Does strength training help you lose weight?
That was the question in the latest article I read...the article came from The University of California, Berkeley's Wellness Letter.
Now, maybe the author had a poor writing style, but I found many errors in the article. First and foremost even though the article was on strength training it didn't even touch on nutrition. It mentioned cardio, but not a thing about the foods we eat. Which, if you haven't read one of my blogs before counts for 80% of our bodies makeup.
Second, for a person to lose weight 45 minutes of cardio four days a week could work, but more realistically I would recommend 3 days a week of intense cardio for 30 minutes. That means walking at a pace for the entire 30 minutes that challenges you to the point that you cannot keep a normal conversation going. Better yet, take one of my cycle classes and you won't have to think about a thing for an hour. (It burns roughly 560 calories an hour for a 125lb woman.) Add in, with that intense cardio, strength training for 45 minutes three times a week and you have a recipe for weight loss.
Let's get back to the article, it mentions you would have to train long and hard to "add a significant amount of muscle." That's the third error and it is False! Again, it's about intensity. Who wants to spend 2 hours a week in the gym pumping iron? Ok, I would, but I don't. I get in and out in an hour. This is where a Personal Trainer might come in. They could keep you moving, push you to lift a bit heavier then you might have, and make certain your form is spot on because you are moving faster and lifting heavier.
On a positive note, the article mentioned the benefits of strength training and there are many. A few that were mentioned, and a few more that weren't. For instance, improved self esteem, better posture, and a better sense of balance (which is important in older clients).
It kills me to read misleading articles. It's difficult enough to try and do the right thing (lifting weights, doing cardio, and eating right) but when the right thing isn't right...then everything is a mess. Don't believe everything you read, do your homework and back up that reading with a bit of research. This blog is a good start.