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Guest Blog: Want to burn more fat? Try strength training.

TriBlogsby TriBlogsSep 3rd 2012
Today's Guest Blog is written by Paul Laslett of Brightside Personal Training. Paul has has over ten years experience as a fitness professional. As an ex-professional runner, Paul has worked with some of the countryÂ's leading coaches, physiotherapists and nutritionists and has a host of knowledge and expertise.

In the past Paul has helped me with my running technique after I suffered repeated ankle injuries. I found that including strength training exercises and run specific drills really helped to improve my running technique and reduce my injuries.
Guest Blog: Want to burn more fat? Try strength training.
Paul's blog focuses on how strength training can also help you increase your fat burning capacity and why it's an important element to add to your training.

Want to burn more fat? Try strength training.

Many people often see weight lifting as the domain of muscle building gym goers. ItÂ's an often neglected area of exercise, particularly for females: only about a fifth of females weight train two or more times a week. Yet just because youÂ're not vying for football sized biceps, it doesn't mean you should shun weight lifting. WeÂ're not just talking about endless bicep curls here: weight training can be effective even just using your own body weight (think push ups, squats, pull ups).

Gyms are full of people running endless miles on treadmills (while neglecting any form of weight lifting). ItÂ's a common myth that cardio is the key to shedding pounds, when in actual fact weight training is a far more effective way to lose fat. Pennsylvania State University USA put dieters into three categories: no exercise, aerobic exercise only and aerobic exercise and weight training. All groups lost 21 pounds but the lifters shed six more pounds of fat than those who didnÂ't lift: so the lifterÂ's loss was almost pure fat, while the others lost fat and muscle. In actual fact circuit training with weights will raise your heart rate anyway, helping you burn that unwanted fat.

The best thing about strength training is that it will help you burn calories even when youÂ're not exercising. Why?

ItÂ's because after each strength work out, your muscles need energy to repair their fibres - this not only burns calories, but also raises your metabolism for around 39 hours afteryour work out is finished. More muscle means more calorie burning at rest, so getting to work on those big muscle groups (especially your glutes and quads) will mean youÂ're burning more calories at rest, hence burning more fat.

Worried about bulking up?

ItÂ's another common myth that women who weight train will Â"bulk upÂ". This is so wrong! Women need to strength train just as much as men do. Mix up your cardio with strength training and youÂ'll be losing fat and gaining muscle. Body weight work is perfect: build up the amount of reps you can do gradually and start with an easier version of the exercise youÂ're attempting (for instance, press ups on your knees) - yes press ups are for everyone!).

Besides burning fat, the benefits of lifting weights are numerous. A work out in the weight room will help you deal with pressure: scientists have determined that the fittest people exhibited lower levels of stress hormone than those who were the least fit. Other researchers have found that being strong during middle age is associated with Â"exceptional survivalÂ", defined as living to the age of 85 without developing any major disease.
So yet another good reason to get those training sessions in this week! If you found this useful then check out Paul's blogs for more information.
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