People are flocking to beaches and nobody is impressed. Not just due to the litter and stabbings but because those people do not have a summer beach body! If you want to lose weight and get in shape for summer, you might – quite reasonably – think that cardiovascular exercise – running, swimming, endless hours on the cross trainer – is the key to torching fat. However, while cardio has many benefits, it isn’t the most effective route to weight loss.
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According to Kasumi Miyake, a PureGym Insider (opens in new tab) – and many other fitness experts and top PTs – the best weights could actually help you achieve your goal much faster. Or, if you can't buy weights online right now, simply by doing the best bodyweight workouts, such as this ultimate biceps pushup.
In no time, the results will be showing on your best bathroom scales, and you'll be crowned king or queen of the beach. So long as you take your litter home.
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“If your goal is weight loss, it’s important to remember that you will likely not only be burning fat but losing muscle mass too. By including weight training into your routine alongside cardiovascular activities you can help to offset the rate of muscle mass loss,” explains fitness genius Kasumi Miyake (opens in new tab).
“Your muscle mass can influence your basal metabolic rate, which influences how many calories you naturally burn at rest. So even though cardio appears superior over weight training in regard to initial calories burnt, weight training has been proven to increase the calories burnt after an initial exercise period,” she adds.
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Anyone who has spent some time perfecting the art of a heavy deadlift or overhead press will attest to the amount of energy required to perform these lifts and, as a result, the heart rate will spike during the manoeuvre. Incorporate a high number of sets in your workout and it’s a bit like taking part in a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session, but with the added bonus of building muscle and becoming stronger.
“Weight training also provides lots of other health benefits that you may not get from cardiovascular exercise, such as improving strength and bone density,” says Kasumi.
Of course, losing weight also requires some dedication in the kitchen and ending the day with a calorie deficit (you’ve burnt more calories than you’ve consumed) is a sure fire way of dropping fat fast, but also ensuring you have enough protein and nutrients in your system to build new muscle is key.
So, next time you head to the gym and think about spending 45 minutes pounding a treadmill, just think of the calories you could burn and the muscle you could build by trying out one of our many dumbbell, body weight or barbell exercises. There are a few listed below to get you started.