This is for the men and women out there who are vigorously trying to build a better body and to lose weight. In the name of productivity and effective results, please stop obsessing over what your weight is each morning, and instead focus on making steady strength gains in the gym.
Strength Is the Best Measure of Progress
First off, weightlifting and getting stronger won’t make you huge and bulky. Only if you lifted weights continuously for 10 years and took steroids would you reach that point. For women and men, weightlifting will make you lean, fit, and athletic.
Strength is the one area that will affect nearly all others. For example, weightlifting can improve your cardio, but cardio will not improve your weightlifting strength. Increases in strength can massively improve your endurance, but increases in endurance won’t do much for your strength. Increases in strength can also improve your mobility and flexibility, because you’re now stronger and more stable in those stretched positions and can reach further, but only doing stretching will not increase your strength.
Steady and gradual progress is the best way to go in weightlifting. A program like 5×5, which is a fantastic program, has you do a handful of the same movements with the same set and rep schemes – 5×5 – three times a week. The only thing that changes is that the weight each week goes up by 5 to 10 pounds depending on where you are at in your training. I highly recommend 5×5 for beginners and Madcow 5×5 for those intermediate lifters who have begun to hit plateaus.
Your Weight Doesn’t Matter, It’s Your Percentage of Fat That Matters
The most amazing thing about strength and weightlifting is how efficient it makes your metabolism. Strength training will shed fat off of you faster than any other form of exercise and the reason is this: muscle requires many more calories and much more energy to maintain, as well as to build, so as you build muscle your body’s metabolism is getting faster and faster, resulting in you losing tremendous amounts of fat.
Here’s the caveat though, that unless you are tremendously large, your weight won’t change much. And the reason is because muscle takes up four times less space than fat, while weighing the same as fat. so as you lose more fat and build more muscle, your body will shrink in appearance, you’ll become very lean, but your weight won’t change too drastically.
So, focus on getting stronger gradually over time. Focus on eating healthy foods that support your muscle-building, energetic endeavors, and cut out the sugar, soda, breads, and starchy carbs. Eat tons of vegetables, tons of healthy fats, quality proteins, and drink lots of water.