Personal Training Director, Jay McWilliams
Strength training = Lean muscle tone
I want to take some time this week to talk about the link between strength training and body composition: two of my all-time favorite subjects. During this July, which is body composition month, I want to try to dispel some common myths regarding the effects of strength training. Many people, both women and men, have a fear that strength training will result in “bulking-up”. Unfortunately, there are a large percentage of people who miss out on all of the wonderful benefits of strength training due to this concern. In fact, strength training often results in a leaner more toned look (the opposite of bulky) and will improve your body composition by simultaneously increasing lean muscle mass and decreasing body fat percentage. Strength training even helps you burn more calories when you are not in the gym. How, you may ask?
Cardio or Strength Training for Higher Calorie Burn?
First of all, muscle mass is metabolically active. Muscle burns more calorie pound for pound than fat, some estimates place muscle calorie burn at 50 calories/pound/day while fat only burns 3 calories/pound/day. This is a huge difference! Increasing your lean muscle mass even slightly will have profound effects on your daily calorie expenditure even on days you don’t make it to the gym. Another benefit of strength training is that your body tends to burn more calories for the 24-48 hours after a strength session than it does after a cardio session. So for all of you counting calories, while an hour on the treadmill may look like it will result in more calories burned than an hour lifting weights, the long-term calorie expenditure of strength training will often be greater. I encourage you all to take advantage of these benefits of strength training. Aim for at least two strength sessions a week. We have great options for strength training from Targeted Training to TRX. Your body (and your body composition) will thank you!