Will Strength Training Burn Fat?
Will strength training burn fat? A question I personally get often. Strength training is good for you in many ways, but one of the most important benefits is that it can help burn fat. Whether you’re just beginning your fitness journey or have been doing some form of exercise for a while, adding some weight training to your routine will help you get healthier and lose weight faster. This article will explore how strength training can make this happen and why I believe it should be the cornerstone to your fitness journey!
First off, I will give you my definition of strength training, so we are clear on what we are talking about. Strength training is an exercise or group of exercises used to keep muscle, increase muscle size, or increase muscle strength. The easiest way to know if you are achieving these desired effects is if you can’t do another repetition or your muscles are burning. There are more nuances to it, but that will give you the idea. So literally pushing the limits of your muscles. So, the 5-pound weights probably aren’t doing any benefit to you, just a waste of time.
Why Strength Training Helps You Keep Muscle While Eating Less
Strength training is a great way to keep muscle while eating less because it helps to increase your metabolic rate. When you are strength training, you are actually breaking down the muscle fibers. This process, called microtrauma, causes the muscle fibers to repair themselves and become stronger. The result is that your body needs more energy (calories) to maintain the muscle tissue, thus increasing your metabolic rate and helping you burn more calories overall. Additionally, strength training can help you preserve muscle mass as you lose weight, which is especially important for people who are trying to slim down. By keeping your muscle mass, you’re actually burning more calories even when you’re not working out! So, if your goal is to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way, strength training is definitely the way to go.
A caloric deficit is how you truly lose body fat, as opposed to a caloric surplus which equals weight gain. In order to create a caloric deficit, all you need to do is eat fewer calories than you burn. So, if you have been eating more than your body needs for an extended period of time, making yourself eat less will cause you to burn off the excess food and thus creating a calorie deficit. Large decreases in calories can cause adverse effects on your health and can potentially lead to quickly losing muscle while gaining fat, so be careful when cutting back on the number of calories that you are eating.
In my opinion, combining strength training and a caloric deficit is the BEST way to burn fat. The workouts keep the muscle on the and the caloric deficit burn only fat. As opposed to just cardio or intense training where they don’t stimulate the muscle enough to maintain it. Thus, burning muscle and lowering your resting metabolism will make it harder to lose body fat. If you like cardio or HIIT, then just make it secondary to strength training.
How Many Calories Does Strength Training Burn?
The number of calories that you can expect to burn when you are strength training is dependent on the exercise, the intensity, frequency, and duration. A general rule for this type of question is if it burns your muscles then there is a good chance that it is burning calories in the process.
There are many factors that can influence how many calories you will burn when you are strength training. If you are at a lower intensity, then it may be possible to do more repetitions in a set time period. This would mean that in theory, more energy was expended due to all of the movement involved. Resulting in more calories burned overall. The higher the intensity level the shorter the sets are but this means less movement and fewer calories burned.
In general, an intense strength training session can burn anywhere from 100 to 300+ calories. This number will vary depending on the person’s size, weight, and intensity level. So, if you are looking to burn a significant number of calories, then high-intensity strength training is definitely the way to go.
How many calories does cardio burn?
We know that cardio is a great way to burn calories, but how many? Studies have shown that running at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes per day is enough to burn about 300 calories. Walking briskly for 45 minutes per day is enough to burn about 300 calories too.
Wait… didn’t I just say that intense strength training burns around 300 calories as well? Then why don’t I suggest running instead? A short recap, because if you’re in a caloric deficit already you will be losing some muscle regardless of how much you strength train. Sad but true. Running burns some muscle as well to help fuel the exercise. Not a ton honestly but compounding this on top of losing muscle from eating less will slow your metabolism enough to make it tougher.
Though I love walking to help with burning fat. More on that later.
Why Strength Training Should Be The Cornerstone to Burn Fat
The benefits of strength training are numerous.
READ MORE: Strength Training: The Benefits
The list of benefits is vast, though something that isn’t said often is that strength is the hardest thing to acquire from working out. A lot of elite strongmen start their professional careers after 20+ years of continuous training. That versus elite basketball players retiring commonly in their 30s. It is an apple to oranges comparison, but strength is harder to get rather than cardio endurance or developing an elite skill.
For discussion about this article, having a lot of strength/muscle will keep you lean or get you lean faster. Besides looking good in the mirror is the goal for most people anyways. Most importantly, most studies on fat loss, not body weight loss, are best achieved through what I’m describing here. Be in a caloric deficit, strength train, and walking. Running does a great job of losing body weight, but not fat.
Conclusion: Will Strength Training Burn Fat?
To finish this up, will strength training burn fat. YES. I believe strength training is a cheat code for health and is one of the best ways to burn fat. It just makes everything easier. I don’t care what your goals are strength training will be the best bang for your buck, even runners benefit from strength training. Strength training 3 times a week and walking 30 minutes a day will cover the bases for 80% of the human population’s goals. If you are a mother of 3 looking to get your body back, well I think strength training is where you should start. 60-year-old looking to ease joint pain, strength training. If you want to run your first 5k, well start running. If you need more direction from an expert, I would love to talk to you and help you with your goals.
Contact me know so we can get you to your goals faster.