Weight training can provide many wonderful benefits. From tightening muscles, and giving your body an overall more toned appearance, to increasing your physical strength, lifting weights is a great form of exercise. What many people do not realize is that practicing intense workouts, such as weight training, can definitely help to increase your metabolic rate (the rate at which your body is able to burn calories).
These types of workouts not only help you to burn extra calories, they create what is known as an “after burn effect”. This “after burn” can continue for as many as twenty-four hours following a fitness routine, and allows your body to continue to burn fat and calories even while resting. Many people are not aware of this benefit and it is often regarded as one of the best-hidden features of weight training.
Training with weights that are heavier than you are accustomed to will further help to expend more energy and lead to after burn. This is due to the fact that muscles need time to repair themselves, and the body needs energy to make these repairs to the muscle tissues. This does not mean you should lift weights that are far too heavy for you, but you should lift weights that push you just slightly out of your comfort zone.
Becoming an overall more muscular person also helps to increase your metabolism. It is estimated that for each one extra pound of muscle that you carry, your body will burn an extra fifty calories. When you begin to train with weights, you will also need to consume more protein. Protein is critical to the process of building muscle, and in turn helps burn energy due to your body needing to process the material. You burn twice as many calories while digesting foods that are high in protein than foods that are high in fat.
So, how much of an after burn does weight training create, and will you even notice? Lets take a look at an example. If your body is currently burning about 1,500 calories per day, increasing your metabolic rate by just ten percent will allow you to burn 1,650 calories per day. This change can make a huge difference in your overall weight loss progress.
Making a few simple dietary changes can also help to increase your metabolism. Getting a bit more sleep at night can do even more. A lack of sleep can cause all of your workout results to fall by the wayside as it greatly decreases the number of calories your body burns while resting. Resting does not only include lying down, or sitting; it also includes basic life sustaining practices such as breathing, pumping blood, and cell and tissue repair. Your body burns between sixty and seventy-five percent of the total number of calories burned each day while resting.
Remember, you cannot increase your metabolism with just one weight training session. You need to make a firm commitment to an overall healthier lifestyle, combined with adequate physical exercise. Once you begin to make these changes your body will follow suit.