by Kris Pitcher
I don't mean to brag, but I am a fat burning machine. Burning fat by doing cardio actually isn't all that efficient...my preference is to burn more doing nothing. That's right. Nothing. How do I do that? Muscle! Our metabolism - the amount of energy we burn - is based on a number of things, but one thing we can control is our lean body mass, muscle. The more muscle we have, the more calories we burn, all the time (doing nothing).
"But Kris! I don't want to get all BULKY and muscley and gross!" I'll tell you what - I'm not gross. I'm a lightweight bodybuilder, this is a hobby. Currently it's 'off season', and I'm trying to gain mass, which means I'm eating well and training hard. Here are my current stats and you can decide if I'm gross: at 5' 4" 137 pounds (62 kilos), 20% body fat, I'm a size 8. Sick! When I compete, I step on stage between 118-120 pounds. Next season, I'll be a little heavier.
By knowing my body composition, I know that I'm carrying 110 pounds of lean body mass, or muscle (and about 27 pounds of fat). I'm working to increase my muscle mass. How? Strength training! Think of fitness like a three-legged stool; strength/cardio/flexibility. If you're missing one, your program is imbalanced.
But the point is ladies you are not going to get bulky from building muscle. Pound for pound muscle is more compact than fat, it takes up less space. You'll get smaller. If you are short for time, always a trip through the circuit machines before more cardio. There are a lot of rules and guidelines about strength training, we can cover some of that in the near future. For now, start to think about ways to incorporate strength training into your program. It's time to become a fat burning machine!