For years, Americans have been told that aerobic exercise is the only way to lose weight and keep it off. Weight training is recommended as a way to keep muscle mass while losing weight, but it's never portrayed as the ticket to weight loss itself.
But strength coach Charles Poliquin, who has worked with hundreds of Olympic and professional athletes, says there's a way to lose pounds while lifting them. It's based on physiological principles that are well known to scientists but brand-new to the gym populace.
Here's the idea: If you generate a lot of lactic acid during your weight-lifting sets, your body will then produce more growth hormone. Growth hormone helps your body release fatty acids from your fat cells, which you then use for energy. Result: You get muscle from lifting weights, and you lose fat. For most guys, the net result will be lost weight, without having to run a mile or take a single Spinning class.
To make this work, though, you have to rethink the way you lift. If your idea of a workout is going into the gym and pushing out a few bench presses, then dissecting the latest ballgame with your buddies between sets, you'll find Poliquin's workout techniques a total shock. To generate enough lactic acid to promote fat loss, you have to extend your sets to about a minute, then rest for a minute, then move on to your next set. (Nobody said it was easier than aerobics.)
Besides featuring six weeks' worth of detailed workouts, Manly Weight Loss also includes 14 different daily menu plans–all easy-to-fix stuff that guys will enjoy (one of the menus includes fast-food hamburgers and fries)–and dozens of exercise descriptions. –Lou Schuler