How does strength training help you lose weight?

Published: May. 7

Are you trying to lose weight but your weight loss has reached a plateau? You need to consider adding strength training to your routine, as this is one of the best types of workouts for weight loss.

Many people don’t associate strength training with weight loss. Most people turn to cardio or other types of exercises thinking those are the only activities that will help them lose weight. WRONG. Strength training can give your metabolism that extra boost it needs to help you shed those last unwanted pounds.

While strength training won’t give you the cardio high you get from a cycling or Zumba class, it will help you build long, lean muscles. Having more muscle means that while at rest your body naturally burns more calories.

Build Lean Muscle

While aerobic exercise is effective at helping you lose weight, you will lose both fat and muscle. Adding resistance training, such as strength building exercise to your routine, can help you build muscle. Unfortunately, people that only do cardio exercises can be losing muscle mass over time, which slows down the metabolism. This can lead to a weight-loss plateau. A combination of cardio and strength training helps to boost muscle mass over time.

Higher Base Metabolic Rate (BMR)

When you have more lean muscle, your body will naturally burn more calories while at rest. Your BMR is how many calories your body burns at rest all day – not exercising, but if you were just to sit and watch “Game of Thrones” all day. It takes the body more effort – and hence more calories – to maintain a pound of muscle than it does a pound of fat. Therefore, the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest.

When you gain muscle, it’s denser, so it’s important to not focus too much on the numbers on the scale, but more on how your clothes fit.

Burn More Calories

If you want to burn even more calories during your strength training sessions, you can maximize the burn by increasing the number of reps, moving quickly during sets, choosing slightly heavier weights or adding in cardio exercises between strength moves, such as jumping on the treadmill to run or jog for five minutes in between.

Incorporating Strength Training into Weight Loss

It’s important to do both strength training and cardio exercises regularly. Both have major health benefits and in combination can help you lose the weight you want and help you maintain your weight loss. Consider incorporating strength training two to three times into your regular weekly routines. It’s also important to alternate with a day without strength training to give your body a rest. You can combine cardio into your strength training routines, so try replacing your strict cardio sessions with some strength training workouts.

Strength Training Exercises

Strength training exercises are defined as those exercises that help to challenge your muscles through resistance. Here are some great strength-training examples:

  • Weight Lifting
  • Resistance Bands
  • Dumbbells
  • Body Weight/Gravity

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