Weight training transforms

Published 7:00 pm Thursday, February 27, 2014

I truly love celebrating with clients as they lose weight, but what really thrills me is to see my clients really change the shape of their bodies.

Good eating habits and aerobic exercise are important when trying to lose body fat, but they won’t change the shape of your body much at all. You’ll usually just end up with a smaller version of the body you had before you tried to lose that weight. Increasing lean tissue (muscle) is absolutely necessary for body sculpting and consistent fat loss. The best way to go about creating lean tissue is weight training.

You see, muscle is active, living tissue. Unlike body fat, which is sedentary and requires no maintenance by the body, muscle needs constant care and attention. This requires the use or spending of calories.

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For every ounce of muscle your body gains, you burn extra calories 24 hours a day to keep your muscle healthy. Also, muscle-building exercises (weight training) keep your body burning calories and fat long after you stop doing them.

Don’t worry. Since muscle is so much denser than fat, it is actually possible to lose many inches, and not lose much actual weight at all.

I was once lead trainer to L.H. Fields modeling agency. That agency has produced many world-class models, whom I’ve trained and taught. I was once sent one student who had already paid for her photo shoot. Well, I was up against the clock with this modeling student, so we had to train five days a week, and I monitored her very carefully. I took her from a size 13 to a size 6, and she only lost 1 pound of weight. Did you get that? She went down that many dress sizes, but only lost 1 pound of actual weight.

How was that possible? Simple; she lost fat and gained muscle. It’s like comparing a 1 pound marshmallow with a 1 pound piece of steel. Even though they weigh the same, a 1 pound marshmallow would be much larger than a 1 pound piece of steel. The best part was the change in this modeling student’s body shape. She wasn’t just smaller, but her body was more tapered and streamlined.

The same exercise routine won’t work for everyone, because each individual is different, and we all have different needs. In fact, I have no two clients on the same exercise program.

When it comes to weight training, ladies shouldn’t worry either. It’s a myth that as a woman, you will “bulk up” if you lift weights intensely. I’m not suggesting that you do weight training to the exclusion of aerobic training, nor am I suggesting that either of these is a suitable substitute for a clean diet. You need them all in their proper portions. Do not under any circumstances start a weight loss, aerobic or weight training program without first, consulting your physician.

So many times I’ve evaluated clients before beginning their training program, and found their blood pressure was high, but they had no idea. With a proper balance of diet and exercise, you will be amazed at the great changes you can make to your body.

I just want to remind all of Bulletin readers of the free nutrition/exercise seminar Thursday, April 3 at 6 p.m. at Ken’s Fine Meats and Seafood in downtown Landrum. The seminar is free, but you must sign up by calling 864-457-3369 or emailing me. Lots of folks have been signing up, so reserve your spot.

Diet or exercise question? Email me at dwcrocker77@gmail.com or visit fitness4yourlife.org.

David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 27 years.