I have fat to lose… do I first lose the fat through cardio and then do weight training to get fit?!
If you’re like me and most women out there, you’ve asked yourself that question a time or two.
I am all about providing the science and facts behind things because I firmly believe that when we understand the why as in why something works, we are much more likely to stick to it.
So, here is why you should weight train for fat loss.
MYTH: CARDIO IS FOR FAT LOSS; WEIGHT TRAINING IS FOR GETTING FIT
Both can achieve fat loss. The old school way of thinking is that cardio is for fat loss and weight training is used to build muscle. I’ve had so many women ask me if they should first do cardio workouts to lose fat then transition into lifting once they’ve lost that weight.
Let me share something I learned so you don’t have to waste your time like I did… now, it’s no surprise that when I was doing workouts of 45 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes of weights, and 20 minutes of abs, I saw fewer results as compared to my 30 minute weight training/little to no traditional cardio workouts that I do now.
In my opinion, weight training is actually better for fat loss than traditional cardio and I’ll explain why.
3 REASONS YOU SHOULD LIFT WEIGHTS TO LOSE FAT
1. LIFTING CAN BURN MORE CALORIES
Let’s take 30 minutes of each: a 30 minute walk/run workouts versus a 30 minute lifting workout. You can actually burn just as many calories if not more during a weight training session as compared to a cardio workout. But, there’s extra benefits to lifting; read on…
2. LIFTING BURNS CALORIES THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Weight training is actually a form of HIIT: high intensity interval training. HIIT workouts simply refer to workouts with intervals that increase your heart rate to a near maximum level followed by intervals of rest.
LIFTING HIIT = you pick up a heavy barbell or set of dumbbells, you complete 15 reps of squats, working to near failure and you rest. That’s a form of HIIT.
HIIT workouts create what most people know as an “afterburn” or in science-terms it is called EPOC. EPOC stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.
Our bodies use oxygen to produce energy during exercise, creating an “oxygen debt”. EPOC is the amount of oxygen that needs to be “paid back” after a workout in order to bring the body back to its normal, resting state.
Exercises that use more oxygen, such as HIIT/lifting workouts yields a greater EPOC. This is a good thing because following our workout, our bodies burn calories to go back to the normal state
After a weight training workout, you are literally burning calories all through the day as your body recovers from that workout. This furthers your fat loss!
3. LIFTING INCREASES MUSCLE, WHICH INCREASES FAT LOSS
Here is the greatest benefit to weight training… muscle.
Many of us work to increase our lean muscle mass because we like the look and we like to get stronger.
Muscle has hidden benefits that you may not realize. A major benefit of muscle mass is that it actually adds to the body’s ability to burn fat at rest.
You can think of muscle as a metabolic furnace; it burns calories just to sustain itself. The more muscle you have, the more calories you’re burning at rest.
SO, without even working out, you will burn more calories by having more muscle on your body. Amazing, right?!
Weight training workouts can:
- burn just as many if not more calories during a workout
- help us burn even more calories throughout the day
- builds muscle mass, which increases the rate we burn calories at rest
MY FAT LOSS THROUGH WEIGHT TRAINING EXPERIENCE
Just a few months ago, I had a significant amount of weight/fat to lose. I knew the science that I just talked about, so I opted for exclusive weight training to get myself there. I didn’t have a lot of time per day, so I wanted the most effective means of losing this fat and sculpting muscle.
I followed my new Weight Training Plan X – I mostly do the gym version but because the plans follow the same schedule, when I can’t make it to the gym, I do the home version.
It’s traditional weight training, which means it sticks to the staple weight training moves like squats, deadlifts, presses, etc. Those are what I find to be the most effective at building muscle and creating an overall calorie burn.
Weight training has helped me change my body composition from excess fat to lean muscle and definition.
Weight training WORKS. This plan WORKS. And, I hope it can help you reach your goals too!
The new Weight Training Plan X is the official fitness plan for the Summer Challenge, beginning Monday, July 1st!