Lift away the fats: Incorporating weights into your exercise – Al-Tahrir News Network


Incorporating weight training in your daily workout helps decrease your body fat mass.

Most people think that to lose weight on the scale means that they have to run, row or bike to sweat their weight away. Most people think they should not weight train until they have lost their extra target weight or should not gain muscle when they still have fat mass. This is not the right mindset to have as weight training can help decrease a higher percentage of fat than cardio.

Farah Khalil weightlifting 55 lbs to strengthen the triceps (photo: Essmat El-Kholy)

Weightlifting increases metabolic rate. It helps you maintain a total amount of lean muscle mass and creates a permanent increase in metabolism. While cardio has the short term benefit of increasing metabolism for the first couple of hours following a workout, an excess amount of time spent in cardio exercises will decrease the total lean body mass which is not recommended.

People believe that by doing cardio they are losing weight – which they do – but they lose general body weight which may also include muscle. Lifting weight allows the body to work on losing body fat and toning muscles.

Weightlifting will help you decrease total body volume because as your metabolism rate increases the calories you intake will also need to decrease, especially by cutting the consumption of carbohydrates by more than half so as not to affect your general strength.

Omar Al-Mounayri’s before and after; after having incorporated compound movement into his daily workout (photo: Essmat El-Kholy)

Incorporate repetition training with cardio. This style of training is different than the typical weight training programmes as it boosts your metabolism more than plain cardio exercises. Repetition training is a certain style of high intensity and fast paced training where an individual preforms various exercises in a repeated rotation with little rest between each circuit rotation to keep the heart rate high. Lift weights, push muscles to their limit and maintain form and speed to have complete control over your workout.

Freelance trainer Omar Al-Mounayri notes that in compound movement “you do specific exercises that work more than one muscle group.”

Omar Al-Mounayri guiding Farah Khalil to set a new personal best record on the leg press of 540 lbs (photo: Essmat El-Kholy)

For example, Al-Mounayri said, squats “work the gluteus maximus, quads, hamstrings and calves. Compound movement or high repetition training allows you to burn fat within 48 hours, however, cardio has benefits to burning fats only if used as interval training which allows you improve and increase your heart rate; you lose fats and build muscles. The ideal workout implements both cardio and weightlifting. In one month the ideal is 40 hours of weight training and 10 hours of cardio.”

Women avoid weight training as they fear bulking up, which can never happen. For a women to bulk up she would need to intake supplements and steroids. Each pound of muscle you have burns 50 calories per day. Imagine adding a few more pounds of muscle and you’ll have the perfect body you’ve always dreamed of: lean, toned and always burning fat.

As one example, Farah Khalil shares her experience with weight training: “High repetition training is to lift weights of 12-15 reps, meaning you are in the zone where you are burning fat. However, if you do a lower amount of reps you are building muscles. Weight training also burns calories after your training throughout 48 hours. Depending on the cardio exercises you do, you burn fat after 15 to 20 minutes of working out.”

Farah Khalil’s before and after; after having incorporated compound movement and high repetition training into her daily workout (photo: Essmat ElKholy)

“Therefore,” Khalil said, “I believe weight training is more beneficial when it comes to weight loss. I did this for about four months and I lost nine kilos or to be more specific, six kilos of fat.”