5 Reasons You Need Strength Training For Fat Loss
Sally has just finished a 12-week challenge. She is happy that she lost 10kg. However, she isn’t happy with how her body looks. Sally still had loose skin behind her arms and under her armpits. She still struggled to lift her kids up. Sally wondered why she still had loose skin and was weak even though she lost 10kg, did cardio and lifted weights...
You see, Sally’s training program comprised mostly of cardio exercises and circuits. Even when it was “strength training” day, she would use light weights and do hundreds of reps. The results?
Sally lost weight, however, her body composition was similar to when she was heavier. The main difference is that the scale told her she was 10kg lighter.
Why did Sally’s body composition still look the same? Because she didn’t prioritise strength training!
A common question people have about fat loss training is whether you need to perform different exercises and training methods when you are trying to loss fat vs trying to build muscle.
The answer is NO. No matter what your goals are, strength training should be the number 1 priority.
The factor that will determine whether you gain muscle, lose fat or stay the same is how much you put in your mouth; otherwise known as calorie deficit!
This article will cover what strength training is and 5 reasons strength training is essential for fat loss.
Let’s do it!
What is strength training?
Strength training, is the act of putting your body through external resistance to strengthen your muscles and bones. Strength training can be done through lifting weights, performing body weight exercises, using bands, cables and plenty of other tools. The goal of strength training is to increase your body’s ability to overcome load.
Why is strength training important for fat loss?
Strength training should be the number 1 component of fat loss. In today’s article, you will learn 5 reasons why strength training is essential when it comes to fat loss!
1) Strength training builds muscles.
Regularly strength training builds muscles. There is no downside to having muscles.
You’ve probably heard, or you yourself have said “I don’t want to build muscles because I don’t want to get bulky”. The good, or bad news (depending on where you sit) is that strength training on its own won’t cause you to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
There are plenty of factors that need to be present, in order to build muscles like Mr. Olympia. If all it took to build bulging, well defined muscles were lifting weights, everyone whose ever lifted weights before will be walking around looking like a bodybuilder. However, this is not the case!
So, lift some weights!
2) Why are muscles important for fat loss? Because muscles are what give your body shape.
You’ve probably said something along the lines of “I want to ‘tone’ *insert body part here” before. Toning means muscle building. When you say “I want to tone my arms”, you want it defined and have a better shape than it currently has, right?
To have any well define muscles, you need muscle mass in that area!
You’ve probably seen people who only performed cardio exercises and no strength training. People who prioritise cardio over strength training will be less define, have loose skin and will generally look like a skinnier version of themselves.
There’s nothing wrong with having loose skin or no defined muscles. At least you are in healthier place than before. However, if you want a tighter, defined body you need to perform strength training!
3) Muscles burn more calories than fat.
If you take two people who weigh the same but have different body composition, the person who is leaner, with higher muscle mass, is the one who will be burning more calories.
Muscles consumes more calories to maintain and move than fat. Granted, the difference isn’t great. However, an extra 50 to 100 calories per day burned just for having more muscle mass is not a bad thing.
4) Strength training strengthens muscles and protects bones and joints.
Muscles are what enables you to move your body. Weak muscles won’t protect your joints the way it should. Weak muscles may reduce your body’s ability to move through a full range of motion. Weak muscles may also cause injuries.
You may be thinking what muscle strengthening, bone and joint protection has to do with losing fat? At Bryan B Fitness, it is about ensuring you have a strong base. A strong base starts with strong muscles and bones.
Strong muscles and bones will lessen the likelihood of getting injured. Staying injury free will help you keep making progress, and help with your morale. Remember, it’s about consistency and you won’t have consistency if you are constantly injured!
5) Strength training is an excellent way to track progress!
In an ideal world, fat loss should be consistent every week. However, this isn’t the case. You’ll have some weeks where you lose consistently, followed by weeks of stagnation. It’s just part of the fat loss journey.
That is why using a performance base goal to track progress is important. You might not be able to see changes in your body every week, but you can see changes in your performance.
You can easily measure if you lift heavier weights than last week, or are able to do 10 push ups instead of 5. Being able to see progress week to week will help you stay motivated and help keep you on track while on your journey.
There you have it, 5 reasons why you should be prioritising strength training when fat loss is the goal.
Putting all the very good reason listed in this article aside, there’s nothing like the feeling of lifting a weight you never thought possible. The look on a middle-aged Mums face as she deadlifts her own body weight off the ground is priceless. The confidence and freedom an elderly Grandma feel when she squats to depth while holding a 10kg dumbbell is amazing.
Strength training has plenty of benefits. As they say “there’s no downside to being strong! There is a downside to being weak!"
Originally, there was going to be a second part to this article. However, to ensure this article isn’t too long, it’ll be split it in two.
Look out for next week’s article to learn how to start with strength training!
To get started on your fat loss, fitness and health journey, click below now!