Weight lifting is no joke! You can weight lift a few times per week and yield massive results in regards to your weight loss journey, all while getting stronger, more jacked, and feeling great!
In this article, we’ll take a deeper look into weight lifting and things that you probably never knew about it, and how you can get started with it.
Table of Contents
What is weight lifting?
Let’s first examine what weight lifting entails.
There’s one internationally know form of weight lifting which relates to Olympic Weight Lifting — the super strong men and women you see competing in the international Olympic Games. There is actually some debate in the Powerlifting world as to whether or not the sport should be considered for the Olympic Games as it’s neighbour sport Weight Lifting already does.
The reason I bring this up is because (if you don’t already know) I’m a Powerlifter, meaning I compete (occasionally) in the sport of Powerlifting, which entails another form of lifting weight (“weight lifting”) in the Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift movements respectively.
A Powerlifter can compete at his/her weight class and age division, and qualify (depending on the competition) to compete in large federations such as the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), USA Powerlifting (USAPL), Canadian Powerlifting Federation (CPF) to name a few. I would argue that these large federations are akin to the Olympic Games in many ways from regulatory requirements, drug testing, and more, but let’s surmise that the following forms of lifting weight are to be considered for this article:
- Olympic Weight Lifting (Snatch, Power Clean, Jerk, Front Squat)
- Powerlifting (Back Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift)
- Powerbuilding (Over Head Press, Bent Over Row)
- CrossFit (Snatch, Power Clean, Front Squat, Over Head Press, Jerk)
You may notice bodybuilding is not mentioned here, however I did include a term known as ‘Powerbuilding’; it’s quite simple really.
Powerbuilding is basic heavy compound movements for building physical and central nervous system (CNS) strength, whereas bodybuilding focuses on smaller/individual muscular growth/hypertrophy.
CrossFit has been included as it adopts movements from other weight lifting sports (Olympic Weight Lifting, Powerlifting).
Weight lifting for weight loss, how?
Performing the aforementioned weight lifting movements you can work large groups of muscles with minimal time!
Beyond that simple fact, you will also get an amazing cardio vascular workout while performing the higher repetition Olympic Weight Lifting and CrossFit movements, AND while performing the lower repetition Powerlifting and Powerbuilding movements.
Weight lifting comes down to simple math quite frankly. It’s based on the amount of weight you’re lifting, multiplied by the number of reps, multiplied by the number of sets. This simple formula gives you a daily volume, and when compounded over a week – a weekly volume.
Here’s an example:
Squats 5 sets of 5 (25 total reps) x 150lbs = 3,750lbs in total volume.
Your total volume is reflective of your workload for the day, or week, and to some degree dictates how much muscular growth you’ll have, and how much weight loss you’ll achieve.
In order to lose weight performing weight lifting movements, you will need to achieve a minimum daily or weekly volume total. You can set a weekly volume target of 10,000 lbs for example, and all the weight lifting you perform during the week should total 10,000 lbs lifted.
Now when you lift 10,000 lbs for the week, you’re almost guaranteed to build muscle or lose weight, unless eating an excessive amount of food (which would be quite counter productive).
When you work your body consistently, such as reaching 10,000 lbs weekly weight lifting volume, your body’s metabolism will begin to speed-up to keep up with it’s need to utilise/burn fats as energy. Your body will also become very efficient at utilising its resources for recovery.
Since you’re now calculating daily and weekly volume, you can also consider your daily and weekly caloric intake – I suggest downloading an app such as MyFitnessPal , and entering your weight loss goals to determine your daily caloric goals.
How weightlifting works
Weight lifting in general will yield 3 benefits:
- Cardiovascular development, second
- Optimising metabolic function
- Improving Human Growth Hormone (HGH) development
All of these will result in weight loss from weight lifting, however I would like to specifically focus on the HGH side.
Men and women experience this development and growth of HGH. In the case of women, consider the Biologically Active Growth Hormone. Let’s examine two studies of Men and Women with regards to Weight lifting:
A study published in the Dec 2006 issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism looked at different forms of growth hormone, used different testing methods, and varied weight training regimens. The research found that the role of growth hormone in women’s muscle development may be more complicated than previously thought.
The study’s principal author, William J. Kraemer said:
We found that growth hormone was responsive to moderate and heavy exercise regimens having 3-12 repetitions with varying weight loading. Women need to have heavy loading cycle or workout in their resistance training routines, as it helps to build muscle and bone.
Next, Brazilian scientists have specifically studied if and how much eccentric weight lifting affected growth hormone (GH) levels. The researchers took measurements of lactic acid and GH in all 16 of the lifters before the workout and then continued to monitor the levels of those chemicals for 30min post-workout.
Both lactate and GH levels were higher in the men who took 3 seconds to lower the weight, but 15 minutes after the workout, the GH of the eccentric lifters was an incredible, hand-clapping, 17 times higher than that of the quick lifters. The specific summary findings were as follows:
Muscular adaptations result from a multifactorial process involving mechanical, metabolic, and immune/inflammatory factors in addition to various hormonal responses. Therefore, if the emphasis in resistance training periodization is to induce a greater acute metabolic stress and GH response, we recommend manipulating the eccentric movement velocity.
I specifically referenced a study that examined how a male weight lifts to increase GH response, because the simple fact should be widely known that weight lifting will undoubtedly yield a response in growth hormone in men.
How to start weight lifting
To start tracking weight lifting, you can download an app such as Strong Lifts to help track your weight lifting workouts.
Hop on some forums such as BodyBuilding.com, or visit T-Nation.com for great weight lifting advice.
As a fitness coach, you can also check out my profile for my health and fitness YouTube channel for specific workout videos and advice!
Stay consistent and keep yourself honest – meaning don’t miss workouts and expect amazing results.
I also suggest you integrate intermittent fasting (“IF”) into your weekly routine — fasting 16-18hrs every few days. You’ll gain so many benefits in terms of boosts to metabolism, and HGH production, that you’ll be shedding weight in no time.
Whether you’re considering high repetition weight lifting such as CrossFit, or leaning more towards lower repetition training styles such as Olympic Weight Lifting or Powerlifting, as long as you stay consistent and honest you’ll see results!
Stay on top of the numbers (daily, weekly volume, and calories), track your progress, and watch the extra fat fall off your body while you get super strong!
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com
|||^||Wikipedia: Olympic weightlifting|
|||^||Kraemer, Jeff S. Volek, Barry A. Spiering and Carl M. Maresh of the University of Connecticut, Storrs; Bradley C. Nindl, U.S Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, Mass.; James O. Marx, The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Lincoln A. Gotshalk, University of Hawaii at Hilo; Jill A. Bush, University of Houston, Texas; and Jill R. Welsch, Andrea M. Mastro and Wesley C. Hymer, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Penn. The The American Physiological Society published the study: Chronic Resistance Training in Women Potentiates Growth Hormone in Vivo Bioactivity: Characterization of Molecular Mass Variants|