Looking to lose a few pounds? I'm a huge advocate of resistance training for just about anyone—male or female, big or small. Often I see people who want to lose body fat shy away from weights for various reasons. Perhaps they're concerned they’ll bulk up and look like a pro-wrestler. Or maybe they’re intimidated to step foot in the weight room. I certainly was back in 2006 when I discovered the gym on my college campus and didn’t know how to work any of the machines.
Lifting weights is the best thing you can do for yourself if you are serious about dropping body fat. First you burn a few hundred calories during our actual workout, then after you're done training with weights, you’ll be burning calories for up to several hours after the session as your body returns to homeostasis. Also, for every pound of lean muscle mass you put on your body, you burn about an extra 50 calories per day.
When you burn more calories than you consume, you're in a caloric deficit for the day, and that results in weight loss. Once the body fat has melted away, you'll be pleasantly surprised to see beautifully defined and toned muscles that were was hidden under a few layers of fat. (The muscles don’t get toned and defined if you just do cardio, which is another reason to say hello to resistance training.)
Everybody reacts differently to workouts, but as a rule of thumb, if you're looking to tone up and shed body fat, you want to stick with high intense circuit training using low weight, high/fast reps, and little to no rest time in between sets. If you're trying to get big and bulky, you want to stick with heavy weight, low/slow reps, with up to three minutes between sets.
Here's a weight loss circuit training program to get you started!
4 minute warm up (Repeat this series twice. On the second time, go faster!)