Looking to lose weight?
If you’ve packed on a few too many pounds over the last few months and are now looking to get lean and fit for the summer ahead, you might be browsing through different workout regimes.
Your first instinct might be to run out and hop on the nearest piece of cardio equipment you can find. The more hours you put in, the better the progress you’ll make – right?
The fact is, cardio training, while helpful and never a ‘bad’ thing, isn’t ideal for fat loss purposes. But yet, many choose to believe that’s the best route to go.
So if cardio’s out, what’s in?
The workout that you may chalk up to those looking to get bulky is actually the same workout that will get you leaner and looking your best.
Why does strength training earn top marks as far as fat loss is concerned? Let’s show you the many reasons so you’ll be convinced this is the workout for you. See our guide to forearm workouts and strength training for adequate fat loss.
Resting Metabolic Rate
The very first benefit and one of the biggest benefits that strength training has to offer comes with the number it will do on your resting metabolic rate. Remember that your resting metabolic rate represents how many calories you burn over a 24 hour period without doing any exercise at all. Basically, if you did nothing but lay in bed, this is how many calories you would burn.
Since weight loss comes down to how many calories you burn off versus how many calories you consume, the higher your resting metabolic rate is, the easier the entire fat loss process will be.
With cardio training, you’ll generally burn calories while you do your workout session, but after that, your calorie burn returns to baseline values.
With strength training, on the other hand, you’ll not only burn calories while you are at the gym, but you can actually elevate your resting metabolic rate for up to 48 hours post-workout. This literally means you’ll be burning fat faster while you sleep.
If you do three workout sessions per week spread out by a day in between, you’ll be torching calories faster all week long.
This can really make a dramatic difference on the overall results that you see.
The next reason strength training is a must-do is that it’s the best form of exercise for helping you maintain lean muscle mass. This is important because every pound of muscle on your body helps elevate your resting metabolic rate higher as well.
Case in point: look at your average man versus your average smaller woman. Who can eat more? Almost always, the man will. The primary reason for this is because the man has far more lean muscle mass tissue compared to that tiny woman.
The more muscle you have, the more food you can eat without gaining body fat.
Sadly, many people tend to lose muscle when on a lower calorie diet. The only way around this is by ensuring that your body is convinced it needs to preserve that muscle to complete its daily activities. Add strength training into the equation and you’ve done just that.
By strength training, you ensure that any weight you do lose is primarily fat mass, not the lean muscle that you’ve worked so hard to build.
Body Transformation Benefits
The next reason to consider strength training is that it’s also the only form of exercise that will help transform your body completely. If you want a ‘full body make-over’ so to speak, it’s strength training that will make this possible.
When all you do is hours and hours of cardio, you may lose weight, but generally, you’ll just end up looking like a smaller version of your current self. In fact, if you do lose muscle, you may look even softer and appear to have more total body fat than you did before.
With strength training, on the other hand, you’ll actually create a tighter, more muscular, leaner version of yourself. You’ll gain curves in the right places and help firm up your body as your overall body composition changes.
When you strength train, you’ll find you gain a new level of confidence that you never had before in your body. Not only are you more proud of how you look, but you’ve gained a new level of appreciation for what your body can achieve as well. Each time you are able to add more weight to your exercises, you’ll find this in itself gives you a great feeling of accomplishment.
For this reason, consider strength training to provide both a body and mind transformation.
Another great thing about strength training is unlike cardio training where you are doing the same repetitive motion over and over again strength training is constantly changing. You’ll be doing a wide variety of different exercises and in a different sequence, therefore there is no room to be bored.
This means greater adherence to your workout program overall and that can also mean superior results.
Less psychological boredom in the gym also generally means a reduced chance of hitting a plateau as well as when your mind is engaged, your body is as well. Those who go to the gym and do the same thing day after day are often very quick to plateau as nothing is changing. Just take a good look at someone who’s been doing cardio for years. Has their body really changed?
Getting Started Today
So as you can see, strength training is definitely the route to go if you want to achieve optimal fat loss results. Know that it’s never too late to get started on a strength training program either. Young or old, male or female, you too can start performing strength training activities.
Once you see the results, you’ll never look back.