The 5 Principles to a great body Part 4 Weight Training

Posted: Tuesday, 13 March 2012 by Strength&Nutrition24/7 in Labels: , ,

If you ask anyone, “What should I do to lose weight?” the likely reply will be something along the line of “start doing cardio (meaning long distance low intensity).” This thought and belief that dominates North America was due to the rising rates of obesity and heart disease and that fact when scientists began theories that cardiovascular exercise was the magic key to improving fitness and health. This being said the research supports that a moderate (key word) level of aerobic training does have health benefits. However, as most people don’t do cardio in moderation, rather, they take a training that is high volume in nature and go overkill. When aerobic training is overdone it places harmful stress on the body, this can lead to:

  • Suppressed immune system
  • Unnecessary stress in the heart
  • Leads to overuse injuries
  • Increase secretion of stress hormones (cortisol breaks down muscle and leads to other health problems)

The scientist who aided in commencing the aerobic craze in 1970, Dr. Kenneth Cooper, witnessed his colleagues who were avid runners began to have health problems he then drastically reduced his recommendations.

The importance of strength:
Research looked at BMI and strength correlation to mortality. The results found that people with low BMI (underweight) and weak were less healthy and had a higher mortality rate than those who had a higher BMI (Over weight) and strong. Along with these findings in 2005 it was found that by having moderate levels of muscular strength, power, and endurance is essential for reducing risks of premature death.

Why not aerobic?
A common misconception that people make is the assumption that because endurance athletes are relatively long and lean it must be an effective way to lose weight. As Mike Boyle so brilliantly points out that the general public assumes that aerobic athletes are long and lean do to the aerobic training. However, in reality the sport dictates the body structure and requires the athletes to be long and lean. People who are not genetically gifted with this body structure will never attain no matter how much aerobic training they do. On top of this aerobic training in long term, it actually makes it more difficult for one to lose weight by increasing the efficiency of the metabolic system.

Why weight training?
This does not mean that aerobic training is useless in terms of fat loss. Rather, it has a very good place in fat loss for beginners. In order for the effects of strength training to really take effect one must be able to perform more advanced techniques and put the body under a high enough intensity.  When one participates in aerobic training for fat loss they may find initial fat loss. However, due to the metabolic efficiency that occurs, they tend to plateau. However, when one participates in long term resistance training they will find extreme benefits because it not only causes you to burn calories during training but also for 24-48 hours after. Further, muscle is an expensive tissue and requires extra energy (kcal) to maintain it.  

A study by Wayne W Campbell 2012 found with resistance training the mean energy in take to maintain weight increased by 15% in untrained elderly individuals. Increased energy expenditure included increased metabolic rate and energy cost of resistance training. Resistance training was found to be an effective way of increasing energy requirements, decreased body fat mass, and maintains metabolically active tissue mass in healthy older people and may be useful as an adjunct to weight-control programs for older adults.

Weight training is the most effective form of training for body composition and health. By becoming stronger one increases life expectancy. Further, weight training increases ones metabolic rate for 24-48 hours during the recovery time. Also, through hypertrophy (growth) of muscle tissue one increases their resting metabolic rate. Weight training is fantastic for all age groups and increases in importance as one ages and loses muscle mass.

Proper nutrition + resistance training = good health and an awesome body