Working out with free weights is a good way to encourage your body to release stored fat. Barbells and dumbbells are called “free weights” because they aren’t attached to pulleys or stacks like other gym equipment, and they target the body’s fat stores better than other forms of resistance training.
Unlike the weight machines in the gym, free weights require that you exert more control when you’re lifting. You have to do all the work, which causes the small stabilizing muscles to work, burning more calories. Free weights have gotten a bad rap as far as weight loss is concerned, but that’s not true; depending on how they’re used, they build lean muscle which helps to metabolize fat. Add one or more of these techniques to your workout plan, and you’ll burn fat faster than you thought possible.
• Work out with weights five days per week to accelerate weight loss and burn calories. You can work out six days a week, but take at least a day off to allow your muscles to recover.
• Use a “split” training system to allow you to give focus to each muscle group, and keep workouts shorter. Try hitting arms, legs, shoulders, back, then your chest; take the weekend off and begin again on Monday. If you can’t follow the schedule exactly, use one of your “rest” days.
• Add HIIT (high intensity interval training) two days per week, because it burns calories hours after the workout is over.
• If you can’t work out five days per week, commit to three full-body workouts. This can be equally effective, especially if you train in circuits (one or two exercises for each muscle group, with little rest in between).
• Use compound, rather than isolated movements in your workouts. Exercises that use more than one muscle group burn fat faster; good choices are dead lifts, bench presses and squats with barbells.
• Use negative accentuation to burn fat up to three days after a workout. The “negative” is the lowering you do when you’re lifting weights; the “accentuation” means to lower the weight slowly.
• Do a half hour of lower to medium intensity cardiovascular exercise right after your lifting routine, to target those fat stores in trouble areas.
• Drink a protein shake to aid in muscle recovery- your weight lifting won’t yield the desired results if you can’t train because you’re too sore. Aim for 30-50 grams of protein and 30-60 grams of carbs in your shake, but the amount will depend on your preference and your weight.
Using weights to lose pounds is a lot more rewarding than just cutting calories. Working out with free weights and eating a healthy diet will build lean muscle and turn your body into a fat-burning furnace, making it stronger and healthier.
This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Slimming.com who have ideas to help you build lean muscle. Please visit their site for more info.