Jonathan Lomax already took us through his thoughts on what really motivates people to exercise - goal setting, and seeing results. Weights were identified as 'the chisel to sculpt your new body, and see results as quickly as possible'. In part 2 of our interview with Jonathan we've asked for some more information about exactly why adding weights to your training plan is so important to getting results at the gym... Over to Jonathan:
"You might instantly baulk at this suggestion – maybe you don’t use weights at all, or maybe they’re an afterthought to your main (cardio) workout. Maybe the thought of getting off the running machine and heading over to the free weights area terrifies you.
But swallow your fear and give it a go. The idea that cardio is the only way to burn fat, and that weight training just bulks you out is a myth. Here’s why:
Exercising with weights burns more calories for a longer period of time than doing cardio. Fact.
Weights work the muscles much harder while you are exercising, which means the body’s energy systems have to work harder and smarter to releases calories during your training. But also, most importantly the body has to work harder to repair itself (for up to 48 hours) after you exercise.
This means that weight training increases your basal (base) metabolic rate. Essentially you become a more efficient calorie-burning machine, the result being a leaner more toned body in general... It's ironic, but by moving your focus away from trying to lose weight, you're more likely to do so!
Women in particular don’t have enough testosterone to bulk up from weight training. It's just not something to worry about! The key to using weights when you train is to add in cardio vascular intervals to the session. This is known as High Intensity Training (HITT), and this style of training is a key element of the Crossfit craze you might have heard about becoming popular. If you haven't seen it, take a look on Youtube for some HIIT videos.
Your body weight is a good pace to start. As a rule when using lighter weights or your own body weight, try to do more repetitions ('reps' in gym-speak). With heavier loads, the body is under more stress so you can get away with doing fewer repetitions.
When you are training with weights the most important thing to remember is that the best exercises are ones that use lots of muscles at once. These are called compound movements. The way to remember what a compound movement is, is to stop and think how many joints are moving when you do an exercise. The more joints involved, the more muscles you will be working and therefore the more efficient the exercise is. That'll help to make you stronger AND leaner
So what are you waiting for? Next time you're in the gym, head over to the weights area and get started. Commit to it and I guarantee you'll see far more results from your exercise."
...Thanks again to Jonathan for his professional insights into why you should be getting started in the weights area next time you visit the gym. If you're ready to get started, we recommend heading to Youtube to do some research on how to correctly do a few of these 'basic compound exercises' Jonathan was talking about... Alternatively, next time you visit the gym ask a personal trainer like Jonathan for a session. They'll be able to teach you the correct form, important both to avoid injury and to get the most value out of the exercises.
I love going to Pump classes now, and have noticed my body really shaping up more. Much more effective than running, but I do still love to go for a run sometimes just for the pure bliss of being outdoors.
Thanks for this post. I think I need to revise my cardio/weights ratio!
It's quite rare for women to get into weights, but classes like Body Pump that include weights are just so great for toning and increasing fitness
A good mix of cardio and weights and you can't go wrong.
I didn't know that weights burn more than cardio!!! Call me ignorant, but cardio is constantly drummed down our necks as the way to lose weight. I use weights to tone up, but will certainly make them a bigger part of my routine from now on. Thanks!
I get that there are simple, tried-and-tested techniques like squats. And maybe the rest is mostly marketing. But it's nice to have some variety, keeps up the motivation.
Isn't it amazing how all of the best fitness advice seems to boil down to a few simple, fuss-free options? Squats with weights - so simple and so effective. It makes me wonder why we make getting fit so complicated for ourselves.
I like the comment about 'Arnie' - I imagine he had to do a LOT of work to look like that. People who don't spend all their time in the gym need have no fear of ending up scaring small children.
Squats with weight rule! More often than not, simple exercises mean better results.