Most people by now realize that to lose weight they can’t rely on cardio; they have to build their muscles. It’s not necessary to become bodybuilders, but there are advantages to increasing strength all over one’s body including extra weight loss. Is it enough, however, to rely on one’s own body weight or do participants require hand weights or possibly machines at the gym?
Pros of Using your Own Body Weight
When you first start working out, it’s enough that you made an effort to clear some space and turn on an exercise video or follow a wall chart of movements. You don’t need or want props in the beginning since you aren’t sure yet whether to buy kettle balls or free weights, what sizes to try; or maybe you would rather strap weights to your ankles and wrists and make more of your regular walk.
At this point, when you are overweight, your body is heavy enough to pose a challenge as you try doing push-ups, planks, chair squats, regular squats, and burpees. Any form of activity is great because the metabolic system will wake up. Give it a week. Stretch your muscles after every workout so they aren’t too sore. Within a week these moves will start to feel easier and you might be able to increase the number of repetitions, range of motion, or intensity.
This is the cheapest and simplest route for someone with a small budget. If you don’t have a lot of storage space, body weight moves are ideal since you only need a mat or towel for the stretches and abdominal moves later on.
Eventually, though, these moves won’t be challenging enough on their own. They could be wonderful warmups for a more intense workout; exercises for days when you’re taking it easy.
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Pros of Using Weights
A large person loses weight using his own body as resistance, but his muscles grow larger while he has less body weight; the balance shifts. Push ups and squats are no longer as challenging. One needs a new set of challenges like a set of hand weights.
These come in sizes from 1 lb and up and aren’t expensive to buy. Keep a rack at home to store them out of the way. If you are new to free weights, start small. The objective is to perform a repetition enough times that it hurts so while a move might seem easy, that isn’t the case after rep 5. If it becomes easy, you can upgrade to the next weight level. This is much easier to customize with hand weights than body weight.
With gym weights, there is much more control and scope; an opportunity to lift very heavy weights without the danger of over-balancing or dropping one. Moves are based on tension which is weighted, but you are pulling or pushing and there is nothing to drop. Instructions at each machine provide guidance. A personal trainer is available for one-on-one tuition so you learn how to do the moves properly to protect your back. Again, allow time to pass before deciding if a program is working or not. Let your body get used to your change of direction.