With Spring officially here and Summer coming closer, there’s no doubt you’re thinking about what to do to get lean and shredded come beach season.
Many start ramping up cardio and intensity right now — which is no doubt helpful, when dosed the right way.
However, too much cardio and not enough weight training can spike cortisol, lower your metabolic rate and reduce key hormones associated with fat loss (1.)
That’s not good.
If you want the best bang for your buck and want to turn your body into a 24 hour a day fat burning machine — it’s time to lift some weights.
And we’re not simply talking about your upper body.
In this article, you’ll learn 5 reasons why getting lean, strong and healthy means doing more leg work.
REASON #1: Blast Your Metabolic Rate
Let’s start with simple math and science — the higher lean body mass (LBM) one has, the more energy it takes to keep them going.
This rate, known as resting metabolic rate means you’ll burn more calories in a 24 hour period than someone with less LBM (2).
In contrast with cardio work where you’re likely to lose muscle, and become more inefficient.
Instead — double down on your strength training with compound movements which we cover next.
REASON #2: Compound Movements And Hormones
Strength training has been proven to ramp up key muscle building and fat loss hormones — including growth hormone and testosterone (3).
Instead of simply isolating one part of your body — train as one unit doing the major compound lifts.
The secretion of all the fat burning hormones will be intensified, last longer and be way more effective than only doing isolation work.
REASON #3: The Afterburn Effect
We all know the benefits of the post workout window, but nothing compares to a leg crushing training session to maximize this window for next level results.
This includes the post-training afterburn, where your body’s metabolic rate is on overdrive long after you’ve left the gym.
In one study, the post-exercise metabolic rate (known as PEMR) was elevated by 11-12% using resistance training (4.)
REASON #4: Time & Bang For Your Buck
We know you’re already limited on time.
If you want to maximize the time available, ensure you’re getting the most out of every minute in the gym and focus on training your legs.
A 30 minute focused leg session is more than enough to reap the rewards we’ve already mentioned above.
REASON #5: Your Health Depends On It
Leg strength and mass is directly correlated with health, balance and functional strength (5.)
As we age, we naturally lose bone density which leads to a host of health issues and training your legs is a way to ensure your long term health.
It’s Time To Train Your Legs!
Look at your current routine, and ensure you’re not skipping leg day.
Not only will you miss out on getting lean, functionally strong and feeling great — your body will be out of balance.
Stay tuned on the blog for the best leg day exercises you can implement into your routine to maximize your results!
- The effects of four weeks aerobic training on saliva cortisol and testosterone in young healthy persons. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4540811/
- Increasing muscle mass to improve metabolism: Alexandra C. McPherron, 1 ,* Tingqing Guo, 1 , † Nichole D. Bond, 1 , ‡ and Oksana Gavrilova https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3661116/
- Hormonal responses and adaptations to resistance exercise and training.
Kraemer WJ1, Ratamess NA. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15831061
- Effect of acute resistance exercise on postexercise energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8282641
- Effectiveness of resistance training or jumping-exercise to increase bone mineral density in men with low bone mass: a 12-month randomized, clinical trial: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4503233/