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How Often Should I Lift Weights For Weight Loss?

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When people come to me with the goal of getting stronger, building lean muscle, and losing body fat, one of the first things I do is advise them to incorporate strength training into their workout routines. Not just because I personally love to lift, but also because the proof is in the research.

According to a 2006 review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, strength training won’t just enhance your performance: “The general benefits for men and women include an increase in bone mass and lean mass, improved body composition (due to decreased fat mass), cardiovascular fitness, strength, and an enhanced sense of well-being.”

Strength training once in a blue moon won’t help you achieve your weight-loss goals, which is why I tapped a couple of professional trainers and strength experts for the 411 on the best weightlifting practices to help you lose weight.

How Often You Should Lift If You’re a Beginner

Pratik Patel, director of performance nutrition and assistant strength and conditioning coach for the New York Giants, told POPSUGAR that he recommends beginners start with one to two strength sessions a week to ensure their muscles have enough time to recover.

I typically advise beginning with two to three strength sessions per week; two if someone is completely new, and three if they’re more athletic. It’s important not to go too hard too soon as you’re getting acclimated to strength training. The last thing you want to do is lift with poor technique and get injured or experience extreme soreness, leaving you unable to continue your weekly training plan.

Since squatting to sit on the toilet shouldn’t feel like a workout, which is why celebrity trainer Stephen Cheuk, certificate IV Australian Institute of Personal Trainers certified trainer and founder of S10 Training in New York City, said beginners should start with two strength sessions a week. He added that people new to strength training will “typically drop body fat and weight quicker” in the beginning, usually around a minimum of one percent of body fat or one pound per week, but this will vary per person.

How Often You Should Lift If You’re More Experienced

As your body begins to adapt to the initial soreness (here’s what to know about exercising when you’re sore), Pratik recommends gradually following more advanced training programs. “A more advanced person who works out most days of the week for the majority of the year will be able to train specific muscle groups two to three times per week with adequate rest and have no major issues,” he said.

If you’re accustomed to working out but new to strength training, I recommend starting with three sessions a week for a minimum of four to six weeks. If you’re happy with your results, stick to three strength sessions a week; if not, I recommend reviewing how heavy you’ve been lifting, the set and rep scheme, and the lifts you’re doing. Doing so will help you determine whether or not you’re lifting enough weight and if you need to diversify and progress the exercises you’re doing along with the reps and sets (here’s how to determine your reps, sets, and weight).

For those who are more experienced, Stephen also advised training three times a week. Along with lifting more often, he also suggested focusing on more specific details like whether or not you’re taking too little or too much rest in between exercises.

Remember: these are just general guidelines. You may find that you need to lift less or more often and incorporate other styles of training into your routine in order to achieve your fitness goals. As always, I recommend working with an experienced trainer to teach you how to lift and help you devise a training plan specific to your goals.

Image Source: Getty / pixdeluxe





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Tess Holliday Slams Victoria’s Secret

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Our society is slowly but surely having more productive conversations about inclusivity. But unfortunately, Victoria’s Secret seems to have not received the memo yet. In fact, an executive from the company recently made some insensitive comments about transgender and curve models, and people are having none of it.

In an interview with Vogue, Ed Razek, chief marketing officer of L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret, said: “Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special… We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t.”

RELATED: Tess Holliday’s Son Hopped in Her Bathtub While She Was Trying to Get Some Self-Care Time—and Her Reaction Is Priceless

Sorry mister, those comments simply aren’t going to fly with those of us who proudly embrace diversity. Tess Holliday is in this powerful group, and she spoke out in support of the curve and transgender communities.

“Who needs VS anyway?! They never supported plus ladies & now they are trying to dis my trans sisters? Hell nah,” Holliday wrote in a recent Instagram post.

In an interview with Teen Vogue, Holliday went deeper on the issue. “As much as I want VS, who’s the biggest lingerie retailer, to embrace plus size and more diverse body types, it’s also important to give your time, focus, and money to brands who are actually doing what you want to see.”

She has a point. While it’s important to let brands know if they’re doing something you don’t like, it’s even more important to tell the ones who do share your values just how much you appreciate them. It’s those brands that should get our money and attention, which is why Holliday wore Asos lingerie in her post, she wrote.

Hopefully, the more we buy from and talk up brands that showcase diversity, the sooner others will catch on. 

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36-Year-Old Texas Woman Is on Life Support After Going to Mexico for Plastic Surgery

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A 36-year-old Texas woman is fighting for her life after she reportedly suffered severe brain damage from anesthesia being put in the wrong place in her spine ahead of a rhinoplasty and breast implant replacement procedure at a clinic in Mexico last month, according to the woman’s sister, Angie Avila.

Laura Avila, of Dallas, Texas, went in for the procedure at the Rino Center in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on October 30, according to her family’s GoFundMe page. Laura’s fiancé, Eric Cruz, accompanied her to the medical center for the operation.

RELATED: This Rare but Deadly Complication of Liposuction Almost Killed a Woman. Here’s What Doctors Want You to Know

Ahead of the procedure, Laura allegedly “suffered cardiac arrest for four minutes. She was then placed into a medically-induced coma to prevent further damage to her brain that was caused by the complications she experienced during anesthesia,” the family wrote.

