

    I say speculation because, while working at Jenny Craig, I had clients forget about the small drinks, sips or tiny snacks that they had throughout the day. All the small things add up quickly.

    1. Thanks, keeping a food diary is a great idea.

    2. There are websites that offer free food diary programs and you can plug in the food/drinks you consume and it will keep track of it for you. Some of them can even log your calories for you.

      I have a link in one of my blogs somewhere. I could not find it but I have another blog spot that it may be. If you would like it, let me know and I will get it for you.