January 13, 2023

As another year begins anew, many of us turn inward and make a promise to ourselves to change for the better. As I mentioned in our article The Rise and Fall of a Resolution, nearly 80% of us will not uphold our resolution past the two month mark and the key to surviving this fallout is an attainable goal and a solid plan. So, what if your resolution includes weight loss, taking control of your health or however you want to say it. If this is the case, what are you going to do? What is your plan?

An overwhelming amount of the time, the answer to these questions I see is “I am going to get X number of minutes of cardio work in everyday until I see results.” While this is not a bad idea; it is not exactly a good one either. Cardio exercise is great for the body in many ways but it is a relatively inefficient methods for weight loss/calorie burning in the average individual.

Think of weight loss like a boat. The amount of weight you have decided to loose determines the size of the boat. If you have decided to loose a small amount of weight, roughly 5-10 pounds, then you have a smaller boat, perhaps even a raft to move. If you have decided to loose 30-50 pounds then you have a larger boat, like a pontoon boat or day sailor. The larger the amount of weight the larger the boat; all the way up to a cruise ship for some people.

For the average individual, paddling your individual weight loss boat on its voyage to success; using sustained cardio exercise as described above is like trying to paddle said vessel with a spoon. Now, imaging trying to paddle your boat with a spoon and think about how long it will take you to see positive momentum.

Those paddling a small boat like a raft, 5-10 pounds of weight loss, might see improvement in a relatively short period of time, say 2-3 months. While others, those with party boats and cruise ships could be looking a years to decades of paddling with their spoon to see real results. So the question becomes, how do we get a bigger paddle?

When we work with clients who’s primary goal is weight loss, we use progressive resistance training as our method for building a bigger paddle. Resistance training is an excellent method for developing muscle mass and the more muscle mass you have the more calories you can burn even at rest. This means a larger paddle when you do sustained cardio training and faster returns in your weight loss.

Beyond the calorie burning benefits of building a bigger paddle you also get other positive physical returns from building muscle and strength. As you get stronger, activities in your daily life become easier. What’s more, if you resistance train the right way you can also become more durable and resistant to injury. Which means you can do more without the wear and tear or fatigue that you once felt.

If your resolution is based in weight loss this year or maybe something in your life has pushed you to want to make a change, do your future self a favor and start your journey by finding a safe resistance training program that you can follow long term. Not only will you be more successful in you transformation but you will also grow the ability to enjoy and live life beyond the gym.