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Weight Training & Weight Loss


QUESTION:

I have a bulky, muscular type frame and I would like to lose 20 pounds.  As a female, I don't want to gain any more muscle mass.  Should I still weight train?

ANSWER:

Many women are afraid of getting too muscular, and therefore avoid weight training.  However, weight training can actually help you get to your goal weight and should be considered an essential component of your weight loss plan.  During weight loss, it is difficult to lose only fat and preserve lean muscle mass - which is the metabolically active tissue that burns calories!  Therefore, your weight loss plan should have the components that will help you achieve this task: mainly, adequate calories to keep your metabolic furnace burning, a caloric deficit that results in slow weight loss, and an exercise regimen consisting of both aerobic activity and weight training!

By weight training and utilizing those muscles, your body will be reminded that it needs those muscles for work and that they shouldn't be used for fuel as you cut calories!  In addition, weight training can define and tone those muscles that you have, resulting in a shapely physique.  Instead of using heavy weights, choose a weight range which results in muscular fatigue at higher repetition ranges, such as 10 to 12 repetitions.  Be assured that weight training does not necessarily mean bulk and that it is indeed a useful tool for weight loss.

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Our expert, Dr. Sharon E. Griffin, holds a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in the areas of exercise science/physiology.  She also holds a second M.S. degree in Nutrition and is a licensed nutritionist and an ACSM certified health and fitness instructor.

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