While weight training is generally not considered a part of a “burning fat” and “losing weight” program, it may actually lead you to burn just as much fat, or even more, as cardio, leading to better health overall. While stationary aerobic exercises such as running are great ways to lose fat, strength training comes with the added bonus that helps to achieve fat-loss goals.
In fact, muscle building actually helps you lose weight, increasing your metabolism rate, helping you burn more calories while at rest. Having more muscle on your body, with less body fat, increases your basal metabolic rate, meaning that you burn more calories while at rest, helping you over the long haul. Even if you are not planning on packing on mass, maintaining your muscle mass when losing weight is important, because if you just drop a couple of pounds, your basal metabolic rate could decrease because of how your body responds to your weight change.
The best way to get lean, shed body fat, and burn more calories is to really go heavy with your lifting and resting for longer periods of time. That way, you have got more energy for your heavy lifts, and you are better equipped to maximize your fat burn while doing aerobic exercise. Weightlifting may, in some cases, actually be a more effective strategy for fat loss than cardio alone.
Cardio helps weight loss, enhances cardiovascular health, and exposes muscles that you sculpted. What lifting weights does, though, is build strength, increase lean muscle and enhance overall body composition. As mentioned above, dieting without weightlifting cuts down on fat as well as lean muscle, making you physically weaker overall.
Certain lifting exercises demand that you recruit the entire body, burning calories while gaining muscle. For instance, weight training is more effective at building muscle than cardio, and muscles burn more calories when they are rested than certain other tissues, including fat (3).
It is true that cardio exercises may burn more calories when you are working out, but the benefits of weight training last long after you leave your gym class. Staying means the calories-burning benefits of weights are not limited to the time when you are exercising. When you do heavy lifting-intensive training, your body continues burning calories at higher rates for hours after your workout.
Working multiple separate muscle groups each session also requires higher energy expenditure post-training as part of the bodys recovery process, so you continue burning fat. If burning fat is your goal, then doing a whole-body workout each time you hit the gym makes perfect sense.
Cardio exercises that are done for minutes at a time burn more calories than weight workouts because of the continued intensity and, therefore, they can help you to burn fat while eating a wider, healthier diet. This might sound counterintuitive, and certainly depends on the type of weight training and also on how much cardiovascular activity is done, but resistance training does indeed help to burn fat. More importantly, other studies show that HIIT-style workouts can burn roughly as many calories as traditional cardio, though this depends on how intense your exercise is.
More importantly, because strength training increases the number and size of calorie-burning muscle fibers fueling performance, perkins says that strength training can actually help you burn more calories while doing aerobic exercises. Weight loss requires strength training because this type of workout builds muscles, which are more heat-active than fat. Anaerobic exercises are ideal since they depend on the energy stored in the muscles instead of oxygen. Anaerobic exercises basically build muscle by cutting fat, and this is truly the ideal way to lose weight with training.
Muscles play a part in increasing your metabolism, which can help you to alter your body composition and burn more fat. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so the more of it you have, the more calories you are going to burn — and the better chance you have of keeping the fat off, says sports physiologist Dr Leigh Breen. Building means you can tolerate more weight in the long run, as your body quickly adjusts and as a result, you start burning more fat, even at rest. This suggests strength training is better than cardio for helping people lose belly fat, since while aerobic exercises burn fat as well as muscle, lifting weights burns fat almost exclusively.
Weight training may be particularly important for helping women lose body fat, and research from the University of Alabama shows greater reductions in stomach fat for women who lift weights than for those who only do cardio. A study published by the University of Kentucky College of Medicine reports weight training may help fat loss, and it can also boost metabolism. Another study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism concluded that a combination of resistance exercise and a diet helped reduce body fat, while maintaining lean muscle mass.
You might burn more calories in an hour-long cardio session than in an hour-long heavy weightlifting session, but one study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that women who lifted weights burned 100 more calories on average over 24 hours after the workout ended. A vigorous 30-minute lift can burn anywhere from 180 to 252 calories, depending on the persons bodyweight.
If you are looking to burn more calories in a shorter time frame, you may combine heavy lifting with cardiovascular exercises in a weight-training circuit or a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program, which involves repeated rounds of intense exertion followed by various periods of recovery. There is not one ideal method for changing your body composition, so if cardio is simply not your cup of tea, you may be wondering whether lifting weights is a good way to burn fat.
Since the amount of muscle damage done in high-rep, low-weight types of training is so small, you are not getting those energy demands after training. More importantly, losing weight is going to be easier at first, but it is going to be harder at the end of it, with no muscle. Another effect of gaining muscle is that it increases your BMR (basal metabolic rate), which increases the number of calories your body burns each day, since muscles demand more sustainable energy, leading nicely to the third weight-training benefit.Share