Weight Lifting For Absolute Beginners: Everyone Can Benefit From Weight Training!
Recent research shows that if you want to lose weight, stay trim, and and maintain an elevated metabolic rate you need to incorporate some sort of resistance or weight lifting / training into your weight loss program (of course, weight training offers additional benefits, but I’ll get into this a little farther on in the article).
However for some time now, it’s been common for professionals to encourage a greater focus on aerobic activity for those individuals focused on losing weight.
And while aerobic activity does play a role in any fitness program (and who can argue with the great cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary benefits it offers), research shows it really should play a secondary role to resistance training when it comes to weight loss.
Well, several reasons…
First of all, aerobic activity doesn’t burn calories all that efficiently. On an exercise bike for example, the average individual might burn as few as 300 calories in an hour of exercise. Depending on how much weight you need to lose, you could be riding that bike for a long, long, time (a pound of fat, for example, is the equivalent of about 3,500 stored calories).
Secondly, aerobic activity doesn’t do a very effective job of boosting the metabolism much past the duration of your workout. Weight training, on the other hand, can elevate the metabolic rate for up to 48 hours after the period of exercise. In other words, not only do you burn calories while you exercise, you continue to burn them at an elevated rate long after your workout session is completed.
In a nutshell, the benefits to resistance or weight training are numerous — for women, it protects against osteoporosis. For men and women, it increases flexibility and energy, lowers blood pressure and blood glucose levels, as well as increases confidence. Even seniors can benefit from strength training and weight lifting. Recent studies show that weight training can reverse aging damage in muscles (see this story), while other studies (see this story) show that weight training can boost seniors’ strength, focus, and vitality!
Here’s another thing…
Typical, low calorie dieting is very counterproductive. It slows down your metabolism. Basically… the less food you eat, the less you food require. Worse still, the body has a tendency to catabolize (break down) lean muscle under severe caloric restriction.
Since muscle is metabolically active tissue, requiring calories to function at all times, you need all the muscle you have. Lose some, and your caloric requirement drops further — meaning you have to eat even less to maintain a caloric deficit. Weight training helps sustain muscle mass during dieting
Of course, the main problem with resistance training is that newcomers and women especially find it intimidating. Or they’re worried about “bulking up.” This is a a ridiculous concept — building muscle is a long process, and resistance training will make women lean and svelte, not big and bulky. Women also don’t have the necessary testosterone in their bodies to get big and bulky… so keep that in mind next time someone warns you about the dangers of “bulking up.”
Many people are too busy to go to a gym, and they can’t see themselves in the same section as the “steroid freaks” who are hammering out multiple repetition sets of 400 lbs. on the bench press.
Unfortunately, this usually means they don’t incorporate any resistance training into their programs at all, which is a big loss.
In an attempt to address this issue two ladies, Jessie and Jonni Good, have created the “Weight Lifting for Absolute Beginners” program. And let me tell you — they’re not kidding when they say “for absolute beginners”. Their program, which requires no investment save for a couple of 1-3 pound dumbbells, is an un-intimidating and relaxed introduction to resistance training.
I caution you — this is not something for even novice lifters — this is strictly for beginners. More specifically, it seems to be targeted towards women, although men will also benefit from the program.
The program itself comes in a Adobe PDF file, and contains a ton of exercises (all with illustrations and detailed instructions), three workout routines, and a printable workout journal. What do I like most about this program?
- Those previously intimidated by weight training will be able to enjoy its benefits
- It requires no major investment — buy the program and a couple of dumbbells, and you’re good to go!
- It’s convenient — easily accomplished from the comfort of your own home
- The program is well written and the authors have your well-being at heart.
- It’s cheap — under $15!
The bottom line is simple…
Resistance training is essential for successful weight loss. It’s also critical for health, for staying young, and for maintaining mental focus.
If you have yet to experiment with resistance training, Jessie and Jonnie Good’s e-book provides an excellent starting point for “absolute” beginners.
Don’t let intimidation get in the way of success!