While people usually associate weight training with building muscle and bodybuilding, it actually plays an absolutely vital role in fat loss as well. There are people out there who believe that aerobic exercise is the only type of exercise they have to do in order to lose fat. Unfortunately, these people are greatly selling themselves short of the progress they could’ve seen had they implemented weight training into their routine.
Why Cardio And Diet Are Not Enough
It’s not enough to simply eat right and do cardio to lose fat. It’s imperative that you incorporate a weekly weight training routine into your schedule as well. When people go on calorie-restricted diets and begin cardio exercise, they begin to lose weight. Notice how I used the word weight and not fat? I did that on purpose. Not only will people in this scenario lose fat, but they’ll also lose lean muscle mass. Their entire bodies will be getting smaller. In the game of fat loss, lean muscle should be considered just as valuable as diamonds. As you know, the amount of lean muscle you have on your body directly correlates to your metabolism. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories are burned at rest, the faster your metabolism, the greater your fat loss.
Many people get into a fat loss routine with the mindset that they’ll do their cardio first to lose the fat, and once that’s done, they’ll start weight lifting to gain muscle. This way of thinking is all wrong. First off, they’ll never lose as much fat doing only cardio as they would have had they done both cardio and weight training together. Second of all, weight training actually accelerates the rate of fat loss by a large margin.
Taking resistance training a little too literally…
For those of you who are carrying a great deal of excess body fat, you know how difficult it can be simply carrying it around with you everywhere you go. Your body has adjusted to this excess amount of fat by actually increasing your muscle mass as well. If you were to cut your caloric intake and do cardio on a frequent basis, the higher level of muscle you developed would begin to decrease as well as your fat. When muscle is such a valuable tool for losing fat, wouldn’t it be great if you could maintain most of this muscle mass, and only lose fat? Well, weight training is the answer. Instead of simply getting smaller, with weight training you’ll increase the muscle to fat ratio in your body. Remember, the more lean muscle mass, the more calories you burn, even while sitting on the couch! Almost like cheating, isn’t it?
One of the greatest things about resistance training for weight loss, on top of maintaining or adding to your muscle mass, is that you’ll be burning calories long after the workout itself. Lifting weights has a much greater thermogenic effect than any kind of cardiovascular exercise (yes, even HIIT). The main fat burning effects don’t come from the workout itself, but from the hours after it. This, combined with the ability to maintain or build muscle mass, makes weight training a formidable weapon in your fat loss arsenal.
The Fat Loss Trifecta
Keep in mind that it is through an indirect mechanism that weight training helps you lose fat. It is not a replacement for the huge amount of calories that doing cardio can burn and should not be thought of as such. Implementing weight training, cardio, and a carefully put together nutrition plan is the only way to achieve fast, permanent, and effective fat loss. Not using a single one of these tools in your fat loss program would be a loss worth far more than the sum of it’s parts. For example, if you were to take cardio out of the weight lifting/cardio/nutrition trifecta, you wouldn’t see 66% of the results had you not taken it out; you’d probably see 20% of the results. The three work synergistically together to provide you with the absolutely best fat loss program on the planet. I guarantee you won’t get better with results with any other approach.