A common personal training goal for my clients is to lose weight. More often than not, they are surprised when I advise them that the best way to lose weight is by incorporating resistance training into their health and exercise program.
If your goal is weight loss, I hope that after reading this short post, you will be bringing resistance training into your weekly routine.
Resistance training, also known as strength or weight training, offers crucial support for weight loss. Unlike solely focusing on cardio exercises, incorporating resistance training into your routine can provide unique advantages that amplify weight loss outcomes.
Increased Muscle Growth Results in More Calorie Expenditure
Rather than just burning calories during exercise, resistance training stimulates muscle growth. Muscles demand energy, even at rest, which elevates your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
With higher muscle mass, you naturally burn more calories throughout the day, bolstering your calorie expenditure for effective weight loss.
Furthermore, resistance training triggers the "afterburn" effect or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Post-workout, your body continues to burn calories at an increased rate as it repairs muscles. This prolonged calorie burn contributes to weight loss beyond the workout session.
Reduced Muscle Loss During Weight Loss
Preserving lean muscle mass is another benefit. During weight loss, muscle loss often occurs alongside fat loss, which negatively impacts metabolism. Regular resistance training combats this by preserving and potentially increasing muscle mass, ensuring a higher metabolic rate and efficient calorie utilisation.
Minimising Muscle Loss As We Get Older to Prevent Weight Gain
Resistance training is vital for minimising muscle loss as we age. Muscle loss (sarcopenia) is a common occurrence as we age. We did around 3-8% of our muscle mass per decade after the age of 40. Strength training can reduce this decline and maybe we can even increase it! In this way, we can keep our metabolic rate higher, so we can keep excess weight off.
Using Stored Fat As Energy To Reduce Body Fat
Resistance training enhances the body's ability to use stored fat as an energy source. The muscle repair process post-exercise requires energy, drawing from fat stores and gradually reducing overall body fat percentage.
Keep in mind that resistance training need not lead to excessive muscle gain for everyone. Genetics, nutrition, and training intensity influence muscle development. For most individuals, resistance training results in a toned and defined physique rather than a bulky one.
To make the most of resistance training, combine it with cardiovascular activities in a balanced exercise regimen. Target different muscle groups with varied intensity to avoid injury, gradually increasing weights as you progress.
Resistance training significantly aids weight loss by fostering muscle growth, heightening metabolism, and promoting calorie burn beyond workouts. Integrating resistance training with cardio exercises and a balanced diet offers a comprehensive weight loss strategy.