Strength Training for Weight Loss: Understanding the Importance

In this webinar, we will explore the concept of strength training for weight loss. Before we begin, if you missed our previous webinar on fat loss, I recommend you watch it to gain a better understanding. You can find the links in my Instagram bio (@leszek_fitnesssoul) Feel free to share these webinars with your friends and ask any questions.

The Difference Between Weight Loss and Fat Loss

To achieve weight loss or fat loss, it is essential to create a calorie deficit. This can be achieved by reducing calorie intake or increasing physical activity. However, for effective fat loss, strength training plays a vital role alongside cardio exercises. Let’s delve into the distinctions between these two types of training.

Cardiovascular Exercise: 

Cardio exercises elevate your heart rate and involve continuous physical activity over an extended period. Activities like running, cycling, swimming, and Zumba fall under this category. While cardio exercises offer various health benefits, they are not the most effective for weight loss or fat loss.

Strength Training: 

Strength training involves lifting weights or engaging in resistance training exercises. This can be done using gym equipment, free weights, or even by lifting heavy objects. Unlike cardio exercises, strength training helps build muscle mass and profoundly impacts weight loss and fat loss.

Understanding the Differences: 

Cardio exercises primarily burn calories during the activity itself. Once you stop the activity, calorie burning also ceases. On the other hand, strength training builds muscle mass, which increases your basal metabolic rate (BMR). The BMR is the energy your body needs to maintain vital functions. Building muscle mass through strength training ensures that your body continues to burn calories even at rest, leading to long-term weight loss.

Benefits of Strength Training:

  1. Increased Muscle Mass: Building muscle mass boosts your BMR, resulting in continuous calorie burning throughout the day, even when you’re not exercising.

  2. Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) Effect: Strength training requires your body to work harder to repair and build muscle tissue. This process consumes additional energy, contributing to calorie expenditure beyond the workout session.

  3. Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Strength training enhances insulin sensitivity, ensuring better management of blood sugar levels and preventing excessive fat storage.

Designing a Strength Training Program: 

Aim for 2 to 3 weekly strength training sessions for effective weight loss. Each session should consist of 3 to 5 sets with 3 to 12 repetitions. It is recommended to focus on progressive overload, gradually increasing the weight or reducing rest periods between sets.

A full-body workout is ideal for beginners unless you plan to train 5 to 6 times a week. Emphasise squats, hinges, pulls, pushes, and anti-rotation exercises. Here’s a sample workout plan:

  • Day 1: Zercher squats, overhead press, alternative kettlebell row
  • Day 2: Hex deadlift, chest press, pull-ups
  • Day 3: Mix exercises from the first two days or focus on areas you need improvement.

Strength training plays a crucial role in weight loss and fat loss. Building muscle mass can elevate your basal metabolic rate, enhance calorie burning, and improve insulin sensitivity. You’ll need to incorporate regular strength training sessions into your fitness routine to effectively achieve your weight loss goals.

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