Weightlifting or strength training is an important component to your workout plan. People who are trying to lose weight often overlook weight training because it doesn’t elevate the heart rate quite like cardio does. However, even though it doesn’t burn as many calories per session, it does build muscle which burns more calories at rest. In other words, it increases your resting metabolism. Not only that, but stronger muscles and bone density help you to perform cardio exercises more effectively and safely.
Strength training should be performed two to three times per week. You can alternate between an upper body workout and a leg workout, or you can do total body workouts every other day. There should always be a day of rest in between lifting days, especially if you’re concentrating on the same muscles. That rest day is important so that your muscles begin to repair themselves after you break them down during your workout.
A gym will have everything you need for weightlifting including dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, benches and weight machines. But you can get this basic equipment at home as well or you can do bodyweight exercises which doesn’t require any equipment at all.
If you’re new to lifting, start with a dumbbell workout where you can work your biceps, triceps, shoulders and pectorals for a total upper body workout. Push exercises (moving weight away from you) will work your chest while pull exercises (pulling the weight down toward you) with a machine will target your upper back.
As far as lower body workout, you may find it easier to execute using a machine, but you can certainly do bodyweight exercises too. Bodyweight exercises include moves like air squats, lunges, wall sits, and calf raises. You may want to start with bodyweight exercises or at least a lighter weight until you get the movement down. The main muscles you will target with these exercises are your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves.