Iím overweight and have started a weight loss plan. I was told to begin an exercise program, stick to cardio and stay away from weights because I would bulk up. So, I guess I have to lose the weight first before I can strength train. Whatís the truth? (Stephanie from Deer Park)
Thatís a myth. Strength training will promote a more rapid weight loss and in the long term will keep the weight off. During weight loss metabolism slows down as your body thinks it is fasting; weight training will boost your metabolism. Also, the increased muscle mass will make your body burn more calories at rest. Generally, a pound of muscle burns about thirty-five calories at rest, while a pound of fat burns about three. In the end because of strength training, you will have lost the weight and your body will look lean and mean. In high school biology we all learned that fat and muscle are different tissues. Fat doesnít magically change into muscle tissue. By the same token if you stop weight training, your muscles wonít turn into fat. They may atrophy somewhat and shrink in size and when you lift weights again they will grow bigger.
As to bulking up Ė most women canít because they donít have enough testosterone in their bodies. Donít worry about progressing to heavier weights. Instead of bulking up, you will be more toned and cut.
Stay focused. Strength training is work, but the rewards are just down the road.
Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on www.turnonyourinnerlight.com/page3.html