It’s absolutely important to lift weights, regardless of what your fitness goals are. So, whether you want to lose weight or gain muscle, lifting weights is absolutely mandatory.
However, it's important to understand how you can lift weights to help you achieve your fitness goals. Here, we will discuss why is lifting weights good for you and their importance in fat loss and muscle gain:
Should You Lift Weights for Fat Loss?
Yes, absolutely. It's important to note that your workout routine for fat loss involves lifting weights and using cardio to assist in burning extra calories.
When you start to lift weights, your body puts in an additional effort. To fuel that extra effort, the body burns the stored calories to generate energy. As a result, the more weight you lift, the more calories you burn.
Additionally, weight lifting increases your metabolic rate, which means you continue to burn calories even after your workout session ends. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to be in a calorie deficit for weight loss while you lift weights.
It so happens that the body burns stored calories to make up the deficit to reach the maintenance calories and burn additional calories to generate fuel for the efforts.
Should You Lift Weights to Gain Muscles?
It’s known that you need to be in a calorie surplus if you want to gain muscles. However, if you follow a surplus diet without lifting weights, you will be adding body to the stored calories.
If you lift weights, especially heavy weights, and follow the protocols of strength training, the muscle fibers will tear while trying to withstand the resistance. When fibers recover using protein from the surplus diet, they will grow back thicker and stronger to withstand the resistance without tearing.
As a result, you must do progressive overload to constantly push your fibers to become thicker and stronger. The more you push your muscles, the stronger and more muscular you become.
Tips on Lifting Weights
It’s not just about lifting something heavy but about lifting it in proper form. Here are some tips on how to start lifting weights :
1) Do Not Begin With a Heavy Weight
It’s important to get your muscles used to the motion and form. So, begin with a lighter weight to understand the form.
That will prevent you from injuring yourself and avoid unnecessary pressure on the joints and spine.
2) Focus on Building a Muscle-Mind Connection
One of the first things to do when you begin lifting weights is to build a mind-muscle connection. This connection helps you engage the correct muscle groups during specific exercises, especially compound movements.
Once you build a mind-muscle connection using lighter weights, it’s much easier to maintain that as you move to heavier ones.
3) Split Your Days
You do not need to lift weights for all the muscle groups on the same day. You can split your muscles into groups of two, and work on them properly with a mixture of isolation and compound exercises, which is important.
For example, you can focus on push movements on Day 1, pull movements on Day 2, Legs on Day 3, agility and core on Day 4, and rest on Day 5.
4) Have Recovery Days
Lifting weights is taxing for the muscles. If you push your muscles every day, they will not grow or tone themselves.
Therefore, allow at least 48 hours for the muscle groups to recover before working on them again. The importance of rest and recovery period ensures the rebuilding of muscle fibers.
Technique for Lifting Weights
Every exercise needs to be done in the correct form to reap the optimum benefits. You must know that especially before moving to a heavy weight.
Almost every exercise has a barbell and a dumbbell version. Pick the green weight that suits you, and remember that everyone grows at their own pace.
You must not try to lift weights just because your peers are doing so. The idea is to grow your muscles at the rate your body permits. Unnecessarily pressurizing your muscle groups can lead to serious injury.
To lift weights, you need to first get into the right mindset. If you’re not up for it mentally, it will be very challenging physically.
Ideally, you should ease yourself into it. Essentially, give your body the time it takes to completely get into a workout routine comprising resistance training.