When you want to slim down, it's not a time to shy away from strength training. NY1 Health & Fitness reporter Kafi Drexel filed the following report on how adding some weights to your workout does not require a huge time commitment and can help you shed some pounds.
If you’re giving it your all at the gym, but you're just not getting the results you want when it comes to actually trimming body fat, you might not want to look any further than Marc Perry.
Perry was in pretty good shape to begin with, but a simple change to his exercise routine made all the difference in his weight.
“I was a hedge fund analyst working many, many hours. I'm constantly on my BlackBerry, traveling, it's really, really hectic,” says Perry. “I only had time for about three workouts per week for 45 minutes and that was enough for me to take my body from, you know, an unhealthy 200 pounds, because I'd ended up gaining a lot of weight after college, and I was able to get down to five-percent body fat.”
While you might not be able to get your body fat percentage that low, Perry, now the founder of BuiltLean.com says fast-paced strength training is one of the best ways you can get to your ideal body fat percentage: about 15 percent for a man and 20 percent for a woman.
For example, instead of doing nine or 10 sets of a move in an hour, compress it to 20 sets in half an hour to hit all of the major muscle groups.
“The huge benefit of strength training is it helps you lose fat without losing muscle, which in my opinion is the key to getting lean,” says Perry.
And, as long as you keep good form, that's something most sports medicine doctors agree with – especially if you can amp up the pace.
“You're fatiguing your muscles a little bit quicker than you normally would when you're doing a more slower-paced, lifting training-type exercise,” explains Dr. Dennis Cardone of the NYU Langone Hospital for Joint Diseases. “It can burn calories or get you to your goal faster doing it that way.”
Perry says a good way to start is alternating between push and pull exercises.
“A pushing motion is anything from a pushup to a flat dumbbell bench, to an incline dumbbell bench, which is one of my favorites because you get great range of motion,” says Perry. “And a pull motion is anything from a bent-over row to a dumbbell row to a lat pull-down. Those are great exercises most people can do.”
Perry says not only can alternating movements help you hit different muscle groups. But it can also help you speed up your workout so you can get more done in less time.
Another way to do it is combining upper and lower body exercises with weights. Perry's plan to help trim your lower half while staying toned on top consists of side lunges with a bicep curl.
Perry says by following his tips, you can get "built" a little leaner in almost no time.