Ok folks, I know you’ve heard it before, but let me repeat it – STOP OBSESSING OVER CARDIO!! Unless you’re training for a long endurance event, or have a serious love for endurance…there is no need to make every workout a time consuming, robotic endurance routine. Lifting (combined with a good diet) will give you the results you want, no questions asked. Now does that mean you should get rid of cardio altogether? Not exactly, 20-25 minutes of cardio is effective, and good for the heart. However, lifting should be your top priority. Why? Read on…
Have you ever heard the phrase, “make your money work for you”? Without getting into detail, the idea is that you should invest your money, sit back, and watch it grow. Of course you have to do the initial work of attaining money to invest, and in order to get the best results, you would want to continue adding money to your investment. I like to use the same idea for our bodies. Make your body work for you. What do I mean by that? Build your metabolism up, allow your body to burn more energy (calories) per day by putting more muscle on your body. According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), metabolism is influenced by physical activity level, resting metabolic rate and genetics. Resting metabolic rates (the amount of energy the body needs to perform daily functions) are higher in people with more lean body mass (aka muscle). While sitting, muscle burns significantly more calories than fat. In fact, it burns almost three times more calories than fat. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn each day. Just as you need to maintain an income in order to add more money into your investment – you will also need to maintain your body composition.
What’s your resting metabolic rate? Here’s a simple calculation that will help you estimate your resting metabolic rate. If you are a woman, multiply your weight in pounds by 10. If you are a male, multiply your weight in pounds by 11. This is a rough estimate of how many calories you should consume each day in order to maintain your current weight. This is by no means completely accurate as it does not take into account your body composition. A higher muscle body composition will require more calories.
Feel like your metabolism sucks and that you gain weight just by looking at food? Let me suggest that you should focus on building more muscle. Maybe you’re not working out at all or maybe you are spending countless hours on a cardio machine, trying to burn off all of the extra calories you just ate – either way, your body is not near as effective or efficient at burning calories as it could be if it had more muscle. Does this mean you have to be a big bulky body builder? Absolutely not! If you want to be, that’s great. If you don’t want to be, that’s great too. Lifting weights does not mean you will get bulky. Ask any body builder, in order to get boulder shoulders or some raging thigh muscles, it takes A LOT of time and` heavy heavy lifting. Your body will slowly build up muscle, it takes time and patience. You can adjust your weight training to meet your physical goals. A lower-rep, higher weight routine will focus on building “bigger” explosive muscles – while a higher-rep, lower weight routine will focus on more of a lean, endurance muscle. Once the results are in – all you have to do is maintain it. This may mean, only lifting three times a week with some aerobic activity on the side. Stay tuned for lifting routines you should include in your workout.