Belly fat is an important component of cardiometabolic health because it affects cardiac function, appetite, and potentially body fat distribution. However, it is not a disease in itself, nor is it directly linked to risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In addition, I don’t believe that anyone can lose belly fat like that it is a weight loss exercise. And don’t get me wrong, there is evidence that slimming down and slimming down alone can lead to increased appetite, hunger, and eventually weight gain.
At first, I thought of what exercises could help me lose belly fat without the risks that I would actually have to confront. Turns out that I have the perfect sport in weightlifting.
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I was introduced to weightlifting and got seriously into it when I started competing in gymnastics and other sports. And because weightlifting is an aerobic exercise that is closely related to running, it is a very effective, and relatively low impact, cardio activity that you can do anywhere.
That’s why people weightlifters typically weigh about 200-250 pounds. And it’s also why you’ll often see weightlifters doing many hours of cardio daily, with 5-8 hours a week being devoted to weightlifting.
You can easily put 150 minutes per week of weightlifting into your daily routine. And you can set a goal to drop two pounds a week. Since that goal is hard to reach, you may want to take the easier way out. Instead of trying to drop two pounds a week, you can simply increase your cardio routine in order to see what happens.
Some of the benefits of weightlifting and cardio in general:
- Increased mood
- Eating healthier, without going hungry
- Increased energy level and decreases fatigue
- Improved cardiovascular endurance
- Decreased stress
- Improved core strength
- Less back pain
- Increased energy
- Decreased risk of heart disease
- Increased immune system activity
- Improved brain function
- Improved energy levels
- Increased confidence
- Encourages physical fitness
Both fitness and weightlifting can promote strong cardiovascular and skeletal muscles. But weightlifting also promotes the fat burning and cardiovascular-related muscle building goals. And weightlifting can have cardiovascular benefits when combined with exercises that include moderate intensity.
Weightlifting also works especially well for women because it improves muscle mass and body fat. Weightlifting also improves muscular endurance and stamina. I think this will also be of benefit to older people, as it often improves strength levels of bones.
A general weightlifting routine
Bike. Push yourself up the hill with resistance bands, and use your own feet to push you back down. You should aim for 1.5-2 miles per week of weight lifting.
Bodyweight. This weight is not an increase in weight per se, rather a decreased amount. Slowly build up your bodyweight and start seeing some strength gains.
Strength exercises. These weights can help you build strength. But remember that strength is just one element of your overall fitness and building strength to a high level does not come easy. Strength exercises to do include, but are not limited to:
- Barbell curls
- Reverse curls
- Any combination of all these exercises
Your flexibility will improve with weightlifting. To be precise, your flexibility improves with the use of the bench press. I’ve outlined different ways to strengthen the joints by performing strength exercises with the bench press. Here are three good exercises to strengthen your spine and the trunk:
- Quadriceps straight leg raises
- Hamstring raises
- Knee raises
If your back is not stiff or swollen, you can start with bench press by performing a few sets of 5 or 10 reps. When you start to feel soreness, go heavier. If your back feels tight, go lighter. If you feel pain in the neck, arms or wrists, you can go heavier or go lighter. Go in steps, never going heavy to the point that you get injured. It’s all about making progress.
Strength and flexibility are mutually exclusive. No training should try to replace one without the other. To combine them you’ll have to pull either muscle fibers from one or both. As I’ve written in many posts, you don’t get stronger or flexible when you lift weights. Strength and flexibility are two different things. Pulling from one and focusing only on the other causes you to develop strength. This can only be for short periods of time, like 1 or 2 weeks at best.
When you train with weights, the goal is to lift as heavy as possible without getting injured. However, if you want to enhance both flexibility and strength, you have to try for high repetitions and low repetitions. This means performing exercises that are very demanding on both your muscles and your nervous system. For example, the deadlift should require a higher number of repetitions than the bench press. If you’re able to do 6 reps with a loaded barbell and 5 reps with a clean, you should do 6 reps with the deadlift and 5 reps with the bench press.
From a flexibility standpoint, if you try to focus on only one type of movement, you’re not going to get the most out of your training. Instead, try to incorporate both flexibility and strength in order to improve both sides of your physique.
Make sure you are lifting heavy consistently so that you can lift heavy without getting injured. Once you’ve mastered the basic movements of the deadlift and the squat, then you can start performing high repetitions on the deadlift and squat. Add weight to your basic deadlift and squat for 3 sets of 4 to 8 reps and again 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps. Add weight to your basic deadlift and squat for 2 sets of 3 to 5 reps and again 2 sets of 3 to 5 reps.
From there, start working up to heavy deadlifts and heavy squats and try to progress each week by increasing weight and repetitions. Don’t forget to also be mindful of proper form and working the body properly. Work in additional speed work on your lifts.