Popular Pigskin Preview; weightlifting's effect on weight

Jul. 31, 2013 @ 11:15 AM

The Bill Dooley/East Chapter Triangle Pigskin Preview was held last week at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Cary.
Henry Frazier of North Carolina Central, David Cutcliffe of Duke, Larry Fedora of UNC, Dave Doeren of N.C. State, and Ruffin McNeil of East Carolina talked about the upcoming college football season.
This was the 11th Pigskin Preview, and this event is growing in popularity. This year, 430 people attended, and much of the credit goes to Don Shea, who asked the questions and led the discussion of the football coaches.
Shea is well-known in this area for his longtime television and charity work. Don used to anchor the sports desk at WTVD, and works tirelessly nowadays raising money and awareness for cancer programs and many other local programs. I wrote about Don a few years back after he had lost more than 50 pounds through adopting a healthy lifestyle of exercising and good nutrition.  Still adhering to that new approach to life, Don recently told me he was doing a lot of “pushups and pushaways” referring to his exercise program and his pushing away his plate before he eats too much. I like that line a lot; most of us would do well to practice more “pushups and pushaways.”


David Cutcliffe is doing an outstanding job at Duke as football coach. I recently talked with Sonny Jurgensen, who played at Duke in the 1950s and went on to become one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL.

Jurgensen had this to say about Coach Cutcliffe. “I think Coach Cutcliffe is the right man for the job at Duke. I really respected his decision to accept the challenge of coaching at Duke and now to stay at Duke after getting offers to leave. It shows the type of man he is.”


As you might imagine, I get more questions related to weight loss than any other topic. More weight loss questions come from women than men, but this is a concern for men also, of course. A caloric deficit has to be created to lose weight; there is simply no way around this, short of surgery.  In other words, you have to burn more calories than you take in. No, this is not easy, or we would all be slim. I always recommend people eat right and exercise. The “eat less and exercise more” statement works for most people. Keep in mind also that you should lose fat, for the most part, not just lose weight. Maintaining or adding muscle while losing fat is the way to go about it, you don’t want to lose muscle.

Also keep in mind that your body fat percentage is much more useful to know than what your weight is. Get your body fat measured from time to time. One 140-pound woman may be 20 percent fat, while another 140-pound woman could be 30 percent. Same weight, but body fat is quite different. It is not what you weigh that’s so important; it is what your weight is made of.
Another common mistake many people make when trying to lose weight is not to use weight training.  Here is a simple fact:  The more muscle you have the more calories you burn, and there is no better way to add muscle than to weight train. Put another way, muscle equals metabolism.
To burn calories, you want to do activities that eat up calories not only during exercise but use calories after you have stopped exercising. Weight training is one of the best activities you can do to keep your metabolism revved up after you have stopped lifting. This is referred to as Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC. EPOC is the recovery of the metabolic rate back to pre-exercise levels.
A study recently published in the Journal of Applied Physiology looked at the effects of an intense weight training session done in 31 minutes. EPOC was elevated significantly for 38 hours, post-workout. Think about it. If you trained at 10 a.m. Monday you would still be burning calories at a higher rate at midnight Tuesday. So remember that weight training does not only burn quite a few calories while you lift, but it revs up your metabolism for hours afterward. Not only that, but you are building muscle and shaping and toning your body like no other exercise can.
I do want to emphasize that optimal health is better reached through many factors, which include aerobic exercise and supportive nutrition, not just weight training. But weight training should definitely be part of your weight loss program.
Lewis Bowling  teaches at N.C. Central University and Duke University. He is the author of several books on fitness and sports. His website is www.lewisbowling.com. He can be reached at 919-530-6224 and at Lewis_Bowling@yahoo.com.