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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

Why Weight Lifting for Weight Loss Leads to Super Fast Results

Why Weight Lifting for Weight Loss Leads to Super Fast Results

Weight lifting for weight loss is no joke! You can weightlift a few times per week and yield massive results in regards to your weight loss journey, all while getting stronger, more toned, and feeling great!

In this article, we’ll take a deeper look into weight lifting and things that you probably never knew about it, as well as how you can get started with it.

What Is Weight Lifting?

Let’s first examine what weight lifting entails.

There’s one internationally known 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 its neighbor sport, Weight Lifting, already does.

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. I would argue that these large federations are akin to the Olympic Games in many ways, from regulatory requirements, drug testing, and more. Here are the top forms of weight lifting that we will touch on in this article:

  1. Olympic Weight Lifting (Snatch, Power Clean, Jerk, Front Squat)
  2. Powerlifting (Back Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift)
  3. Powerbuilding (Over Head Press, Bent Over Row)
  4. 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.

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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.

Lifting for Weight Loss

While performing the aforementioned weight lifting movements, you can work large groups of muscles and get your heart rate up with minimal time[1]!

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. 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 150 lbs = 3,750 lbs in total volume.

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Your total volume is reflective of your workload for the day or week, and to some degree it 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 you’re eating an excessive amount of food (which would be quite counter-productive).

Why Does Lifting Weights Lead to Weight Loss?

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 its need to burn fat as energy. Your body will also become very efficient at utilizing its resources for recovery, meaning you’ll lose fat even more.

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 Weight Lifting Works

Weight lifting, in general, will yield 3 benefits:

  1. Cardiovascular development
  2. Optimizing metabolic function
  3. 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.

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How Weight Lifting Improves HGH Development

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 2006 study[2] looked at different forms of the growth hormone during varying weight training regimens. The research found that the role of growth hormone in women’s muscle development may be more complicated than previously thought.

They found that the growth hormone was responsive to moderate and heavy exercise regimens with 3-12 repetitions with varying weight loading. Women need to have a heavy loading cycle or work out in their resistance training routines, as it helps to build muscle and bone.

In a separate study, Brazilian scientists 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 30 minutes post-workout.

Both lactate and GH levels were higher in the men who took three 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[3].

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.

Alternatively, you can download preset program templates, such as The Texas Method[4] by Mark Rippetoe, or 5-3-1[5] by Jim Wendler.

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Stay consistent and keep yourself honest. This means that you should try not to miss workouts. If you’re just getting started, begin lifting weights two times a week. You can then move to three or four days a week once you feel ready.

You shouldn’t lift everyday as it will put unnecessary strain on your muscles. Change up the workout for a cardio workout or HIIT every other day when possible as this burns more calories instead of sticking to one regimen. This will help you see even more benefits from weight lifting for fat loss.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re considering high repetition weight lifting such as CrossFit, or you’re 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!

More on Weight Lifting for Weight Loss

Featured photo credit: Victor Freitas via unsplash.com

Reference

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Adam Evans

BioHacker, competitive athlete, researcher in many fields including health and fitness, science, philosophy, metaphysics, religion.

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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

12 Stretching Exercises to Increase Your Flexibility

12 Stretching Exercises to Increase Your Flexibility

When thinking about stretching and learning how to become flexible, consider you are doing more than just elongating and strengthening your muscles. You are, in fact, improving circulation of the blood (lymphatic system), and optimizing the depth of your breath, which further enhances circulation[1].

Stretching and yoga aren’t just trends; they are practices that have been utilized by humans arguably for hundreds of thousands of years or more. In many cases, modern humans have simply forgotten much of their ancestry, and stretching/yoga is certainly an integral part.

The following stretching routines, if practiced consistently (every day, or a few times a week), will improve your physical and mental well-being, so let’s get into them!

Here’s a breakdown of all the exercises I’ve covered in the video:

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1. Standing Hamstring Stretch

See the source image
    • Stand straight and tall with your feet hip-width apart, knees just slightly bent, and arms by your sides.
    • Exhale as you bend forward (think of a door hinge movement at the hips), lowering your head toward the floor (imagine the top of your head being parallel with the floor), while keeping your head, neck, and shoulders relaxed (do not tense up).
    • Wrap your arms around the backs of your legs, or simply grab and hold the back of your legs; holding anywhere from 45 seconds to two minutes.
    • Bend your knees and slowly “roll up” back to the standing position when you’re done.

