It’s March. Spring is almost here and soon enough it will be time to shed the layers from winter. But are you ready to throw off all those pieces of Polartec? Has there been something missing from your get fit and best shape ever 2017 intention?
Well, if it included primarily cutting down on calories and just cardio – perhaps that’s exactly the case. We know that what really matters isn’t the weight loss – it’s body composition – what your body is made of - the amount of fat and lean muscle is what we really care about. The scale can drop a bunch of pounds – but if those are muscle pounds and not fat pounds, not so good. And by doing that, we just dropped our metabolic rate by losing the lean muscle tissue.
As a Board Certified Specialist in Preventive & Obesity Medicine, I know that what we’re truly after is not weight loss but a better body comp – leaner, fitter, stronger – ready for the spring and blasting into summer.
In this new video, Jeff Young, CSCS, our Director of Medical Fitness, and I talk about why strength training is so important.
Let’s focus in on metabolism, as this always come up in a conversation on weight loss, and start by recognizing our metabolic rate and how our energy is used on an average day.
This image, interestingly enough coming from an article saying why you shouldn’t exercise to lose weight (more on this in a second), shows that basal metabolic rate makes up about 60-80% of our total energy expenditure.
This is the connection between muscle and basal metabolic rate: we know that Fat Free Mass explains ~60% of our differences in Basal Metabolic Rate.
This is even more important since as we get older, our metabolic rate drops because we’re losing our fat free mass. The authors in the article write how physical activity (specifically, strength training) is essential for weight loss by maintaining or increasing basal metabolic rate and increasing the total number of calories you’re burning each day.
By how much if you train for a few months? You’re boosting your metabolic rate by about 8%
The strongest group of folks had reduced their risk for excess body fat by more than 70%
So why did that article title say exercise isn’t the solution for weight loss? Because you cannot outrun or outlift a bad diet or expect to lose weight if you’re in a caloric surplus. That's always the foundation with any fitness training program.
The science shows the best method for reducing body fat and getting sculpted:
- Lose 2% fat
- Gain 2 pounds of muscle
- About 2 hours/week
- Combination aerobic + strength training
- Aerobic = about 12 miles/wk at 65–80% peak VO2
- Strength = 3 days/wk, 3 sets/day, 8–12 repetitions/set
Another scientific study found the same thing – the combo is best! All results were in favor of the combination cardio and strength training program on reducing body weight, fat mass, and waist circumference.
By amplifying your metabolism with strength training, you just went from weight loss to a higher level of performance and much better health.
Get strong. Boost your metabolism. Find your sweet spot to get fit & lean.
Learn about our unique method of Integrative Fitness - blending the best of strength, mindfulness, and holistic nutrition for the complete metabolism boost package.
Ready to learn more about strength and get started for spring? Schedule your free Wellness + Fitness phone consultation with Dr. Ingrid
Stay up to date with new research findings from fitness, nutrition and lifestyle medicine!