There is a huge misconception that you shouldn’t keep strength training while losing weight. Not only is it believed to stunt your results, but it’s actually thought to be counterproductive. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Here is why you should keep strength training while losing weight:
Strength training/weight lifting can be greatly beneficial for fat loss. Why? Because it builds up lean muscle. Lean muscle increases the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), and increases the speed of your metabolism. This means you are burning more calories all the time. Even while sleeping!
It is agreed that cardiovascular exercise is probably a better candidate for general caloric expenditure during the workout. The keyword here being ‘during’. Strength training is universally more effective at burning total calories and fat overall.
Let me explain… By increasing muscle mass, you increase the BMR. In its simplest terms, a higher BMR equates to more calories being burned in the space of 24-48 hours.
Why is this beneficial for weight loss?
Through building lean muscle and increasing your BMR, you inevitably burn more calories at rest throughout the day. You also increase your overall caloric deficit – a necessity for weight loss. This is what is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC).
Still not fully understanding?
During an aerobic, cardiovascular workout, it’s widely accepted that more calories are burned than during a typical strength training workout of the same duration. The distinction? While you may certainly be losing weight, you’re also losing a proportionate amount of muscle at the same time. Additionally, it can also slow down your metabolism rather than speed it up. This is a detriment if you’re trying to lose weight.
Here’s the answer:
Increase the intensity of your workouts and begin to implement a consistent strength training regimen consisting of weight-bearing exercises in conjunction with aerobic activity. This is the optimal weight loss plan. Oh, and don’t forget to hone in on your diet as well!
Optimal recovery depends on adequate rest and the right nutrient intake. If you are slacking on your diet you will decrease your ability to gain or keep strength and may put yourself in a position where you are losing muscle as well.
This is one of those times where you should eat higher protein and plenty of greens so your body can repair the muscles after you break them down in the gym.
How to Increase Intensity and Keep Strength Training While Losing Weight
If you wish to increase intensity to keep strength training while losing weight- here are a few tips.
- Shorter rest between sets
- Circuit training
- Supersets and dropsets
- Increased time under tension
- Pre-exhaustion training
- Picking up the pace on your existing training plan
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