As summer approaches we all seem to become a lot more aware of our bodies and how we will look by the pool or on the beach in the coming few months. Gym memberships begin to get used again as we realise that we will no longer be able to cover up so easily.
The most common method of trying to lose weight is to spend 45 minutes to an hour sweating away on a treadmill. You begin to see queues in gyms of people waiting to run nowhere. Cardiorespiratory training has great benefits but is not the best way to get your beach body. What research has shown is that once you spend long enough on a treadmill (or bike etc.) your body will start to burn fat (great!) but will also start to burn muscle (not so great). It does this because breaking down muscle gives the body large amounts of energy in a short time.
When we use our muscle for fuel, we lose our bodies main fat burners. Muscle needs a lot more energy to maintain. This means that the more muscle we have, the more energy our bodies burn. In order to get this energy to maintain our muscles, the body uses our fat stores. This is an ongoing process and will even happen when you sleep.
Weight training will help you increase or maintain your body’s muscle mass while burning fat. The fat burning effect of weight training has been shown to last for up to 48 hours after your session whereas it stops as soon as your heart rate normalises after your cardio session.
Weight training has also been shown to increase bone strength and density, prevent injuries, improving your posture and even helping you get better sleep.
If you would still like to continue with your cardio that is great. Research has shown that, provided you lift weights (ideally 3 – 6 times a week), your body will not want to use your muscle for fuel while you’re running/cycling.
So, let’s get you off the hamster wheel and into the weight section, you won’t regret it.