Does Lifting Weights and Strength Training Burn Fat?

Jeff Baldelli
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How weightlifting actually benefits you

Research has shown that resistance training produces different fat loss results, so weight lifting won’t necessarily burn fat. There are other benefits to weight lifting, however.

Resistance training targets muscle tissue, which in turn, helps boost your metabolism. Since muscle cells have a greater metabolic rate than fat cells, you essentially train your body to burn more fuel. That alone can help you incinerate calories.

Aside from increasing the number of calories you burn, resistance training will build stronger muscles. More muscle means that you’ll build up more lean mass and burn even more calories throughout the day.

You can watch this short Youtube video for Carlos Gonzales advice on how to get started with strength training.

How to Make Cardio Workouts Fun

One of the biggest reasons why people avoid working out is because they find it dull and boring. There’s only so many days that you can do the same monotonous activities before you quit.

There’s a misconception that to get results, you have to commit to a grueling cardio workout routine that consists of pounding the pavement or a crowded gym or lifting weights that’s going to break your back.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Weightlifting vs. cardio

One of the most common fitness conundrums is whether you should lift weights to help with weight loss. Does it help you burn more fat?

First, it’s important to remember that there is no “best workout” that is right for everyone.

The reason you hear people say “lifting weights will bulk you up” is because there are a lot of muscle fibers (also called muscle cells) under the skin. The more muscle you have, the larger you’re going to feel, and you’ll be able to pick up heavy things like luggage or pull your car out of the ditch without problem.

However, when it comes to actually building muscle mass, weight lifting is far more effective than cardio.

Weightlifting stimulates myofibrillar hypertrophy. This means that you will be building actual muscle tissue with weightlifting, while doing cardio doesn’t give you this physiological effect. The upshot of this is that weightlifters can achieve their dream figure more easily when compared to those who stick to cardio.

However, for those who want to focus on burning fat to lose weight, weightlifting is a better option than cardio. This is due to scientific studies that have proven weightlifting to be a better option when it comes to cutting fat.

Combination of both, for full body training

Lifting weights or doing other forms of resistance training can help reduce body fat when combined with a well-balanced cardio routine like cardio interval training.

However, by itself, resistance training by itself is not a bad way to lose fat either. This deep dive into the body and science of fat loss will give you more detailed info on the subject.

Combine Weights with Cardio to Burn More Fat

The reason why decreasing your body weight is so highly desirable is very simple: the less you weigh, the faster you can run, and the further you can run without getting fatigued.

This is one the reasons why Olympic athletes, who need to be able to achieve very high speeds, stay incredibly lean year-round. If you look at the biographical data of any top speed-running athlete, you will find that they’re all incredibly lean compared to their competitors.

By improving the efficiency of your cardiovascular system, your muscles will burn less glycogen and fat.

This is why you hear a lot of personal trainers and pro athletes say that resistance training is the foundation for weight loss and they wouldn’t recommend doing it otherwise.