Light training to lose weight: effective or not?

When it comes to bodybuilding, women often wonder if they should lift heavy weights or opt for light weights. Both have their own advantages. A 2016 study published by the US National Library of Medicine showed that after eight weeks of strength training, people who lifted heavier weights with fewer reps had more strength. But greater muscle-building activity was seen in people who went for lower weights with a high number of reps. Interestingly, you can also opt for light training to lose weight.

Light training can be defined using the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale, says fitness expert Varun Rattan. This scale will allow you to assess the intensity of your training based on your strength and endurance. But what might be “light” for your friend might be heavy for you. So it all depends on how hard you feel your body is working. When your exertion level reaches 4 to 5 on this scale, it means you are in the “light” zone.

A light workout can help you lose fat. Image provided by: Shutterstock

Light workout to lose fat

Many know that a light workout can help build muscle endurance and strength, leading to better everyday functional form. So whether it’s carrying groceries or washing your car, you can do it all more easily. Rattan says light training can also be effective in losing weight while minimizing the risk of injury. Indeed, it helps to elevate your metabolic rate during and after training, which leads to increased calorie consumption. But for optimal fat loss results, try combining light training with other forms of exercise, such as cardiovascular activities. You should also follow a nutritious diet to fuel your workouts and aid your recovery.

Tips for doing light exercise

To perform light exercises, choose a weight that allows you to do 15 to 20 reps with good form, the expert tells Health Shots. Maintain a controlled, steady pace, concentrating on the muscle being worked. If you are new to bodybuilding, you can always ask an expert for help and advice.

Here are some light training options:

1. Shoulder press

• Begin by standing straight, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart.
• Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level, palms facing each other. This is your starting position.
• Continue pressing these weights upwards until your arms are fully extended above your head.
• When you reach the top of the movement, pause and then slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.

You can do three to four sets of 15 to 20 reps, but make sure your shoulders, elbows, and wrists are aligned when pressing the weights. Do not lean back when pressing the weights.

shoulder press
The shoulder exercise does more than build strength. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Seated row

• Sit on the rower with your knees slightly bent and your feet on the foot rails.
• Lean forward from your hips to hold the bar while keeping your back straight.
• Push off with your legs first, then lean back at a 90 degree angle while bringing the bar towards your stomach.
• Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for a second. Return to the starting position by extending your arms and bending your hips.

Since you’re doing three to four sets of 15 to 20 reps, avoid rounding your back and shaking the bar during the exercise.

3. Leg press

• To do the bench press, begin by sitting on the machine, placing your feet hip-width apart on the platform.
• Push off your feet by extending your legs without hyperextending your knees.
• Reduce the weight by bending your knees towards your chest, making sure your lower back stays in contact with the seat and does not round out.

This too, you can perform three to four sets for 15 to 20 reps.

Light training isn’t just about lean muscles. If you don’t want to do cardio exercises in a row, you can always opt for light training to lose weight.

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