Strength training and weight loss

The obesity rates in Britain continue to soar at a worrying rate – according to a 2007 Government report, if no action is taken, by 2050 60% of men, 50% of women and 25% of children will be obese. These are pretty unsettling figures, especially as rising obesity rates continue to place a strain on NHS resources.

So despite Government warnings that we are turning into a nation of couch potatoes and risking obesity-related illnesses such as heart disease and cancer, our waistlines keep growing. But what can be done to tackle the obesity health crisis and are the solutions simple? Our own Phillip Nourse, Power Plate Master Trainer, has contributed his thoughts to a recent article in Fitpro, the respected trade publication for fitness professionals on this very topic.

This month’s issue included an interesting article, discussing recommendations made by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) about weight loss programmes for obese individuals. Their guidelines recommend incorporating 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least three times a week (and ideally five times a week). Additionally, there may be benefits in progressively increasing exercise to a total of 200-300 minutes per week. Individuals should be performing at a minimum of 60% of their maximum heart rate.

Phillip is quoted in the article, saying: “A key factor though that these guidelines do not address is the importance of strength training for the safety of weight loss targeted exercise programmes. While appreciating that high impact exercise may have the potential to place undue stress upon joints and connective tissue in an excessively heavy person, strength training is important in improving stabilization around these joints. In a sense, it is the strength training that is the mortar which holds the body stable, and which eventually permits more intense forms of exercise with their associated higher demands.”

He also says: “As your fitness levels progress with time so the duration and frequency of your exercises should slowly increase too. Furthermore, as fitness improves and weight reduces, the other more vigorous exercise options may be able to be used.”

Strength training is the foundation of any Power Plate exercise programme – designed to assist in achieving healthy and safe weight loss, by encouraging the development of lean muscle mass. There’s plenty of research to back up that, when used as part of a weight management programme and in conjunction with physical training, the Power Plate machine can actually help you shape up faster than normal exercise alone.

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