You may be asking yourself, how will putting on lean muscle mass help me lose weight? It sounds contradictory, but in reality lean muscle mass is the number one way to boost your metabolism. Metabolism is simply the rate at which the body carries out chemical processes, which in turn burns calories.1-2(See Five Tricks to Boosting Your Metabolism in the March 7 issue of THB.)
When a resistance-training program is started, energy stores in the muscle are depleted and muscle tissue is broken down after every workout. To maintain homeostasis, the body naturally rebuilds muscles stronger and restores more energy to the muscle than the previous workout. This occurs because of the increased demands placed on the muscles.
When this new energy and muscle is built, the metabolism must work at a more efficient rate, meaning it burns more calories in a shorter amount of time. Another important byproduct of resistance training is that the body burns more calories while at rest. So the good news is that even when the metabolism is at its slowest, during sleep, calories are being shed at higher rate.
To ensure constant gains are being made and the metabolism reaches new heights, make sure that your resistance-training program follows the principles of progressive overload. Progressive overload is simply the means at which the body reaches new levels of higher metabolism and homeostasis.
To achieve progressive overload, simply manipulate one of these five areas of your training: increase the weight, reps, range of motion (distance the weight is moved), tempo (time it takes to do one rep), and decrease rest time between sets.
All of these techniques will easily keep you burning calories and help you achieve the body you’ve always dreamed of.
[Ed. note: Carlo X. Alvarez is a noted authority in the customized fitness and sports performance field. He is recognized for his integrated and systematic approach to training, based on a foundation of safe and proven methodology that has direct and measurable benefits to performance. To learn more, click here. ]
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