The Answer Might Surprise You…
When considering strategies for burning fat and losing weight, the natural instinct is to immediately think of cardio as the primary modality for weight loss. While cardio is an incredible tool, it’s certainly not the only way to achieve your weight-loss goals.
Contrary to popular belief, resistance training and building lean muscle tissue is an incredibly effective strategy for achieving long term weight loss. You may be wondering how this can be. After all, doesn’t muscle weigh more than fat?!
Not only can resistance training burn more calories than the same duration of a cardiovascular exercise, but it also elicits a process known as EPOC, or Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption; A process that continues to burn calories long after the workout itself is complete.
If weight loss is your ultimate goal, and keeping it off is your biggest hurdle, implementing an effective and consistent resistance training program might be the solution for you!
Of course, no workout regimen is effective without following a proper diet and nutrition plan.
What follows will be a discussion of how resistance training and strength training in conjunction with a dialled in diet is the best way to lose weight and keep it off for good!
Resistance Training for Weight Loss
To debunk the myth that weight trainingonly bulks you up, here’s an important note to consider.
Increasing the amount of lean muscle you have ultimately speeds up your metabolism, or your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). A faster metabolism results in higher caloric expenditures. Compounded over days and months, and the result is long-term weight loss.
In short, The reason resistance training is so imperative to weight loss is because it builds muscle, thus improving, or speeding up one’s metabolism. It may sound counterproductive, however, resistance training, if done properly, is extremely efficient at burning calories and thus burning fat.
With all of that being said, it’s important to note that cardiovascular exercise is still an incredibly helpful tool for weight loss, especially for those in a caloric deficit. Moreover, resistance training means nothing if not executed intensely and in conjunction with a proper diet.
It begs the question, why can’t do cardio AND resistance training?
Adding an aerobic capacity element to your weight training regimen is a fantastic idea not only for weight loss but for keeping your workouts interesting and engaging. While you can achieve this by implementing supersets and shorter rest times, there may be a more effective protocol…
It’s called HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training!
The Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training
The importance of intensity when it comes to resistance training and exercise in general is undeniable. Otherwise defined as effort, intensity during any given resistance workout is imperative to an effective, results-driven protocol.
Below are a few effective ways to implement intensity into your workout:
While all of these options are great and should be utilized to your advantage, there’s another effective exercise protocol that results in a similar stimulus. It’s called HIIT
High-Intensity Interval Training is an exercise protocol that combines aerobic exercises with anaerobic exercises to elicit a stimulus optimal for both fat burning and muscle gain, among other benefits.
While there are several ways to program a HIIT workout, it typically involves both mono-structural cardiovascular exercises and weight-bearing resistance exercises programmed in such a way that creates an intense environment optimal for achieving results.
The benefits and advantages of a HIIT-style exercise program are vast. Below are just a few of the main benefits reported:
Resistance training, and even better, High-Intensity Interval Training using weight-bearing exercises is the most effective way to burn fat, lose weight, and keep it off for good! However, as the saying goes:
“Abs are made in the kitchen…”
A well thought-out weight loss program inclusive of an effective resistance training program means nothing without following a proper diet.
Dial In Your Nutrition
While this article is largely focused on the importance of resistance training, it means nothing without proper nutrition. Your diet and total caloric intake plays a crucial role in your weight loss journey.
Taking the time to research what’s healthy and what isn’t will play dividends in the long run. Focus on the amount of food, the quality of food, and the timing at which you consume it, and you will quickly begin to see those pounds shed from the scale.
It’s important to note what diet and nutrition is and what it most definitely is NOT. First, a diet is one that you’ll stick to. It’s inclusive of healthy whole foods, fruits and vegetables, lean meats, nuts and seeds, and an abundance of water. What a diet isn’t, however, is a cookie cutter meal plan or a 4-week fad diet that promises magical results.
So, do the right thing, consume the right foods, and treat yourself every now and then. After all, life is meant to be enjoyed!
Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix on one’s journey towards weight loss. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy every step along the journey! Find a resistance training programthat you enjoy, and stay consistent. That paired with a healthy diet is an unstoppable recipe for success. Before you know it, you’ll be looking in the mirror at a whole new personIn, and welcoming them with open arms!