When it comes to weight loss, many people primarily focus on cardiovascular exercises like running or cycling. However, incorporating strength and resistance training into your fitness routine can significantly enhance your fat loss journey. Not only does strength training promote muscle development, but it also increases your metabolism, improves body composition, and offers numerous health benefits. In this article, we will explore the top five reasons why strength and resistance training is important for fat loss.
- Boosts Metabolism. Strength and resistance training are highly effective in increasing your metabolic rate. Unlike cardio exercises that burn calories only during the workout, strength training continues to burn calories long after your session has ended. As you build lean muscle mass, your body requires more energy to maintain and repair these muscles, leading to a higher basal metabolic rate (BMR). This elevated BMR means that you'll burn more calories throughout the day, even while at rest, aiding in fat loss.
- Preserves Lean Muscle Mass. One of the main challenges during weight loss is maintaining muscle mass while losing fat. Without incorporating strength training, a significant portion of the weight you lose may come from muscle. This can lead to a decrease in overall metabolic rate (which is a significant reason why post strict diets we generally put the weight back on plus more), making it harder to continue burning calories efficiently. By engaging in regular strength training exercises, you can preserve and even increase your lean muscle mass, ensuring that weight loss primarily comes from fat stores.
- Enhances Body Composition. The scale alone doesn't provide a complete picture of your progress. While weight loss is a common goal, improving body composition by reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass is equally important, if not more. Strength training helps sculpt your body by toning and defining muscles. As you build muscle, your body becomes more compact and leaner, giving you a more slimmer physique. Even if the scale doesn't show a drastic decrease in weight, the visible changes in your body composition and how your clothes fit will be noticeable and rewarding. Remember 1kg of fat and 1kg of muscle is the exact same weight on a set of scales, however muscle is dense whereas fat occupies more space.
- Long-Term Calorie Burning. Unlike the calorie burn achieved during cardio workouts, strength training offers a long-term advantage. While cardiovascular exercises burn calories primarily during the workout, the effects quickly diminish. In contrast, strength training helps build muscle fibres that require energy for maintenance and repair, resulting in continuous calorie burning. This means that even on days when you're not actively exercising, your body is still working to repair and strengthen your muscles, helping you burn calories and lose fat in the process. Our recommendation is a minimum 2 full body resistance session per week for the rest of your life.
- Improved Overall Health. Strength and resistance training offer more benefits beyond fat loss. Regular strength training has been linked to improved bone density, reduced risk of osteoporosis, enhanced insulin sensitivity, and better cardiovascular health. It also contributes to improved mental well-being, increased confidence, and enhanced functional abilities in daily activities. By incorporating strength training into your routine, you'll not only achieve your fat loss goals but also experience a multitude of health benefits.
Incorporating strength and resistance training into your fitness routine is essential for effective fat loss and overall health. By boosting your metabolism, preserving lean muscle mass, enhancing body composition, and promoting long-term calorie burning, strength training accelerates your progress towards achieving a leaner and healthier body. So, don't shy away from the weights!