Up Your Metabolic Rate with Weights
Dr. Wayne Westcott
I hate lifting weights. Is strength training really necessary?
You might hate veggies, but you know you still have to eat them. The same goes for strength training.
As we age, women lose 5 pounds of muscle every decade, and men lose 7. This loss doesn’t just affect muscle appearance and tone; it also decreases your resting metabolic rate.
The only way to build muscle is by strength training.
The good news is that research has shown you can achieve significant results in just two 15- to 20-minute workouts a week.
Here’s the minimum you can get away with per workout:
One upper-body pushing exercise (push-up or bench/chest press)
One upper-body pulling move (bent row, chin-up or seated row)
One leg exercise that involves all major muscles (squat, lunge or leg press)
One move each that targets the abdominals (crunch or curl) and lower back (prone trunk extension)
Choose a move or a weight that will allow you to perform one set of 10 repetitions with good form; if you can do 11 or 12 reps, you need a harder move or more weight. Optimally, try to repeat a set of these exercises two to three times.
This minimum-effort strength-training plan will result not only in muscle gain and fat loss, but also safeguard your body against a host of degenerative diseases.
Dr. Wayne Westcott is the fitness research director of the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Mass., and a strength training consultant for the American Council on Exercise and the American Senior Fitness Association. He has written more than a dozen fitness books, including High-Intensity Strength Training: The Most Effective and Efficient Means for Developing Muscle and Strength, Get Stronger, Feel Younger: The Cardio and Diet-Free Plan to Firm Up and Lose Fat.
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