If you're trying to lose weight right now, you're probably using a combination of dieting and cardiovascular fitness to help reach your weight loss goals. However, don't skimp on lifting weights: you don't have to go to the gym and start bench pressing barbells to gain the benefits of resistance training.
Resistance training can mean anything from incorporating 2lb dumbbells into your cardio routine to mastering bodyweight moves like press-ups and squats. Resistance training makes you fitter and stronger, conditioning your muscles to perform better under load. However, it's also got great weight loss applications.
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One study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, sought to find out whether lifting weights, cardiovascular exercise or a mix of both was best for weight loss. Unsurprisingly, when looking at total body mass, fat mass, and lean body mass, it was found a combination of the two exercises are most effective.
Resistance training is essential in building up lean body mass, which will make you fitter overall. Meanwhile, cardiovascular exercise helps reduce fat mass and total body mass, working with the resistance training to change the ratio of muscle-to-fat in your body.
The downside is a combination of these exercises requires an increased time commitment. To gain the benefits of both resistance and cardiovascular training in the same timeframe as somebody only adhering to one of these disciplines, it will take a little bit longer.
However, you are on nobody's timeframe but your own, and any amount of exercise is much better than none. If you can only manage a couple of exercise sessions a week, you can do some running or walking to lose weight on one day, and a 30-minute dumbbell workout in front of the television on the other day.
HIIT training with dumbbells allow you to get the best of both worlds, offering a time-efficient way to get both your resistance training and cardiovascular exercise at the same time.