You think cardio is the most effective way of burning fat? Maybe that is true during a workout session, but strength training is the most effective way to keep burning fat—even after exercise. Your body adapts very quickly to the cardio sessions if it is constantly at the same pace. Not only can steady, repetitive cardio get boring, but your body needs more and more time on the cardio machine in order to see results. Most people aren’t aware that strength training is the most efficient weight loss tool because it produces muscles—muscles that are far hungrier for calories than compared to fats.
If you want to lose weight, opt for strength training. It may not seem as hot as cardio, but there’s no doubt that it’s just as (or more) effective in aiding weight loss. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. IT’S ANAEROBIC EXERCISE
Anaerobic exercises use short intervals of demanding, high-intensity movements. This type of weight loss training is perfect, as it relies on energy stored in your muscles rather than oxygen. Strength training belongs to this exercise category, and it’s responsible for the increase in muscle mass. How your muscle mass affects weight loss will be explained further as we go along. Anaerobic exercise basically builds muscles while cutting fat, which is really the most ideal way of losing weight through workout.
2. IT PRODUCES MUSCLES
Because strength training uses energy stored in the muscles, you produce more muscles doing this type of training. Producing muscles burns more calories than shedding fat: 10 pounds of muscle burns 50 calories after workouts, while 10 pounds of fat will burn, well you know how much fat burns… More so, losing weight will initially be easier, but will eventually be hard without muscles.
Strength training specifically leads to lean muscle gain. These are fat-free tissues that are highly metabolic, allowing more caloric burns than any other tissue in the body. Essentially, this is why strength training works best: it helps you lose fat while maintaining the muscles that in turn, burn calories.
3. IT ALLOWS THE “AFTER-BURN” EFFECT
Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) is the technical term for the “after-burn” effect. Because your strength training works more on intensity than duration, it best stimulates EPOC. During after-burn, when you’re done with your exercises and you’re breathing hard, your body is doing its best to ease you back to your pre-exercise state—expending high levels of energy as it does so.
Studies also show a linear relationship between weight training and EPOC. When the weight training intensifies, your EPOC time lasts longer. Currently, weighted high-intensity interval trainings (HIIT) are the most efficient workout programs to stimulate EPOC. So try to do super sets or a circuit in order to keep the intensity high. Start with 2 HIIT workouts per week. If you need help formulating or executing HIIT workouts, please contact me for more information.
4. IT ACCELERATES RESTING METABOLIC RATE (RMR)
Your resting metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories while at rest. Weight loss requires strength training because this type of workout increases the muscles that are more thermally active than fats. RMB is best increased with the help of muscle mass.
What makes RMR so important for weight loss? Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) has three key elements: 1) resting metabolic rate; 2) thermic effect of food; and 3) activity. Among these three, your RMR accounts for 60 to 70% of your daily caloric burn.
5. IT IMPROVES STRENGTH, ENABLING YOU TO DO MORE
The goals of strength training, as the name suggests, are to increase your strength and build useful muscles. When this achieved, you’re then able to do more work involving heavier loads in a shorter amount of time. This means more opportunities for calorie burn.
To put it plainly, strength allows a person to perform tasks. Your level of strength dictates your capacity to develop muscles; more muscles, more repetitions during workout. Additionally, the larger the loads you can handle, the more repair your muscles will need; hence, more energy used during RMR.
Aside from weight loss, here are 6 additional benefits to weight training:
1. IT IMPROVES CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
Because of the link between high body fat and an increased chance of developing cardiovascular disease, it is imperative to engage in physical activity. Strength training can improve heart health by helping to reduce the excess fat that releases hormones and proteins responsible for cardiac problems.
2. IT IMPROVES MENTAL HEALTH
Like the famous “runner’s high,” strength training and weightlifting are natural remedies to stress and anxiety. Endorphins triggered during exercise send signals to your brain that then work to boost your mood.
3. IT HELPS BUILD STRONGER BONES
Did you know that weightlifting contributes to bone health? Lifting long term can help increase bone density and strengthen your body’s tendons and ligaments. Consequently, you’ll reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and sustaining injuries.
4. IT IMPROVES JOINT FLEXIBILITY
Strength training requires a full range of motion (ROM) during movements. Naturally, the more time your joints spend adjusting to the various actions and lifts, the more mobility and flexibility you’ll notice over time.
5. IT IMPROVES BODY IMAGE
No matter the aesthetic result, strength training tests what the body can do. It gives you a sense of accomplishment that improves how you perceive your physical appearance.
6. IT REDUCES RISK OF CHRONIC DISEASE
Strength training helps alleviate the symptoms of many chronic diseases. It promotes faster sugar removal from the blood, which helps increase insulin sensitivity. This is incredibly beneficial in preventing type 2 diabetes. Weightlifting can also lower bad cholesterol and increase the good.
In summary, while your cardio and strength training may vary in aspects, they’re both important in weight loss. However, strength training is reasonably awarded as more efficient for long-term weight loss. Steer clear of workout myths and start your weight loss training with a personal trainer to help you shed those pounds in a safe and timely manner.
Your House of Shape Coach Angela