Building muscle and strength training is not reserved for bodybuilders alone. In fact, when bodybuilders are getting ready for competition, they don’t ditch the weights and hit the treadmill to shed their excess body fat. While it’s true that cardio burns more calories than weight training per active session, there are so many other health and aesthetic benefits that its criminal not to include a strength training routine as part of your weight loss efforts. Here, we list the top 3 reasons why you need to be weight training to lose weight.
- Raises Your Resting Metabolic Rate
During a single, intense cardio workout, you can burn close to 500 calories (or more, depending on length and intensity of your workout). On the other hand, a strength training workout at a moderate intensity may only burn between 150-250 calories. If weight loss and fat burning is the goal, and you need to burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound, why on earth would you replace cardio with weight training?
While your cardio workout may torch 500 calories, once your workout is done, so is your calorie burn. However, when you finish a weight training session, your body can continue to run at a higher metabolic rate for up to 36 hours. This means that post workout, while you’re sitting in the car on the drive home or sitting down to watch some TV before bed, your body is still burning calories with zero effort on your part. By swapping in some weight training for a few of your cardio sessions, you can help keep your calorie burn revved up for more effective weight loss.
- Helps Create a Healthier Body Composition
Body composition indicates how much of your weight is coming from the different tissues that make up your body and is split into two major groups: body fat, and lean mass. Lean mass includes everything that isn’t fat, including organs, bones, and lean muscle.
Have you tried a weight training program for weight loss before, but couldn’t get those numbers on the scale to move very much? While you may not have lost any actual weight, there’s a good chance that you lost some fat and replaced it with some lean muscle mass. By weight training, you encourage your body to burn calories and fat to build and repair muscle. Muscle takes more energy to maintain than fat tissue, and so more lean muscle on your frame means more calorie burn. What’s more, lean muscle mass helps keep future weight (fat) gain under control, as the body continues to run at a higher metabolic rate.
The health benefits of keeping a leaner body composition are vast, and include reduced risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and even some cancers. Having more muscle on your frame also helps keep your hormones in check. For men, excess fat has a detrimental effect on testosterone levels, which in turn makes it easier to accumulate more fat and harder to build muscle. To help support your testosterone levels even more, try pairing a weight training routine with a supplement like HF Labs Delta Prime, which helps support your body’s natural testosterone production. By weight training, you build lean muscle mass that helps keep your metabolism up and your body fat accumulation down.
- Makes You Look Better
Cardio and a calorie deficit will definitely help you lose weight. However, while losing fat, you’ll also end up losing muscle if you don’t maintain or build it with an added strength training routine. Without building muscle, even though you’ll be smaller, you’ll still look soft, and possibly a little deflated. If your goal is to look tight, toned, and fit, you have to lift some weights. If you’re worried about bulking up too much – don’t be. It takes a lot of dedication to get really big, so unless you’re actively pursuing that goal, it’s not likely to happen by accident!
Hopefully learning some of the benefits of weight lifting have convinced you to add it to your regular exercise routine. To get the most out of strength training, stick to big, compound movements that work multiple muscles at one time. These exercises include squats, bench press, deadlifts, and pullups. You will burn more calories, raise your metabolic rate, and you’ll get through your workout much faster while still putting in enough work to make real gains. If you’ve never done this kind of training before, it’s worth it to book a few sessions with a personal trainer to learn how to execute the movements properly.