Getting into shape takes more than aerobic exercise. While aerobics is an important component for the overall fitness, you also need to include muscle building exercises several times a week to achieve a well-balanced exercise program.
The benefits of aerobics are well known. When you exercise aerobically, you strengthen your heart muscle and your entire cardiovascular system. Muscle training fine-tunes the body and makes it better to function and burns fat.
There are two types of muscle building workouts that either allow you to gain muscle mass or tone your existing muscle. The goal of the low rep, muscle building workout is to increase muscle mass or to multiply to the largest muscle. Increasing heavy weight causes swelling of the muscle fibers and you will notice a significant increase in the mass of the muscles under the skin. The goal of the low weight muscle training is to tone the muscles and make it stronger without a noticeable change in mass. Women often perform toning exercises to sculpt their muscles and make them look more defined and bodybuilders choose programs that allow them to increase mass.
When people start new muscle building exercises, they expect results fast. This is good if your body is lean. But if you have a high body fat ratio to lean muscle mass, you will have to do aerobic cardiovascular exercise to burn fat in combination with muscle building exercises to build muscles to see the desired results. Eating a low-fat diet made up of lean proteins and low carbohydrates is also useful for building muscle and reducing fat.
One of the benefits of muscle building exercises, besides larger and more toned muscles, is increasing the body’s ability to burn fat. Even when not exercising, your muscles continue to burn fat more efficiently when performing a regular fitness program that includes muscle building exercises. Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and improves the function of the cardiovascular system, which is important for delivering blood to your muscles. But for continuous fat burning you need a combination of aerobic workouts and muscle building.
It is a misconception that by working, you are actually building extra muscle tissue. We are born with the highest number of muscle fibers we will ever have and that will never change. What you are trying to change through muscle building exercises is the appearance of muscle tissue, increasing it and increasing and defining the fibers.