    2. Downward Dog

    See the source image
      • Start standing with your feet hip-width apart.
      • While exhaling, hinge at the hips and lower your head toward the floor.
      • Place your hands/palms on the ground.
      • Step back with your feet while keeping a neutral back/spine and with your head/neck in-line with your shoulders and arms.

      3. Deep Lunge and Twist

      See the source image
        • Start standing with your feet together hip width apart.
        • Take a large step forward with your right foot.
        • Bend your right knee and drop into a lunge, keeping your left leg as straight as you can behind you with your toes on the ground, so you feel a stretch at the front of your left thigh.
        • Place your right hand on the floor or in a pray position, and twist your upper body to the right as you extend your right arm toward the ceiling (for a deeper stretch).
        • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes while taking slow and steady breaths.
        • Repeat on the other side.

        4. Piriformis Stretch

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        See the source image

           

          • Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you to start.
          • Cross your left leg over your right, and place your left foot flat on the floor.
          • Place your left hand on the floor behind your body.
          • Place your right hand on your left quad or your right elbow on your left knee (as shown), and press your left leg to the right as you twist your torso to the left.
          • If the spinal rotation causes back discomfort, remove the twist and simply use your right hand to pull your left quad in and to the right.

          5. Figure Four Stretch

          See the source image
            • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor.
            • Cross your left foot over your right quad.
            • Lift your right leg off the floor. Grab onto the back of your right leg and gently pull it toward your chest.
            • When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold there.
            • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
            • Switch sides and repeat.

            6. 90/90 Stretch

            See the source image
              • Sit with your right knee bent at 90-degrees in front of you, calf perpendicular to your body and the sole of your foot facing to the left. Keep your left foot flexed.
              • Let your leg rest flat on the floor.
              • Place your left knee to the left of your body, and bend the knee so that your foot faces behind you. Keep your left foot flexed.
              • Keep your right butt cheek on the floor. Try to move the left cheek as close to the floor as possible. It may not be possible if your hips are tight.
              • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
              • Repeat on the other side.

              7. Frog Stretch

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              See the source image

                 

                • Start on all fours.
                • Slide your knees wider than shoulder-width apart.
                • Turn your toes out and rest the inner edges of your feet flat on the floor.
                • Ensure your legs are maintaining approximately a 90-degree angle (squared off).
                • Shift your hips back toward your heels.
                • Move from your hands down to your forearms to get a deeper stretch, if possible.
                • Hold for for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                8. Butterfly Stretch

                See the source image
                  • Sit tall on the floor with the soles of your feet together, knees bent out to the sides.
                  • Hold onto your feet (or ankles), engage your abs slightly to keep an upright posture with steady breathing, and slowly lower your body toward your feet as far as you can while pressing your knees toward the floor. Keep a neutral spine during this stretch.
                  • If you cannot lower your torso, then simply hold the stretch and aim to lower your knees closer to the ground gradually.
                  • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                  9. Tricep Stretch

                  See the source image
                    • Kneel, sit, or stand tall with feet hip-width apart, arms extended overhead.
                    • Bend your right elbow and reach your right hand to touch the top middle of your back.
                    • Reach your left hand overhead and grasp just below your right elbow.
                    • Gently pull your right elbow down and toward your head.
                    • Switch arms and repeat.

                    10. Extended Puppy Pose

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                    See the source image
                      • Start on all fours.
                      • Move your arms forward a few inches.
                      • Push your hips up and back halfway toward your heels, or until you feel a deep stretch.
                      • Push through the palms of your hands to keep your arms straight and engaged.
                      • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                      11. Neck Stretch and Release

                      See the source image
                        • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, or sit down with your back straight and chest lifted.
                        • Drop your right ear to your right shoulder.
                        • To deepen the stretch, gently press down on your head with your right hand.
                        • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                        12. Standing Quad Stretch

                        See the source image
                          • Stand with your feet together.
                          • Bend your left knee and use your left hand to pull your left foot toward your butt. Keep your knees together.
                          • If you need to, put one hand on a wall for balance.
                          • Squeeze your glutes to increase the stretch in the front of your legs.
                          • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
                          • Repeat on the other leg.

                          Conclusion

                          The key take away here is that consistency with your stretching routine, followed by good quality sleep and lots of hydration, will instantly begin to improve your quality of life. Find which stretches feel the best in your body and add them to a daily routine you can enjoy.

                          More on How to Become Flexible

                          Featured photo credit: Scott Broome via unsplash.com

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