How To Become A Fat Burning Machine
Imagine you have two choices:
you perform a task and receive a one-time compensation immediately after completion
you perform a different task and receive an equal or greater compensation repeatedly for X amount of time
What are you going to choose?
The choice seems pretty obvious right? In option B, you’re getting the same or more payout as option A, but instead of a one-time gain, you are continually reaping the benefits of a single task.
In the gym, option A is the metaphorical equivalent of steady state cardio, and option B represents strength training (or, weight lifting.) When we perform steady state cardio, we’re definitely reaping benefits and doing a good thing for our bodies, but the type of benefits we receive from SS cardio are those one-time, immediate benefits. When we push it out on the elliptical for 30 minutes, we’re burning calories for those 30 minutes, and then we’re done.
This is, of course, a great thing, but what if we could continue to burn calories, even when we stepped off the machine?
That’s where strength training, option B, comes in. If you want to become a fat burning machine, put some weight in your hands, people. (Ladies, I’m lookin’ at you.) You’ve heard it 100 times: STOP BEING AFRAID OF WEIGHTS! Us women tend to fall prey to the imagined fear of turning into a bulky Hulk figure if we start lifting weights, but what happens off the cardio machines and in the not-so-intimidating “guy” section of the gym is something no one should be missing out on.
Here’s the simple science: more muscle = more fat burned at rest.
Ever heard of BMR? Your BMR, or basal metabolic rate, is how many calories your body would burn if all you did was lay on the couch all day. Because muscle requires more energy to maintain, our BMR increases the more muscle we have. This means, our bodies are working hard even when we’re resting if we build up enough muscle. Doesn’t that sound great?! Lay on the couch, burn fat? Count me in!
This is not to say that SS cardio doesn’t have its place in our fitness routines. Going for a run, taking a bike ride or propping your phone up on the stair mill and sweating it out to an episode of your favorite show are all wonderful ways to burn fat and develop a healthy cardiovascular system. This is simply to emphasize that strength training is not the enemy and even has a super effective place in everyone’s fitness lives.
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