Blog by PPT Level 1 Trainer, Mary Elasi
That can’t be right? Surely the best way to move that stubborn fat is to run it off.
Cardio, cardio cardio! More specifically, you need to RUN!! That’s the answer.
We all just watched the Olympics and there wasn’t overweight runner to be found so that’s what anyone who wants to shed some body fat needs to do.
Well no actually, there’s more to it. I’m not going to tell you “don’t run” or “don’t do cardio”, I’m an advocate for people living their best and healthiest life and if getting you to move means that you go for a run because that’s what you enjoy, then knock yourself out! Set yourself a big goal and run a marathon even.
What I will say though is strength training is crucial in an effective fat loss program. If you’ve ever visited us at PPT or have been following us on FB, you will have noticed we don’t have a single treadmill. What we do have is a stack of weights, bars, dumbells, weight machines and some ridiculously fit, strong and lean clients using all of the aforementioned equipment. So how is this possible? How is a strength based facility getting this fat loss result for clients?
First, we need to know the GOLDEN RULE of fat loss.
Energy in needs to be less than your energy out
An energy deficit needs to be achieved through your food and your exercise (both planned and incidental).
What many don’t realize is that this measure of energy expenditure does not start and end with your exercise session when you are strength training. This is a privilege awarded you if you strength train. The same benefits are not on offer with your typical easy cardio session (think a 30min walk on the treadmill). What this means is that during your resistance training session you are burning calories, and then post session, while your body is trying to return back to its status quo, while its trying to restore and repair muscle, its still working hard and burning calories for you.
Another important benefit of strength training is its ability to preserve and build muscle. Before the women reading this run off thinking, “I don’t want to be bulky” just take a deep breathe and hear me out. Most of the same women afraid of being bulky, all want to be toned. Tone, equals muscle. Same same!! We need muscle, that’s a given, so lets move on. But other than the obvious capability of exerting strength and creating force, muscle has a crucial role in being a determinant in our resting metabolic rate. To simplify it right down, the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate, the better your metabolism. Bearing this relationship in mind, its crucial then that if you want to lose fat you should also be going to great lengths to make sure you are doing what you can to hold onto, and build upon your existing fat free muscle mass.
How is this done? Strength training.
These are merely two important, and compelling reasons why strength training should be a staple in any program with a fat loss goal. On the previous 12 week shift that I participated in, I had a goal with a set deadline. The next powerlifting meet was coming up and I needed to be 4 – 5 kg lighter to make my weight class and even more importantly I needed to keep that precious hard earned muscle to lift! Not surprising to me, I made that weight class, even less surprising I managed to achieve this with 4 x heavy lifting sessions a week and 20 minutes of cardio TOTAL per week.
Working with a PPT trainer won’t necessarily reflect my training program. This was tailored for me in line with my competition goals. But between our one on one services and our group PT sessions, we can help educate you on how to strength train for fat loss. Our next 12 week shift is around the corner and this is fantastic way to match up the best training and individual options for you.