Lift weights, lose weight

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Want to drop some pounds? Cardio helps, but it’s not everything, says Kurt Hester, a professional athletic performance coach who’s trained Tim Tebow, Reggie Bush and Michael Oher of “The Blind Side.” We asked him to explain the theory and show us some moves.

If you have a set of dumbbells, grab it — but if not, Hester developed this workout utilizing 10-pound water jugs — which will only set you back 79 cents per bottle.

Why do we need to strength train as part of our workouts? Why aren’t cardio and stretching enough?

Strength training is far more efficient in lowering the amount of fat than cardio or flexibility training. If a well-designed strength-training program is implemented you will increase your bone density (fight osteoporosis), decrease your resting heart rate (strengthen your heart), increase your muscle mass (become more efficient burning calories), increase your flexibility (correct muscle imbalances) and decrease your body fat percentage.

How does lifting weights help people lose weight?

Let’s dispel a major wives’ tale first: Women do not emit enough testosterone to build huge quantities of muscle mass. It doesn’t matter what your genetic lineage, it is how heavy you lift. If females are aggressive and lift hard (70-80 percentage max for 5-8 reps) they will elevate their growth hormone, which helps burn fat at a higher rate. The more muscle you put on, the more efficient you become at burning calories — therefore losing more body fat.

The moves
“Swings, reverse lunge and wood choppers will hit every muscle in the body, strengthening the upper body, lower body and core,” Hester says.

Jug swings

Stand with your feet four to six inches outside shoulder width. Bend at the hips into a squatting position with your back flat, shoulder blades retracted and head neutral, holding the jug between your legs. Keeping your arms locked at the elbows, swing the jug up to shoulder height and then drive the jug down between your legs while bending into the squatting position. Repeat.

Reverse lunge

Start by standing with your feet slightly outside shoulder width and holding the jugs resting on your shoulders with your elbows up. Keeping your back flat, step back with your left foot as far back as you can, dropping into a deep lunge. Then, putting force into the right leg, push down and come back to standing. Keep your back flat and chest up during every rep and do not bend at the waist. Repeat all the reps on the left leg then switch sides.
 
Wood choppers

With your feet slightly outside shoulder width, bend at the hips and knees with the jug outside of your left knee. Keep your shoulders square and head level. Swing the jug up over your right shoulder, extending at the hips and rising up on your toes.


Hester contributes fitness articles on behalf of Ab Cuts, a supplement that boasts conjugated linoleic acid, which may promote weight loss. “Keeping a high-protein diet as well as supplementing a CLA product like Ab Cuts will help you add muscle and burn fat during your strength-training sessions,” he says. Available at www.gnc.com.


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