One day my friend and I were doing an intense session in the gym, and once in the gym we started talking and he said to me “I want to lose weight, but I also want to get strong like freaky strong, is it possible to make strength training for weight loss”. I said yeah it is, but I just left it at that as I knew it was possible but I really could not give him a good answer, especially as he followed up with “whenever I go on a diet I lose a lot of my energy and I just don’t feel very strong”.
Now that I have done some research this is the answer I wanted to give him.
How does strength training help weight loss specifically? Well with two main ways, one is that you will gain more muscle meaning you will be able to burn more calories per day without trying, and two it can act as motivation to keep going as weight loss is a slow process. In saying that strength training is not the most effective weight loss method alone, so if you want the best of both worlds, eat at a 50 to 100 calorie deficit while also doing cardio at least once a week.
When it comes to health and fitness goals, two terms often come up: fat loss and weight loss. While they may sound similar, they refer to different processes with varying impacts on the body. Understanding the distinctions between fat loss and weight loss is essential for setting accurate goals and achieving the desired outcome.
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Fat Loss Vs Weight Loss
Though many people might not know the different it is an important distinction to make, as 9 out of 10 people you hear talking about weight loss really mean fat loss.
Fat loss mean the lose of fat on your body, this could mean belly fat, arm fat, or really fat from any part of our body.
But if we are talking about weight loss it includes body fat, but also lean muscle mass, water weight, but again for 9 out of 10 people the goal would be fat loss while maintain their lean mass.
That is why if built some muscle you might visibly look better than you did before but when you look at the scale it was the same as a few months ago. Plus as a bonus the more muscle you have the more you can eat on the daily.
To be very clear here thought the of the article is called strength training for weight loss, I really mean to talk about strength training for fat loss.
You can read more about this topic here!
How To Combine Strength Training And Cardio
Most people hate to do cardio and for good reason, because most peoples cardio is boring as hell. With most people cardio is just go walking on the treadmill for 30 min then to just call it a day, no wonder people hate cardio.
If you want to enjoy cardio find a form of cardio you enjoy, this could be swimming, soccer, or even hiking, it does not matter as long as you enjoy it, personally I do some boxing for my cardio.
I find that for me and many others doing cardio first will sap your strength for when you hit the weight, so if you plan to combine both into one workout, I recommended you do the cardio right at the end of the workout.
But if you have the time you can allocate an entirely different day to attend a class of some kind I would recommended that, as with people around you tend to work harder without even realising it.
A Sample Program To Do Strength Training for Weight Loss
Here’s a sample strength training program you can follow for fat loss:
- Duration: 12 weeks
- Frequency: 4 – 5 days per week
- Focus: Full-body strength training
- Day 1: Lower Body
- Day 2: Upper Body
- Day 3: Rest
- Day 4: Lower Body
- Day 5: Upper Body
- Day 6: Rest
- Day 7: Full Body (Optional)
- Repeat the cycle for the following weeks
- Squats – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Romanian Deadlifts – 3 sets of 12 reps
- Walking Lunges – 3 sets of 10 reps per leg
- Calf Raises – 3 sets of 15 reps
- Plank – 3 sets of 30-60 seconds
- Bench Press – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Bent-Over Rows – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Overhead Press – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Lat Pulldowns – 3 sets of 12 reps
- Bicep Curls – 3 sets of 12 reps
- Tricep Dips – 3 sets of 12 reps
- Deadlifts – 3 sets of 8 reps
- Dumbbell Chest Press – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Pull-ups or Assisted Pull-ups – 3 sets of 8 reps
- Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Squat Jumps – 3 sets of 12 reps
- Russian Twists – 3 sets of 15 reps
Remember to warm up before each workout and cool down/stretch afterward. Adjust the weights and repetitions based on your fitness level and gradually increase them as you progress. Also, listen to your body and rest when needed.
Other Strength Training Benefits
If you are still on the fence on whether you should start this journey or not here are a few more benefits of strength training
- You are stronger
- Everyday life is easier
- Healthy bones
- Lower rate of injury
Tips For Strength Training
Here are 7 tips to help you improve your strength training:
- Warm up properly
- Set realistic goals
- Focus on proper form
- Gradually increase weights
- Rest and recover
- Include compound exercises
- Stay consistent
To re-cap strength training does help with weight loss through two main ways. One is that you will build more muscle while strength training that in turn you will burn more calories overall. The other method is that it can act as more motivations as you watch your strength go up.
Though strength training does help with weight loss, it defiantly is not the most effect method to lose weight, as if you main goal is to just lose weight you are better off training for hypertrophy or doing a more cardio heavy activity like boxing.