For those interested in weight loss training, strength training is a crucial element.
Strength training refers to exercises in which muscles are being forced to contract in order to oppose an external force. This force can simply be gravity (as in the case of calisthenics, or body weight exercises), or an external load such as a dumbbell. Repeated contractions against an external force stimulates growth by causing microscopic tears in your muscle fibers.
Building lean muscle is the key to increasing your metabolism, improving your coordination, stabilizing your joints, and changing your body composition. It has also been shown to increase sleep quality and mood.
However, people remain under the impression that weight loss training involves doing a bunch of cardio. Many individuals interested in losing weight will spend weeks on the treadmill or the elliptical trying to shed a few pounds, only to find themselves no better off than when they started. Or even if they do manage to lose weight, they somehow end up looking worse.
There is good reason for this: While extended periods of mild to moderate cardiovascular exercise burn calories, it does little to change your body composition. Unlike strength training or high-intensity interval training, it does not produce a sustained increase in your metabolic rate, and it may even slow down your metabolism. Prolonged bouts of cardiovascular exercise also eats away at muscle tissue, which is much more metabolically active than fat, worsening the problem. Furthermore, overdoing the cardio diminishes testosterone levels, which is important in building and maintaining lean muscle. This results in an undesirable condition colloquially referred to as “skinny fat”. That’s where an individual is of normal body weight but still carries excessive amounts of fat.
This is not meant to diminish the benefits of cardiovascular exercise, which is still important in maintaining a healthy body. But if cardio is all you do, you’re missing out on all the benefits strength training has to offer.
Body by V uses an integrated approach to personal training, encouraging his Atlanta clients to incorporate all elements of fitness into their exercise programs, strength training being key among them.
Dr. Maurya uses both weight training and calisthenics (body weight training) in his strength training regimens. Understanding the various advantages and disadvantages of each, V will often combine both methods into each of his strength training workouts.
Expect to be exposed to a wide array of strength training equipment when working with V, including dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, cables, resistance bands, and suspension trainers. Also, be ready to recruit multiple muscle groups while performing exercises, as V sees the body as a unit. As such, he will engage several muscles simultaneously to mimic natural body mechanics, increase cardiovascular intensity, and improve balance and coordination.
Dr. Maurya will spend time instructing clients on the fundamental aspects of key movement patterns, ensuring that they can be performed safely and effectively, before incorporating more muscle groups or more complex exercises. He also adjusts his strength training programs to accommodate individuals with all different types of physical capabilities. His goal is to demonstrate how to reap the full benefits of strength training while minimizing the risk of injury.
With steady, persistent effort and an appropriate diet, expect to see changes in your body composition while training with V. Dr. Maurya understands that strength training is essential if you are seeking to reduce body fat levels, and makes it a central element in all his fitness programs.