If you’re one of the approximately 45 million Americans dieting each year, you have probably heard time and again that weight loss simply comes down to calories in, calories out. If you play out the numbers it should break down as follows: each pound has about 3,500 calories so cutting calories by 500 per day would result in one pound of weight loss each week. Up the 500 calorie deficit to even more and you will lose even more weight at a faster rate. Simple right? Not so much when you look into where this weight is coming from. Studies have shown that moderately restricting calories results in a greater amount of weight loss coming from fat, with only a small amount coming from muscle loss. Conversely, those who drastically cut calories actually lose the majority of that weight from muscle, not fat.
For those shrugging their shoulders right now and thinking, “Who cares? A pound is a pound and I’m happy as long as the number on the scale goes down,” think again. Muscle is like a furnace, constantly burning calories just to allow us to go about our daily lives. Reduce the amount of muscle mass your body has and suddenly that furnace doesn’t need as much fuel; translation: you now must eat even fewer calories in order to keep losing weight. That is commonly what dieters run into when they hit the notorious “plateau” in which the number on their scale just won’t budge. Fortunately, this scenario is completely avoidable given moderate calorie restriction and an appropriate exercise strategy; namely strength training.
The concept that strength training is critical for lasting weight loss isn’t ground breaking news for many. However, many people still refrain from incorporating strength training into their regular exercise routine. This is largely in part because strength training has become synonymous with hefting dumbbells in crowded weight rooms filled with techno beats, crashing weights and beefy men guzzling protein shakes. Not surprisingly this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Fortunately, weight lifting isn’t the only way to strength train and more and more exercises, from pilates to TRX, are utilizing one’s own body weight to achieve strength gains, all in a much more welcoming environment. Newer to this scene is a revolutionary system known as Redcord. Not ringing a bell? If you are sick of being behind the times when it comes to fitness trends (eg if you are still popping in Jane Fonda videos and sweating it out in leg warmers) then take note because Redcord is taking fitness to a whole new level. Originally developed in Norway, Redcord was only first introduced in the US in 2008 and has been gaining devoted followers ever since. So what is Redcord you are probably wondering?
Redcord is a suspension training equipment system that utilizes your own body weight as resistance while also forcing you to stabilize and balance. This results in greater muscle fiber requirement and core activation. Translation: A better workout in less time and an added bonus of washboard abs without innumerable crunches. The beauty of Redcord is that it is so adaptable that it can be used by everyone from those simply looking to get fit, to trained athletes. In fact, both the men’s and women’s Norwegian National ski teams strength train using Redcord.
The sage weight loss advice to “move more and eat less” leaves much to be desired for those looking for specifics. Lose weight the right way through moderate calorie restriction and regular exercise that includes strength training. Look beyond the monotony of weight training for innovative ways, like a Redcord workout, to ensure that a strength training routine becomes an enjoyable and regular part of your routine. For healthy and lasting weight loss, cutting calories alone just doesn’t cut it.