Many of our weightloss focused clients, especially women, express the concern that lifting heavy weights will make them look “bulky”. They believe that lifting heavy weights will significantly increase their muscle mass, making their body appear bulkier, when their goal is to appear slimmer and more lean. Weightloss and physical health in general can’t rely on cardio alone. Strength training is essential to a complete weightloss plan and it is beneficial in many ways to your overall health. Here are some reasons why heavy lifting is beneficial to weightloss efforts and WON’T make you bulk up like you think it will:
1. It burns the most calories
Heavy lifting exercises are the best calorie-burners, especially when you are doing compound movements that target multiple large muscle groups. Deadlifts are commonly seen as a powerlifting move for people looking to bulk up, but they are actually great for fat burning because they work the back, legs, and glutes all at the same time. When you do cardio exercises, you burn calories, but it stops as soon as you step off the treadmill. Heavy lifting has an “after-burn” effect that continues to burn calories after you finish.
2. Significant muscle mass increase requires a significant increase in caloric intake
You can lift like an olympian bodybuilder, but unless you’re eating like one too, you won’t see the same results. “Bulkiness” is acquired not only by lifting, but by significantly increasing your daily calorie intake. If you are eating a healthy diet and limiting your caloric intake, heavy lifting won’t make your muscles bulge.
3. It boosts your metabolism
Your resting metabolic rate increases when your muscle mass increases. That means heavy lifting will cause your metabolism to work harder and faster as you get stronger (your body will naturally burn more calories even while you are resting).
4. Large muscles don’t happen on accident
People, especially women, who have significant muscle mass had to work hard and long to make it happen. You won’t wake up the next day after a heavy lifting workout looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Oftentimes it takes years of purposeful training and high-calorie dieting to gain significant amounts of muscle mass.
Don’t fear the weight room! Lifting weights is an essential part of a complete workout plan for those wishing to lose weight, and despite what some may tell you, it won’t make you bigger. For personalized workout and diet plans catered to your goals and challenges, contact Sault Fitness.