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When it comes to slimming down and shaping up, we recommend strength training followed by cardio. Both styles of training burn calories aiding in weight loss. Cardio edges out weight training in terms of the number of calories burned per minute, however strength training will do far more for your muscles. If your goal is focused solely on weight loss, you may go the cardio route. But if you want a toned body under your winter sweaters, cozy up to strength training.


For every three pounds of muscle gained, you burn an extra 120 calories a day without even moving one of those muscles. And while strength training at the gym may not reflect the number you expect on the scale, you can expect a slimmer, more toned physique.


luci deadlift


At Evolve gym, we incorporate strength training in workout sessions for both newbie members to the more advanced and everyone in between. Here are a few of our favorite strengthening exercises that we incorporate into our circuits:


Exercise 1: Deadlift

We use a barbell but two dumbbells can also be used. Start with the weight on the ground, your feet hip width apart, knees bent, and an overhand grip on the barbell. With a flat back and an engaged core, pull the bar up to your hips as you straighten your legs. Bend your knees as you tap the weight back down to the ground and immediately repeat the exercise. Aim for sets of 10 reps. Deadlifts strengthen your glutes and hamstrings.


Exercise 2: Single Arm Plank Rows

Start in an plank position holding onto a dumbbell with your right hand. Bend your elbow pulling the weight up to your right shoulder. Control the weight as you lower it back to the floor. Maintain the plank position without rocking or swaying throughout the duration of the exercise. Do 10 reps on the right side and then repeat on the left. Single arm plank rows strengthen the lats in your back, your shoulders, and your core.


Exercise 3: Squat to Press

Begin with your feet hip width apart holding onto two dumbbells suspended by your shoulders. Squat pressing your hips back and your body weight in the heels of your feet. Press through your legs back to a stand while simultaneously extending both arms up toward the ceiling. Lower the weight back down to your shoulders as you repeat the exercise. Be sure to keep the palms of your hands facing each other during the move. Aim for sets of 10 reps. Squat to press works your legs, shoulders, arms. Talk about total body workout!