Strength Training For Fat Loss
When it comes to fat loss, most people rely solely on cardio and dieting and end up leaving strength training completely out of the mix. However, strength training can burn just as much, if not more, fat than cardio. So why is it that most people choose cardio as their primary fat burner?
Well for one, cardio has a much lower learning curve. Strength training can also seem quite intimidating to those who haven’t tried it, but there really isn’t anything to be afraid of. In fact, strength training is one of the best methods you can use to achieve fat loss. So now that we know strength training can be used for fat loss, let’s find out why it works.
#1: Strength Training Burns Calories After Your Workout
While cardio is a good way to burn calories, it doesn’t burn as many calories post workout as strength training does. Strength training is in essence, the gift that keeps on giving. Strength training has high EPOC, Excess Post-Oxygen Consumption, which means there is a high need for oxygen in your body post workout.
When your body has an increased need for oxygen, it burns more calories when you are resting. In fact, EPOC burns 13% more calories 3 hours after you workout and 4% more after 16 hours. Low-intensity cardio barely activates EPOC, and therefore doesn’t burn nearly as many calories post workout as strength training. Strength training can also boost your metabolism for up to thirty eight hours after your workout, which is definitely a plus.
#2: Compound Movements = More Calories Burnt
What is a compound exercise? Well it is an exercise that engages multiple joints and muscle groups. This is much different from an isolation exercise, like tricep dips, which focus solely on your triceps.
When strength training, you usually focus on either isolation or compound exercises. However, compound exercises tend to burn more calories because more muscles are needed to preform it. Some good examples of compound exercises are:
- Squats: Engage your glutes, back, core, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
- Bench Press: Primarily engages your pectorals, shoulders, and triceps.
- Deadlift: Engages pretty much every major muscle in the body. However, the primary muscles trained are your glutes, hamstrings, and back muscles.
- Pull Up: Primary muscles engaged are your back muscles, biceps, and forearms.
Compound exercises are great for fat loss because they burn a significant amount of calories. They have so many benefits and are able to train many muscles at once, rather the focusing on only one.
#3: Muscle Burns Fat
I am sure you already know that the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn. Muscle is a major fat burner, and that’s certainly no surprise. Muscle mass requires significantly more energy to maintain than fat. Which means that the more healthy muscle you have, the more calories your body needs, even in its resting state.
When you are resting, 1 pound of muscle can burn 50 calories! This number is significantly more appealing when you consider the fact that 1 pounds of fat only burns 5 calories when you are resting. Strength training actively builds your muscle mass, which in turn stimulates fat loss. Bottom line is, strength training is one of the most effective ways to stimulate fat loss.
#4: The Benefits
Strength training has a crazy amount of benefits, and that’s pretty exciting. Aside from fat loss and increased muscle mass, strength training can help increase your coordination and even your mood. Some of the major benefits of strength training are:
- Improves Bone Density: Strength training can help prevent osteoporosis, and can have a direct impact on bone health and density.
- Lowers Inflammation: Inflammation can be extremely deadly, and can be a contributing factor to many chronic diseases. Strength training can help significantly lower your risk of inflammation.
- Increased Strength: Strength training increases muscle strength and makes it much easier to preform daily tasks. This can also lead to an increase in energy, because you exert much less energy in order to preform your daily chores.
In the end, strength training truly is one of the best ways to stimulate fat loss. It promotes muscle growth and strength, and keeps burning calories hours after you have worked out.
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Author: Chris Friesen
Chris Friesen is a gym owner, personal trainer, online fitness coach and former “fat dad” living on 60 beautiful acres of countryside in rural Canada.
He specializes in helping busy parents shed body fat quickly, WITHOUT becoming gym rats OR giving up the foods they love to eat.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids, sitting in his hot tub out in the snow with a glass of bourbon, and yelling at his (many) misbehaving barn cats.