Strength Training Like A Fit Chick!

Myth: Cardio is the key to burning fat.

Fact: Strength training, and even more specifically, circuit training is the most effective way to burn fat!

Yes, research shows that cardio burns about 2 more calories per minute than strength training. However, unlike steady pace cardio, your body will continue to burn calories even after you’re done. In an effort to help your muscles recover, your metabolism stays elevated. This leads to a higher number of calories burned overall.

EPOC...The After Burn

Need more convincing? This "after burn", better know as the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) in the scientific world, has long been studied by exercise physiologists. The "after burn" results after a bout of exercise as your body works to deliver oxygen to the previously worked muscles and return your body back to it's pre-workout state.

In an effort to restore itself, your body burns more energy (ie. calories). However, while research shows that your body requires far more energy (EPOC levels are higher) for a longer period of time to repair itself after an interval cardio workout than any steady pace cardio workout, they also discovered that the EPOC levels are even higher (more calorie burn) for a longer period of time after intense resistance training sessions (circuit style) than both interval cardio and steady pace cardio.

In other words,your body will burn far more calories after a kick-butt strength training workout than any type of cardio workout.

As an added bonus, every pound of muscle burns about 30 calories a day at rest while fat only needs 2 calories a day to sustain its self. This essentially boosts your metabolism and enable you to burn more calories throughout the day…even when you’re snoozin’. Again, the “the after-burn”.

Do It Circuit Style

Combine resistance training and cardio by making it a circuit. With no rest in between sets, you get the benefits of cardio by keeping your heart rate elevated while you build “fat burning” muscle!

Go from one exercise to the next until you get to the end of the set of exercises (usually 4-6 exercises equals one set). Then, and only then, take 60 seconds to hydrate and recover before you start the next set of exercises.

Remember, according to The BIGGEST LOSER's Jillian Micheals , "When done properly, circuit training builds lean muscle and improves aerobic fitness simultaneously, making it nothing less than the most effective fat burning workout." Not to mention, this style allows us to fit in more exercises in a shorter period of time. Why would we do it any other way?!

Pre-designed Workout Routines

Super What?

I also love to incorporate supersets into the workouts. Again, a type of training strategy that eliminates the rest period by performing one exercise after another.

While there are numerous ways to incorporate supersets, we are going to focus on combining two strength training exercises that concentrate on the same muscle group. For instance, chest press followed directly by pushups. I love this method, especially for women, because it allows us to overload our muscles without using large amounts of weight and increase the intensity for a greater caloric burn.

Bottom Line

We are going to get the fastest results by performing resistance training in the form of a circuit and incorporating supersets into the workout. Tack on interval cardio and you will only expedite the process. But, if you’re running short on time, PUMP, PUMP, PUMP IT UP!!!

What are you waiting for?

Pre-designed Full Body Workout Routines

INSANITY 60 day total body at home conditioning program

Oh, oh. I almost forgot. We, as women, can’t bulk. That's another myth. We don’t have enough testosterone.

There you have hit the weights!

Inspirations Personal Training
Certified Fitness Trainer Cindy Brotherston provides cutting-edge fitness and weight loss information, tools and resources from her website and her new Toronto area studio.

More Interesting Pages!

Get a coach...without leaving your house!
Need more convincing...the benefits of strength training!
Exercise vs. Diet
Pre-designed Full Body Workout Routines
Mix it up with these split style workout routines
The Truth About Your Abs
List of Strength Exercises
How Many Reps Should I Do?
Can't get to the gym...pre-designed at home workouts!
Track your progress with a diet and exercise journal
Top 10 Tips for Finding Time to Exercise
Set Yourself Up for Success...Set Goals

Leave Strength Training for Real Moms Real Fit home page