Angie told CBS News that doctors at the Mexican hospital where her sister was transferred, told them the Rino Center put the anesthesia in the wrong place in Laura’s spine, her brain swelled, her kidneys failed and she went into cardiac arrest.

The clinic in Mexico has not responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

RELATED: Actress Tawny Kitaen Wants Her Breast Implants Out: They’re ‘Down to the Bottom of My Rib Cage’

After she was brought out of the coma on November 3, Laura had to be placed on life support due to severe brain damage. She has since been transferred to a hospital in El Paso, Texas, reports Fox San Antonio.

On Tuesday, the family wrote another update on GoFundMe saying that “the hospital in El Paso has done everything they can to help Laura.”

“They have given us two options: to let her go in peace or have her physically here. If she were to improve, it is possible she could only regain minimal functioning skills,” they wrote. “As a family, we decided it is too soon to make such an impossible decision. We have been working relentlessly to transfer her to a hospital in Dallas to get a second opinion.”

RELATED: Tanning Bed Habit Leaves Illinois Woman with Hole in Her Face: ‘It Became an Addiction’

CBS News reports that their news correspondent “Anna Werner spoke to a prosecutor in Mexico who is now handling an investigation into the Rino Center where Laura was treated. No formal charges have been filed yet, but the clinic has been raided.”

Laura’s sister, Angie, also wrote on Facebook alleging that the clinic did not provide Laura’s medical records to the Mexican government, so “as a result, they were raided by Fiscalía Saturday night. The documents are under review.”

Desperate for a second opinion on her dire condition, the family wants Laura transferred to the Parkland Medical hospital in Dallas, but according to Angie’s Facebook post, as of Tuesday afternoon, they have “denied her a second time, despite the fact that it is a public hospital and she is a Dallas resident who pays taxes.”

When the hospital was reached for comment, they said they needed permission from the family to respond.

“By law we need a signed consent from the legal next of kin,” media supervisor Catherine Bradley wrote in an email to PEOPLE.

Dr. Dennis Orgill, the medical director of Brigham and Women’s Hospital Wound Care Center in Boston, told The Chicago Tribune that people are motivated to leave the country for medical procedures because of the cost and in some cases because of cultural issues.

“There are many websites that advertise for these procedures,” he said. “And the initial costs for these procedures in developing countries is substantially less.”

He added: “Some surgeons in these countries are excellent, but sometimes it is hard for patients to tell the difference by looking on the internet. And it’s that inability to properly vet international services, providers and regulations that ultimately gives rise to “a large public health issue.”

Laura’s family has refrained from speaking out further about the incident, “not because we don’t want to, but because we’re investing every second of the day fighting for her,” they wrote.

“I know Laura is so loved and has touched many lives, so again, I thank you for checking to see how she’s doing. I promise we are doing what we can to ensure we’ve exhausted all her options, make sure her legal case proceeds, and to keep all her loved ones informed,” they continued.

There will be a candlelight vigil for Laura on Wednesday evening at the San Jacinto Plaza in El Paso, Texas.

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Inspiring Instagram Page Shows Half-Naked Women

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As you scroll past photo after photo of seemingly flawless bodies every day, it can feel like Instagram is setting you up to be critical of yourself. But what if we told you about one page that’s changing that—one place where you can find inspiration from real people of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds? Cue @theeverybodybeautystandard, your one-stop shop for body-positivity.

People from all walks of life submit their self-love stories to @theeverybodybeautystandard along with photos of their bodies. Their mission? To redefine the meaning of beauty and encourage body-positivity “one story at a time.” They’re also sharing their stories to let others know they’re not alone on their own journeys.

One of them is @iamzainabmohammed, who uses a prosthetic foot on her left leg.

“I have struggled with every kind of positivity I can think of, from body-positivity to mental positivity, ever since I realized I was different from everyone,” she wrote. “I will no longer battle with my real self (who I am) and my ideal self (who I want to be). Instead, I will find balance—I will accept myself and grow every day, because that is all I can do.”

Like this one, many of the stories on @theeverybodybeautystandard tell of a person who struggles with self-acceptance but is also determined to celebrate their beauty. 

Another story comes from @baranikki. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve been thinking, ‘When I lose weight, I’ll be happy,’ ‘When I lose weight, someone will finally want me,’ ‘When I lose weight, I’ll finally be accepted,’” she wrote. “So here I am, finally starting to not always think ‘when…’ and instead live in the now and love all of me.”

RELATED: 5 Mental Tricks to Feeling Amazing, Even If You Miss a Few Workouts

This is a problem a lot of us run into. We get caught up thinking everything would be easier if we looked a certain way, but our looks aren’t responsible for our happiness—our mindset is.

That’s the idea @memoirofkiki talks about in her post: “I made the executive decision to love myself. I promise you, there are times when that isn’t easy—but then I look at myself and realize how beautiful and extraordinary I am, even if some other people don’t believe so.”

She went on to say she refuses to let society have power over her body. “We all have a natural need to want to belong, but if my body doesn’t belong, I don’t want to conform,” she wrote.

She’s right. We all want to fit in, but we have to be aware of when our trying to fit in is actually forcing ourselves to sacrifice a part of who we are. That’s what @theeverybodybeautystandard is all about—making people feel like they belong no matter what they look like.

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