How does weight training promote fat loss? We know it makes us stronger, can strengthen our bones and give us tone, but burn calories? Doesn’t cardio do this better? Uhhh….NO. Keep reading 🙂
Weight training (strength training) involves resistance. Whether it be weights, body weight, bands or machines. Muscle is taxed, and if done appropriately and intense enough, you will have muscle and strength gains. Weight training is the most effective way to build muscle, whether you use a form of a weight or your own body weight as resistance. What if I told you if I had a choice of 1/2 hour of strength training or a 1/2 hour of cardio I would choose strength training every time! I would. Not just because cardio machines bore me, but also because I know the importance.
Recently a client said this to me, “I do this to stay strong, but I do cardio to keep the fat off.” I explained to her that the weights will keep the fat off even more so than the cardio! I’m not saying don’t do cardio I’m saying do both!
I will explain this as easily as I can. Research has confirmed that weight training increases your metabolism. It also improves your metabolic rate. This means you burn more calories at rest. This is a VERY good thing. This is what changes as we get older. We lose muscle. Our metabolism drops and we burn less calories thus gain body fat.
So, it use to be that weight training was viewed as a way to increase strength, muscular endurance and bone density. Now it is being seen for much more!
Many studies were recently reviewed finding that strength training workouts boost muscle mass an average of 2.2-4.4 pounds. This boost increases our metabolism which helps us to be calorie burning machines, keeping our body fat low. Studies also show weight training reduces visceral fat, which is fat inside the abdominal cavity that wraps around your organs, deep inside and cannot be seen. Another reason to build muscle! If you have a large hard stomach, you have visceral fat under your abdominal muscles, not the jiggly fat many of us get over top the muscle. Don’t panic! You can lose visceral fat like any other fat, with changing your eating habits and getting into better shape 🙂 and by increasing muscle!
Weight training increases your lean body mass while shrinking your fat mass, but there is more! Another awesome finding is that the overload on muscles stimulates specialized hormones prompting the body to burn fat. They found over time that the increase in muscle triggers the body to burn more calories, DURING, exercise. So you burn more calories at rest, AND during exercise, with the increase in muscle that you develop with weight training! It’s a win win! There are more reasons pick up the weights. Ok, so win, win and maybe 10 more wins 🙂 Have you ever heard of the after burn effect with weight training workouts? Since we are talking about losing body fat , how about this: You do an intense weight training workout, you are finished and you feel great. Your body CONTINUES to burn more calories for 24 hours plus after you are done! This is the after burn. Your body needs extra oxygen to recover from the weight workout, hours after. More oxygen means more calories burned, means you lose body fat!
In addition to helping you lose weight, and keep weight off, weight training helps:
- Increase endurance and strength
- Improve blood pressure
- Improve heart health
- Regulates insulin and lowers inflammation
- Improves posture and balance
- Decreases risk of falling as we age
- Helps us maintain our independence
- Improves sleep, mood and energy levels
- Boosts confidence
Weight lifting is the most effective form of exercise to prevent, slow and even partially reverse age related muscle loss and the health issues that come with it. Weight gain being the focus here. Obesity is continuing to rise in this country and being proactive with ourselves and our families is the answer. Not sure how to start? Contact me, I’d love to help 🙂