When it comes to lifting weights, most people think there are few benefits apart from additional muscle mass.
The truth is lifting weights has also been known to help burn fat too.
Many people think that being pretty cut is just a fad.
New studies are now linking weight lifting and fat burn, among other benefits as well.
So, apart from great-looking biceps and triceps, weight loss is another significant reason for lifting weights.
Here are a few insights into how lifting weights can help burn fat and cut pounds.
It’s a Genetic Thing
A recent study has linked lifting weights and transferring genetic material that aids the fat burn process.
This study showed that during the weight lifting process, genetic particles are transferred between muscles and fat cells.
The fat cells help ignite the body’s metabolism that in turn aids fat burn.
This discovery goes against the popular thinking that weight lifting only increases muscle mass.
The genetic particles called “extracellular vesicles” are part of a group of proteins that aid weight loss.
The particles before now had no known biological functions.
However, they are now known to transmit information across cells within the body.
And the fat burn is one of those essential pieces of information that the particles transmit to cells throughout the body.
These particles also referred to as vesicles, form the bridge through which cellular communication occurs across the body.
It’s part of a series of discoveries where cells across the body are now known to talk to each other and communicate information almost simultaneously.
When it comes to losing pounds, this process is crucial as fat cells depend on shared information to maintain similar characteristics.
As You Age Lifting Weights Helps Improve Body Mass
While it may seem cliche to say that lifting weights improve body mass, this is a critical aspect of health for those aged 60 and older.
To keep the body functioning as normal and to allow for healthy muscles, weight lifting has been known to play a critical role in keeping the muscles from shrinking.
Muscle mass is known to shrink at this age.
Weight lifting is one activity that has proven to improve blood flow, increase metabolism, and also give an even tone to the bodies of the elderly.
For older people who are obese, lifting weights is known to reduce the risk of heart disease and burn
So, as muscle mass is gained, weight is lost, and the body becomes healthier!
A recent study by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates these and many more benefits of strength training for the elderly.
According to the study, muscle mass loss (referred to medically as sarcopenia), can be deferred and even prevented with regular exercise.
Improved Oxygen Inflow is Critical
As a person exercises, one of the most critical benefits is improved oxygen inflow.
During the weight lifting process, oxygen flow improves significantly and remains that way for up to two days.
Studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in young women show increased oxygen levels and possible “fat oxidation” after resistance exercises.
The consumption rate is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
Fat oxidation is merely another term for fat burn.
This process may also be more difficult for obese women.
Studies by the same National Institute of Health (NIH) show that obese women have smaller lung volumes, and fat distribution remained relatively unchanged after strenuous exercise.
Comparing the two studies, it is easy to see that oxygen flow is a critical factor in the weight loss process.
The heavier a person is, the harder the exercise process will be.
It is that simple.
However, to achieve the effect of fat burn, the weight lifting routine will have to be strict but within the limits of the person in question.
It brings us to our next point.
Weight Lifting Activities Improve Long-Term Metabolism
Cardio workouts are known to have far lower EPOC rates than weight lifting activities in the long term.
Contrary to popular opinion (based on a 2012 study) as muscle mass increases, so does oxygen consumption.
With a cardio workout, higher levels of oxygen and burn rate are achieved at the moment of the activity.
However, with weight lifting, as muscle mass increases, so does the oxygen consumption and fat burn rate.
The key difference between the two activities is time.
The common misconception that cardio is better than weight lifting has given rise to new workout programs that leave many people frustrated.
However, developing a personal weight lifting regimen is key to getting long-lasting results in the weight loss challenge.
As EPOC rates increase over time, the overall effects will be seen and felt by the individual in question.
Increased Oxygen Consumption has its Benefits
Increased oxygen consumption has so many benefits that it’s almost impossible to list them all in this article.
However, increased oxygen consumption also contributes significantly to fat burn.
Increased EPOC rates improve the human immune system. As the body continues to gain muscle mass, metabolic activities that aid the fight against disease also improve.
As time goes on, the body begins to adapt to these new conditions resulting in less susceptibility to disease.
The heart also gains from improved oxygen flow.
Studies from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) show that increased oxygen flow to the heart results in a more efficient cardiac cycle.
By implication, the heart functions optimally under such conditions and reduces the risk of heart disease.
When it comes to the brain, increased oxygen concentrations are known to improve cognition, especially in the elderly.
These oxygen concentrations are seen to help increase brain power so to speak and keep the person in question functional and agile.
Alertness, cognition, and overall improved mental alertness are observed with higher concentrations of oxygen in the brain.
And for weight loss, increased oxygen concentrations in the blood lead to higher levels of fat oxidation which in time will be noticeable physically.
Nutrition is Critical
When it comes to losing weight, the best strategy will always
have a nutritional component.
The phrase ” you are what you eat” underpins weight loss management.
On one side of the equation, we have the guys who think everything is run by rules.
They calculate their calorie intake down to the last decimal.
They dot their I’s and cross their t’s but still, they have issues.
On the other side of the nutrition equation, we have those who function by principles, rather than by numbers.
Those who run their weight-loss strategy by principles always win in the long run.
When implementing a weight-lifting exercise regimen, the calorie burn effect must be factored in as muscle mass increases.
And as noted by the NIH in an article, the quantity, quality, and timing of diet are important factors to consider when planning.
It allows for some flexibility based on principles.
So, while you want to go out there and start pumping, always remember that weight loss is not a win-lose or zero-sum game.
It is all about being comfortable with yourself and in your skin.
That is because it is all that matters.
Go out there and pump!