Losing weight is a frustrating process and a lot of steps are commonly missed. Strength training is one of those often ignored important factors. But this article will explain why strength training is important for weight loss so you don’t fall into that trap.
Strength training, also referred to as resistance training, is the process of performing physical activities and movements to develop improved physical attributes such as strength, endurance, power or even muscle.
A strength training activity involves performing a movement against some kind of resistance like free weights, a machine, or even just your own body weight.
By manipulating the variables like movement performs, volume, and even rest periods, different various different types of goals can be achieved.
There are various types of training styles you can follow like bodybuilding, powerlifting, or olympic style lifting, just to name a few.
Besides that, there is a lot of history, methods and opinions involved in the various aspects of strength training.
For now, this is all you need to know before we dive into why strength training is important for weight loss.
Calories burned during Strength Training
First and foremost, you need to be burning sufficient calories to be in a calorie deficit and move your number on the scale. You do that by moving more, and of course lifting weights will get you moving.
On average, according to medicalnewstoday.com you can expect to burn between 90 and 120 calories during just a short 30 minutes resistance training session.
Those calories can go a long way in the long run as they accumulate to lead to big results.
This calorie burn can further be increased by using a training style that uses smaller rest periods like super setting movements one after the other or following a circuit plan.
But there are more benefits than just burning calories that we will touch on.
Increased activity level during the day
The next thing to discuss is that strength training helps to increase your activity throughout the entire day.
Our daily lifestyle and the small movements we do throughout the entire day contribute very heavily to the energy we use. A more active lifestyle means more calories are required to maintain your current weight, thus a calorie deficit is much easier to create.
Resistance training can help increase this daily movement through various factors.
1, Lifting weights leads to the release of hormones that improve your mood. It is much easier to be active on a day when you are happier and motivated.
2, Accomplishing a good gym session can lead to better decision making throughout the day on choices like foods and movement.
Muscles gained from strength training increases Calories burned at rest
Alright, so the next reason why strength training is important for weight loss, is because adding muscle mass increases your resting metabolic rate, or RMR.
RMR refers to the energy used while at rest, like relaxing on the couch.
If we compared two individuals of the same height, weight, health and lifestyle, the one with more muscle mass would burn more calories.
This is because muscle takes more energy to maintain than fat.
According to the American Council on Exercise, 1 pound of muscle burns 7 to 10 calories per day while a pound of fat burns 2 to 3 calories.
While that might not seem like a lot, somebody with 15 more pounds of muscle can burn over 100 calories more each day than their peers while at rest.
With that kind of added muscle, you will probably feel and look a lot better, the increase in calories is a nice added bonus.
EPOC: The secret weapon
Next, strength training increases your EPOC, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.
This is the process in which the body works to return and replenish the body to how it was before exercising.
A higher epoc, means more calories are burned in the hours following a workout.
The international journal of exercise science published a study in 2021 that measured the effects of EPOC.
In the study a group of fit young women were randomly assigned either a hiit workout or regular strength training.
The study resulted in the conclusion that both training styles resulted in an elevated calorie burn for 14 hours post exercise.
The baseline level without exercise was on average 30+- 3 calories per 30 minutes.
HIT led to 33+-4 calories per 30 minutes, and strength training was just slightly higher at 33+-5 calories.
So strength training in this setting, led to more calorie burn post session when compared to the more intense HIIT training style.
By strength training you get various benefits aside from weight loss like increased mood, strength and performance.
Specifically, strength training can also help with weight loss by burning calories, increasing muscle mass, and leading to higher calorie burn long after your session is done.
Don’t ignore the weights, make sure to incorporate them into your routine.
And of course, working out can help, but your primary weight loss results will come from the work you put into the kitchen.