Virtual Reality · Workouts · May 31, 2023
Will Strength Training Burn Fat or Make Me Bulky? Your Top Questions Answered
In our Litesport Strength classes, our certified trainers will guide you through tried-and-true weight-lifting exercises in the metaverse. New to strength training and got a few questions before you get started? Well, we’re here to help. Here’s all you need to know about strength training with some of the answers to your most frequently asked questions:
What Is Strength Training?
First things first, what exactly do we mean when we say “strength training”? Strength training (also called resistance training) is a form of exercise that helps your body get stronger by placing resistance or stress on your muscles. But it doesn’t just involve heavy weights! Resistance can come in many forms like dumbbells, barbells, bodyweight, resistance bands, weight machines, medicine balls, and more.
What Are the Benefits of Strength Training?
Strength training is about more than just building big muscles, it’s an incredibly important part of your workout routine. And that’s because strength training has a ton of benefits for your mind and body:
- Preserves and boosts muscle mass: Strength training can help reduce your risk of injury and increase your stamina and endurance.
- Builds stronger bones & joints: Strength training also increases bone density, which reduces your risk of osteoporosis.
- Protects you from injury & illness: Strength training improves balance and coordination. This can help reduce the likelihood of falls, especially in older adults.
- Sharpens your cognitive thinking: Some studies also share that strength training can help improve your processing speed, memory, focus, attention, and other executive function skills.
- Supports weight loss and weight management: Strength training burns calories and replaces body fat with muscle mass.
- Builds body confidence & improves your mood: Strength training can help improve mental health by reducing stress and anxiety, as well as boosting body image and self-confidence.
These benefits and more are what make strength training a valuable exercise for everyone of all ages and fitness levels.
How Often Should You Strength Train?
Strength training is an important element of your workout, and offers a ton of amazing benefits for your mental and physical health. But how often should you build it into your routine? This all depends on your individual goals. But generally speaking, the American Heart Association recommends that you add moderate or high-intensity strength training to your routine at least two times per week, allowing at least one day of rest between workouts. This allows enough time for recovery and helps prevent fatigue or injury.
If I’m New to Strength Training, Where Do I Start?
Strength training is for everyone, from beginners to pros. But for those that are just getting started, it can feel a bit intimidating. If you're new to strength training, the best place to start is by familiarizing yourself with proper form and technique. A great way to do this is by working with a personal trainer or starting an exercise program that guides you through each exercise, like Litesport Strength. A trainer or class can help walk you through the movements, provide motivation, and ensure you’re using the correct form.
It's also important to take it slow and not overload your body with too much, too soon—start light and gradually increase the intensity as you become more comfortable. You also want to make sure that you get enough rest between workouts to allow your body to recover properly. Need more beginner-friendly tips? Head to our blog on strength training tips for beginners.
Can I Do Strength Training at Home?
Yes, you can do strength training at home. All you need is a few pieces of basic equipment such as a mat, dumbbells, and resistance bands. With these tools, you can create a variety of effective workouts that target all the major muscle groups in your body.
And many exercise programs, like Litesport, are designed for at-home workouts. With Litesport Strength, our certified trainers guide you through strength training exercises right in the comfort of your own home. These classes leverage Meta’s mixed reality features like passthrough and hand-tracking, giving the appearance that your trainer is right there with you in your living room. With Litesport, you can easily turn your home into an effective gym without needing to step foot in one.
Do I Need Equipment?
You don’t need equipment to get started with strength training. You can use your body weight as resistance by doing exercises like push-ups, planks, and squats. However, while body-weight exercises are effective, if you want to progress and build strength you will need equipment to add extra resistance to your exercises.
Resistance bands, weights, and machines are all common tools used for strength training. Depending on your goals and the type of strength training program you choose, you may need more specialized equipment such as a power rack, squat rack, or kettlebells. But in most cases, you can get started with just a few basic pieces of affordable equipment and progress from there.
For our Strength workouts, you only need a set of dumbbells. We suggest investing in a light, medium, and heavy set of weights. You can opt to use your controllers instead if you don’t own weights, but we recommend using actual weights to get the best experience and results.
Does Strength Training Make You Bulky?
This is a common misconception about strength training. Yes, strength training can help you achieve a toned and muscular physique. But not all strength training leads to “bulky” results. To “bulk up” you’ll need to consume more calories than your body needs for maintenance. You’ll also need to follow an exercise program that gradually increases your weight, frequency, or number of reps with frequent workouts and shorter rest periods.
In other words, “bulking up” takes special dedication and training. But if you stick to a traditional strength-training regimen using moderate to light weights and higher reps, you can build lean muscle mass without getting “bulky”.
Does Strength Training Burn Fat?
Yes, strength training is an effective way to burn fat because it increases your body's metabolic rate and helps build lean muscle. Strength training works by forcing your muscles to work against resistance, either through weights or your body weight. This creates a process called “hypertrophy” which causes the muscles to grow in size and strength over time.
As your muscles grow, they become more metabolically active and burn more calories, even while you’re resting. Strength training also increases your body's ability to use fat as an energy source while helping to reduce body fat percentage. This makes strength training a great way to help burn fat and build lean muscle mass.
Does Strength Training Help With Weight Loss?
Yes, strength training can be an effective tool for weight loss. Strength training helps build muscle which increases your body’s overall metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories even while resting. This increased metabolic rate allows your body to burn fat more efficiently, which could help support weight loss.
Strength training also helps you maintain weight loss in the long run, as it helps keep muscle mass and prevents regain of fat. For the best results, combine strength training with a healthy diet and regular aerobic or cardio exercise. These three components can together create a powerful program that will help you lose weight safely and effectively.
What Are the Best Strength Training Exercises?
A great, well-rounded strength training routine challenges your full body with a variety of exercises targeting your arms, legs, core, back, and shoulders. Compound exercises like deadlifts, squats, bench presses, overhead presses, pull-ups, and rows are popular choices because they target multiple muscle groups at once.
But it’s also important to add isolation exercises to your routine to target specific muscles. These include exercises like bicep curls, tricep dips, shoulder presses, lateral raises, and leg extensions. A strength training program consisting of both compound and isolation movements helps ensure you’re achieving the best results. And rotating the focus of your workouts helps ensure you’re not overdoing one muscle group over another. We recommend working a muscle group every 2 to 3 days to balance work and rest.
With Litesport Strength, we make this super easy. Our Strength workouts target 14 key muscles, which we showcase on the unique and interactive muscle map. You can filter content by specific muscle groups to change the focus of each workout to better reach your goals. Then, throughout your workout, a muscle diagram highlights the specific muscles you’re working with each movement. After your workout ends, the results screen displays your total calories burned and the time spent on each muscle group. Come back regularly to keep your muscle map bright and your work focused on the specific muscles you care about.
How Do I Get Started With Litesport Strength?
Ready to grab your dumbbells and get started? It’s super easy to join Litesport. All you need is a VR headset. Then, download the app on Meta Quest and start your 7-day free Premium trial. Already have Litesport? From the home screen, select “Strength” to scroll through and find your next workout. Litesport Strength workouts are an excellent way to begin or advance your strength training journey, all from the comfort of your own home.
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