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How Many Times a Week Should You Lift Weights to Lose Weight?

by
author image James Neel
James Neel is a writer, entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast and certified personal trainer. He has worked in the fitness industry for many years and has a passion for sharing his knowledge with others. His college education consists of degrees in business and kinesiology.
How Many Times a Week Should You Lift Weights to Lose Weight?
Proper weight training is effective at burning fat and calories. Photo Credit Roi Brooks/iStock/Getty Images

Weight training is very effective at building lean muscle mass, which helps increase your metabolism. A faster metabolism leads to weight loss by burning fat and calories faster. However, weight training must be done in moderation for optimal results and to avoid injury. To safely reach your weight-loss goal, it is important to know the recommended strategies for weight training.

Frequency

Adults should engage in weight training at least two times a week, recommends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can always increase the number of days you train with weights as long as you give each muscle group three days of rest before training it again. Opting to increase this to three or four days will help you to reach your goals more quickly, as you will burn more fat and calories.

Duration

In order to promote weight loss, keep your weight training workouts intense with little periods of rest between each set. This will keep your heart rate up, ensuring that you burn more fat and calories during your workout. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds between each set. Keeping a stopwatch with you will prevent you from resting for too long. Although your workout should be quick, avoid rushing an exercise.

A Very Critical Factor: Periods of Rest

Lifting weights can get strenuous with increased load, and maximizing time by skipping rest is a recipe for injuries. It is crucial to space out sessions, as rest periods allow for muscle regeneration. When you rest, you are actually maximizing the gains as muscles undergo tissue repair and growth to compensate for the fat and water you lost during the rigorous drills.

Suggestions for Beginners

A good starting program for a beginner is weight training three times per week after cardiovascular exercise. Performing cardio first will prepare your body for weight training by increasing your body temperature and heart rate. Perform compound exercises as they are generally the most effective. Compound exercises incorporate multiple muscle groups at once. Perform three sets for each exercise. As your body becomes accustomed to the regimen, increase the amount of sets or add variations to each exercise.

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