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Last Updated on August 20, 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

More by this author

Adam Evans

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

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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