Often when people hear the term ‘weight loss,’ they instinctively think of cardio-based exercises (running or cycling) or severe dietary restrictions.
While these aspects may be beneficial, there is another key player in the weight loss journey that’s often overlooked: strength training.
Strength training, also known as resistance or weight training, involves performing exercises that make your muscles work against some form of resistance.
This can be achieved by lifting weights, using resistance bands, or even your body weight.
Despite its significant benefits, strength training is frequently underappreciated in the realm of weight loss, and it’s about time we shed light on its importance.
1. Burn Calories More Efficiently
One of the primary benefits of strength training is that it helps build lean muscle mass. As muscles are metabolically active tissues, they burn more calories than fat, even at rest.
In other words, the more muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate becomes.
This means you’re burning calories throughout the day, not just during your workout, leading to more effective weight loss and maintenance.
2. Boost Your Metabolism
By now, you may have encountered the term “starvation mode.” It refers to the body’s natural response to severe calorie restriction, which results in a slowed metabolism as your body tries to conserve energy.
This response can be counterproductive to weight loss efforts.
Strength training produces the opposite response. By promoting muscle growth, it keeps your metabolism fired up, ensuring your body burns calories efficiently.
3. Enhance Body Composition
Losing weight doesn’t always equate to improved health or aesthetics.
Sometimes, losing weight can also involve losing muscle mass, leading to a “skinny-fat” appearance.
Strength training helps you lose fat and not muscle, enhancing your overall body composition. It shapes and tones your body, helping you look leaner and stronger.
4. Improve Physical Health and Mental Well-being
Strength training is not just beneficial for weight loss but also boosts overall health.
It strengthens bones, improves balance, and aids in the prevention of chronic diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Moreover, strength training, like other forms of exercise, helps improve mood, reduce stress, and promote better sleep, contributing to improved mental health.
5. Long-lasting Results
While cardio workouts can burn more calories during the workout, strength training has a longer-lasting effect.
Known as the “afterburn effect” or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), your body continues to burn calories post strength training as it works to repair and build the muscles worked out.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s body responds differently to exercise and diet, and what works best for one person might not necessarily work best for another.
Incorporating strength training into your routine doesn’t mean you should forego other types of exercise.
The best approach is often a balanced mix of strength, cardio, and flexibility training.
6. Incorporating Strength Training
Start slowly if you’re new to strength training. If you’re starting without any coaching, you may want to start with bodyweight exercises and then gradually add weights as you get stronger.
Aim for at least two strength training sessions per week.
Strength training is a potent tool in your weight loss arsenal.
By building lean muscle, boosting your metabolism, and enhancing your body composition, it helps not only in shedding those extra pounds but also in maintaining your weight in the long run.
So if you’re trying to lose weight or just improve your general health, don’t forget to include some strength training. Your body will thank you for it.
Unsure how to get started with strength training?
Reply to my email and we can set up some time to discuss how we can help.