Whether you call it weight training, strength training or resistance training – scientists now believe that maintaining muscle mass, is the key to long term weight management. Metabolism drops 2-5% each decade starting at age 20. Fewer calories are burned, and more are stored as fat. Without weight training to prevent this loss, you may lose 6-8 lbs. each decade. As we age, we tend to lose muscle and gain fat. Since muscle burns a lot of energy, our energy needs diminish as we lose muscle, and our metabolism slows. Include weight training in your weight management program and you’ll have a much better chance of losing weight and keeping it off – permanently. This is what weight management is all about.
WHY WEIGHT TRAINING IS IMPORTANT FOR PERMANENT WEIGHT LOSS:
- Muscle cells burn fat for energy, so the more muscles you have, the easier it is to control fat.
- The Textbook of Medical Physiology clearly states: only under extreme physical exercise does the muscle use glucose. Most of the time, muscle membranes are only slightly permeable to glucose.
- Most of the day – muscle uses fat for energy, which accounts for anywhere from 60-75% of the total calories you expend daily.
- All the muscles combined have a small reserve of about 1200 calories of stored glycogen.
- Working out daily can completely use up the glycogen. This vacancy allows the carbohydrates you eat to be stored in the muscle cells, for tomorrow’s workout.
- By not working out, the muscle reserves stay full, and the extra carbohydrates are converted to body fat.
- Estimates show that for every pound of muscle you add, your body burns an extra 50-90 calories per day.
- If an individual adds 10 pounds of muscle, that’s an extra 500-900 calories per day they will burn at rest, or an extra 3500-6300 calories per week. That is at least a pound of fat per week and 52 pounds of fat in one year.
- You would have to run six miles a day, seven days a week to burn the same number of calories.
- Countless studies have concluded that weight trained individuals have resting metabolic rates that are approximately 10-25% higher compared to those of sedentary individuals.
SOMETIMES, INDIVIDUALS WILL HAVE A SLIGHT GAIN IN WEIGHT WHEN THEY INITIATE AN EXERCISE PROGRAM
WEIGHT LIFTING TIPS:
- Work a body part only once a week.
- Monday: Shoulder and Arms
- Wednesday: Chest and back
- Friday: Legs
- Exercised muscles take about 48 hours to breakdown worn cells, then approximately 48-72 hours to build stronger replacements.
- For 5-8 days strength remains at maximum and then slowly declines. 5 days rest is optimum for progress.
- After 45 minutes, hormone levels decline. Your ability to gain lean mass, is limited by your hormone levels. So, keep your workout 20-45 minutes.
WEIGHT LIFTING EXERCISE AND HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE (HGH):
- HGH is produced in large amounts when we are young, and begins to decline as we age. Falling approximately 14% per decade after age 20. By 50 years of age, the level of HGH has fallen over 40%.
- The decline of HGH is an important causative factor in muscle loss, organ shrinkage, osteoporosis, a weakened immune system and increased body fat.
- Resistance or strength exercise, such as weight lifting releases human growth hormone (HGH).
- The Textbook of Medical Physiology states: The Human Growth Hormone
- increases protein synthesis in all cells of the body
- increases mobilization of fatty acids from adipose (body fat) tissue
- increases use of fatty acids (coming from excess body fat) for energy
- Aerobic exercise can also have a significant impact on HGH levels. As little as 10 minutes of high intensity aerobic exercise has been seen to increase the HGH level nearly five times higher than the resting level.
- HGH decreases glucose (carbohydrates) utilization and increases fat utilization (breakdown of body fat).
- Adequate and consistent intake of protein will raise HGH levels, increasing the amount of protein tissue (muscles) in the body; this helps decrease body fat.
- Because HGH is secreted in pulsatile (or burst like) mans, HGH levels in your bloodstream vary throughout the day, with the largest pulses occurring during deep sleep and in response to intense exercise.
- Elevated levels of insulin during sleep (because of eating a high carbohydrate snack prior to bedtime) blocks HGH release (which occurs approximately 45 minutes into sleep), inhibiting the proper repair and recovery of your body – which HGH would have mobilized stored body fat for the energy to complete the rebuilding process.
- High circulating insulin levels can block the body’s calibrated HGH release cycle throughout the day.
- Eating balanced meals (appropriate combinations of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins ) help to raise HGH.
- Supplementation with certain amino acids can also affect HGH release. Both glutamine and arginine show to be potent HGH releasers.
Muscle is more compact than fat ( a pound of muscle takes up one third the space of fat), so a temporary weight gain will be offset by a decrease in body size. Extra muscle burns more fat, which helps to further decrease overall body weight. Remember your progress cannot be monitored by what the scale indicates. Muscle takes up less space than fat, so check the mirror and examine how your clothes fit. If possible, get your body fat measured every month or two.