If lasting weight control (or, weight loss) is a goal of yours, incorporating resistance training into your routine is key. The short version? Effective resistance workouts help with excess fat loss by increasing both after-burn post-workout, and by increasing muscle size, thereby increasing the number of calories we burn at rest. The long version? Not all strength or resistance training is the same. Read on about why effective resistance training is the best exercise for long term weight loss…
When we exercise, our muscles need more energy than they do when resting – we breathe faster and our heart works harder to pump more oxygen, fat, and carbohydrate to our exercising muscles. What is less obvious, however, is that after we’ve finished exercising, oxygen uptake actually remains elevated in order to restore muscles to their resting state by breaking down stored fat and carbohydrates. This phenomenon is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) – more commonly known as the “after-burn effect.”
As a result of an intense workout, your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, will go up and result in more calories being burned after the workout. The extent and duration of the after-burn effect are determined by the type, length, and intensity of exercise, as well as fitness level and diet. A longer-lasting movement that uses multiple large muscles, performed to or near fatigue, results in higher and longer-lasting after-burn. By effectively combining intensity, volume, and progression (increasing both as you get stronger) the intensity is high enough to challenge your body to enact change. The stronger you get, the more you will need to increase resistance or load to cause fatigue.
Why is resistance training so effective for long-term weight control? This is because muscle size plays a major role in determining resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is how many calories your body requires to function at rest. Increasing muscle size through resistance training increases RMR, thereby increasing or sustaining fat loss over time. A review of 18 studies found that resistance training was effective at increasing resting metabolic rate, whereas aerobic exercise was not as effective. (As we know, it is also important to control calorie intake in order to lose fat and sustain fat loss.)
These are just a few of the concepts an Insta workout is programmed around. When we engage the largest muscle groups and perform whole body exercises while standing on the Mega, we make the body work harder, thereby increasing the amount of muscle and RMR. In each class we are effectively, continuously & constantly stimulating your muscles to the threshold needed to get a positive and adaptive response from the muscle and body. To maximize the afterburn (EPOC) effect, we minimize the transition time between sets. This means performing exercises that work multiple muscles simultaneously. Compounded exercises on the Mega (ex: Lunge) allow you to incorporate upper body exercises, which will keep the heart rate up and core engaged.Ever notice that we stress that your target muscles must never be allowed to rest during class? If you allow the muscle to relax, even for a moment, oxygen will enter the muscle and moment the muscle is allowed to relax, the set loses its efficacy. So, just focus on your breath, the encouragement from your coach and classmates, and keep those muscles flexed!
And don’t freak out if you don’t see huge results on the scale. If you’re not losing as much weight as you think you should be, you’re probably building muscle as you’re losing fat, and that’s a good thing! (And no, you won’t get bulky). The net result is that you are tighter and leaner, regardless of what the scale says. Ready to get started? Book your next class today!