If your aim is to lose weight, you might want to give bodybuilding a go. Why is this? We've got the answers to all of your questions.
What is the basic principle for losing weight?
In order to lose weight, you need to force your body to expend the energy stored up in fat. How? By upping your heart rate! You can raise your heart rate by doing physical activities such as running on a treadmill, training on an exercise bike or cross trainer, or by doing bodybuilding exercises. When you up your heart rate by doing bodybuilding exercises, you double the benefit of your workout by building up muscle, which helps you to speed along your weight loss.
Slimming with the help of your heart rate
Generally, the rate at which your body will consume the most fat is on average around 70-80% of your maximum heart rate. In theory, for men, you should work out your training heart rate with the following formula: 220 - your age, then train at 70% to 80% of the result (for women it is 226 - your age). Please note: when we talk about average, we mean that you should go above and below this number at various points during your training session. Your heart rate should adapt to the exercise you're doing and shouldn't be set in stone.
How does bodybuilding help you lose weight?
Any cardio activity such as running or cycling on an exercise bike will help you lose weight, but combining it with muscle-strengthening activities will boost your results. Why is this?
The bigger your muscles, the more calories you will burn. 500 g of muscles therefore burns around 100 kcal.
Bodybuilding helps you to burn off fat rather than your precious muscles.
Slimming bodybuilding is endurance bodybuilding: 6 to 8 sets, 15 to 30 reps and short recovery times between sets (15 to 45 seconds). You need to find a weight that gets you out of breath but also lets you do all of the sets and all of the reps. This training session should last 30 minutes to 1 hour.
The exercises that help you burn the most calories are functional exercises using the larger muscles: legs, back, chest, glutes = squats, pull-ups, press-ups, bench presses and deadlifts...
How to slim down by doing bodybuilding
To start with, do workout sessions that are 75% cardio, 25% bodybuilding. After a few weeks you can switch to 50/50. How? There are two options:
Split it up by time: for example, for a one-hour session, do 45 minutes of cardio then 15 minutes of bodybuilding.
Split it up by the choice of exercise: for example, 75% cardio exercises and 25% bodybuilding exercises (circuit training-style).
But remember, if you want to achieve results, it's a question of 50% sport, 50% diet! Obviously, doing sport doesn't give you licence to eat more or consume more sugary or fatty foods. Physical activity itself doesn't excuse binge eating, so if you want to slim down don't forget to eat a healthy, balanced diet (1/3 each of proteins, vegetables, and carbs). Eat fruit to give your body plenty of vitamins, and cut out snacking between meals. If you're consuming more calories than your body needs (an average of 2000 calories a day for women and 2500 for men), your workouts won't be enough to burn off those excess calories.