Frank Mikulka's

Weekly Fitness Tip

October 26, 2003

I’m overweight and have started a reducing diet plan. I was told to begin an exercise program, but to stay away from weights because I would bulk up. So, I guess I have to lose the weight first. What’s the truth? (Stephanie from Deer Park)

That’s 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, so 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 doesn’t magically change into muscle tissue. By the same token if you stop weight training, all your muscles won’t turn into fat. They may shrink and become smaller and when you lift weights again they will grow bigger.

Stay focused. It’s hard 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 Sunday morning from 10:30 to 11:00 AM on WLIE 540 AM