Resistance training workouts are critical to weight loss, because they aid in retaining lean muscle, boosting metabolic rate, improving overall body tone, strengthening bones and allowing for a continuously active lifestyle.
Many of us have been doing the same series of resistance training workouts for as long as we can remember, and in most cases where the routine remains the same, we end up plateauing.
We’re left standing in front of the mirror wondering what the hell happened to those chunks of weight we were dropping so quickly back when we first started exercising.
Others of us have made huge strides, but still haven’t landed on that dream six-pack. We’ve hit a wall, and can’t figure out how to make it over, and finally reach our destination of our “dream body.”
In this article, we’ll look at 7 super simple tweaks that can be made to your resistance training workouts and could enable you to finally accomplish your goals.
1. Pick up the pace
When you’re engaging in resistance training for weight loss, your reps need to be as fast as possible while maintaining good form. The speed and number of reps you complete will create a hybrid cardio/resistance combination workout that will significantly enhance caloric burn.
This will also help to boost metabolism.
Don’t mistake resistance training workouts for bodybuilding workouts. If the goals are to accelerate your metabolism, burn fat and lose weight, all the “muscle growth” and “bulking” stuff goes out the window.
Quick rep workouts with minimal rest between sets (20-40 seconds) is key!
2. Improve your form
While speed is essential to your highly-effective resistance training workouts, it’s not as important as correct form.
NEVER sacrifice form for speed or load.
We’ve all seen the dude in the corner of the gym dead-lifting from the middle of his back. Or the swing-momentum curl king.
Hey – we’ve probably all been that guy or gal.
If you find that you’re losing form as you pick up your speed, or increase weight, dial back either/both, and ensure proper form.
If you slip a disk, pull a muscle, or worse – you won’t be able to workout for a while anyway.
3. Decrease weight
The goal should be to conduct your resistance training workouts with a weight load that allows you to do 10 to 12 reps in 45 seconds. If you’re winded by the time you reach 4 reps, the weight is too heavy. Reduce it!
Remember, we want to be able to go fast, keep good form, and feel extremely challenged once we hit double-digits in reps.
4. Add weight
On the flip side of the coin, resistance training for fat loss shouldn’t be like those aerobic workouts where overly-enthusiastic, very sweaty people in blue leotards do hundreds of reps with light pink dumbbells as they bounce around endlessly.
Again, stay in that 10-12 rep range while maintaining form.
5. Rest more
Get sufficient rest between your resistance training workouts.
If your body is sore, take the day off. Don’t worry about inflating during your down-time.
As long as you’re not shoving your face full of bon-bons and doughnuts and don’t make any significant changes to a healthy diet, you’ll still lose weight.
Let your body tell you when it’s time to rest, and then take its word for it. You’ll be glad you did.
Over-working your body can lead to major plateauing.
6. Structure your resistance training workouts
Switch up your routine each time you work out. This keeps your body guessing, and prevents your muscles from getting used to a usual routine. Challenge new muscles at each opportunity.
If your upper-body workout on Monday consisted of overhead press, curls, bench press and bent-over rows, then for your Thursday upper body workout, do pushups, wall handstands, seated rows and triceps extensions.
Plan out each of your resistance training workouts ahead of time, and be mindful of all the areas of your body that need reinforcement.
7. Stay focused
When you’re in the gym, work out. Period.
If you’re able to text and check NFL highlights while you workout, you’re not focused enough, and you’re wasting time.
Too much idle time leaves you more time to talk yourself out of going hard on every set.
Make your extracurricular activities a “reward” for completing your resistance training workouts with no distractions.
Make these adjustments and blast through the wall that’s been keeping you from the body you’ve always wanted.
For more ideas on kickstarting your system and shedding weight faster, see our articles on boosting metabolism.
You got this!