There are at least 3 reasons why including strength training in your fat loss programmes will make them more effective.
During a fat loss programme we’re going to be want our clients to be eating slightly less than they normally would.
One of the side effects of reducing intake is weight loss. All good, right? Sure, except if the weight loss that happens to be more muscle loss than fat loss. And in the absence of strength training when you reduce total caloric intake the body will lose fat, but it’ll lose muscle too.
An effective fat loss programme needs to get your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) up as high as possible. The problem with losing muscle is that the less muscle you have, the lower your RMR. And the lower your RMR the fewer calories you burn throughout the day.
On the flip side, the more muscle you have the faster your metabolism and more calories you burn through each day.
How does lifting weights ensure you maintain your muscle and keep your metabolism running high?
Because strength training taxes your muscles it shows your body that you really do need your muscles. It wants to keep those muscles to make all those squats you’re going to be doing easier.
So when your body has to decide what to burn for energy – so long as you’re strength training regularly – it’ll prioritise fat burning over breaking down muscle tissue for fuel.
While traditional cardio training (like running) burns calories and gets you out of breath during a workout, it has little effect on your metabolism after the session.
Bearing in mind that most of us are only going to be working out 3-5 hours per week at best we need something that affects our body in between training sessions too.
Strength training does that.
To recover from a strength training session your muscles need to go through a process of repair and regeneration. This ultimately takes energy to do. Which means more calories required to help fuel the recovery process.
Studies have shown that the the recovery process after an intense strength training session contributes to a phenomena known as “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption” or the more easily remembered “EPOC”.
Think of EPOC as afterburn. And it can fire up your metabolism for up to 72 hour after a training session
Most of our clients come to us wanting to tone up. I believe that means being firmer and having less wobble.
Strength training is going to improve muscle definition for sure. So as their BF% comes down there’s not only less wobble, but firm, well defined muscles are there waiting to be revealed.
That muscle definition contributes to a more attractive physique and gives a more balanced body shape.
But most importantly, it helps avoid the soul destroying situation where someone diets hard, loses weight only to find they’re a slightly smaller version of a body shape they weren’t happy with in the first place.
Today we’ve covered the importance of including strenth training in an effective fat loss programme.
And learned that by lifting weights regularly we can maintain lean mass (muscle), increase our resting metabolic rate (so more calories get burned at rest) and achieve a body shape and level of muscle definition we’re happy with.