This week we are going to talk about why weight lifting is more beneficial than just cardio based exercise for weight loss!
Weight lifting, also known as resistance training, has been loved for centuries as a way of building muscular strength. Extensive research has shown that weight training, whether done via body weight, resistance bands or machines, dumbbells or free weights, not only helps us build strength, but also improves muscle size and helps counteract age-related muscle loss. In recent years it’s also become extremely popular among men and women looking to lose weight.
One of the main reasons for its effectiveness for fat loss is because weight lifting is unique in that it helps you burn calories long after you finish working out - for up to 48 hours in fact and even as you sleep!
This phenomenon related to weight training is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) – though more commonly known as the “after-burn effect”.
This is different to cardio exercise such as cycling running or spinning where you are only burning calories during the session but not after.
As such, weight lifting is a more effective way to lose excess fat due to the high calorie cost of the actual training session, and the “after-burn effect”.
Weight training can also be effective for long-term weight loss too. This is because muscle size plays a major role in determining resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is how many calories your body requires to function at rest.
Increasing muscle size through weight training increases RMR, thereby increasing or sustaining fat loss over time. A review of 18 studies found that resistance training was effective at increasing resting metabolic rate, at whereas aerobic exercise and combined aerobic and resistance exercise were not as effective.
In short, muscle burns calories even at rest, so the more muscle and less fat you have the more calories you burn!
So as you can see weight training helps with fat loss in a number of ways by increasing both after-burn after exercise, and by increasing muscle size, thereby increasing the number of calories we burn at rest. Combining it with a healthy diet will only further increase the loss of excess body fat – and may also provide other positive health benefits.
So if you looking to drop some body fat over the winter I would strongly suggest that you consider taking up weight training and if your not sure where to start then we have a team of qualified personal trainers in the gym ready to guide you each step of the way. All you have to do is show up and leave the rest to us!
For more details check out the Flame Fit Gym website www.flamefitgym.ie