Weight training for fat loss
When people mention that they want to lose weight, they always seem shocked that I bring up weight training. “Weight training for fat loss? Are you mad!” Everyone assumes that you need to slog out hours of cardio or high intensity group classes to shed some pounds. Bu what if I told you weight training for fat loss is an awesome idea! In this blog post I’m going to cover the reasons you should be lifting weights to lose fat.
Increased metabolism after a weights workout
After a short intense session in the weights room your metabolism is elevated for up to 36 hours. This means your body is burning lots of calories even after the workout has stopped. In geek speak this is called EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption) and is the reason for the elevated metabolism. This is not the same for steady state cardio and calories stopped being burnt shortly after the workout ends. Cardio 0 – Weights 1.
If you are burning an extra 10 calories an hour whilst sitting on the sofa post workout, you are winning in life.
Increased BMR from more muscle
Things get a bit geeky at this point, put on your specs and lab coat for the full effect. Ahoy!
BMR = Basal Metabolic Rate
BMR is the amount of energy expended from the body per hour, whilst at rest. In other words the amount of calories used doing bugger all. This includes all your bodies’ functions to stay alive and keep you breathing, digesting food etc.
The higher a person’s BMR the more calories they can consume without gaining weight. So in an ideal world you would want you BMR as high as possible, so that you can eat lots and remain lean. Yeaahhh, more ice cream! There are ways to increase your BMR, and one of those ways is to increase muscle mass. This is one of the reasons men can eat more than women (among other reasons). Muscle uses energy (calories) just to remain functional, the more you have the more energy is needed.
Bear in mind that it is extremely difficult to build large amounts of muscle naturally, and takes many years of perseverance and consistency. Don’t think you will accidentally get ‘too big’.
Don’t get me wrong, if you performed loads of cardio and controlled your calories, you would lose weight. But when you lose the body fat you will have minimal muscle underneath to look lean, curvy and firm. It’s like a grand unveiling of a new outfit and the mannequin is made up of a skeleton from a biology class. No one really wants to look like a Victoria secrets model, strong is the new sexy (even for the lads). Having a full strong physique will not only look nice, but it will also prevent injuries and support your body throughout everyday life.
Don’t worry ladies you are not going to turn into Arnie overnight.
Every time I mention weights to female I can see her cringing inside. The fear of ‘accidentally’ turning into a muscle bound gorilla, dragging you knuckles along the floor is real. Let me assure you of how difficult it is to build muscle. There are many bodily functions within a female’s genetic make-up that makes that process even more difficult. The hormonal capacity within a woman’s body will not allow a huge amount of muscle to be built. Even for a man it is a difficult process. I have trained relatively consistently and eaten a reasonable balanced diet for nearly 10 years, and I have only gained approximately 1-1.5 stone of muscle mass. That’s a depressing 2.1 lbs per year at a push (I’m just going to go and cry myself to sleep). This may seem like a small amount, but it soon adds up to have a big impact.
Cardio has its place
Whilst I’m a big fan of lifting heavy objects repeatedly, I also understand that there is a place for cardio. Many bodybuilding types only see cardio as lifting any more than 15 reps, but there is more to it than that.
Cardio has many health benefits to the heart, lungs, brain function and general fitness. This doesn’t have to involve slogging it out on the treadmill for hours on end though. There are many types of exercise that would class as cardio. Activities such as walking, cooking and cleaning all have an impact on not only burning calories but improving fitness.
- High intensity interval training
- Metabolic circuits
- Biking to work
- Playing in the park with your kids
Cardio or weights?
The old age question of which one is the best to lose weight. Which one will reign champion? Well actually…neither. I think they should both be incorporated into a program for fat loss and they both play an important role within the body. I am a big fan of weight training and I think everyone, yes EVERYONE would benefit from lifting weights. Don’t fear the gym, get stuck in and will be surprised at effective the weights are for fat loss. So I’m sure you would agree that weight training for fat loss is an excellent idea, now hit the gym!
The brains, brawn and beauty of Dackattack (basically it’s just me). A personal trainer with a private gym in Norwich, dedicated to giving out simple, actionable advice that will give you outstanding results.