When most people think about fat loss, they immediately think of cardio. While cardio is a fantastic tool for burning calories, it shouldn’t be thought of as the one and only method. What many fail to consider is that strength training and building lean muscle are what truly provide long-lasting results. Not only can it burn just as much, if not more calories than a given cardio workout, but it also elicits a post-workout response that burns more calories after a workout than cardio ever could.
(This process is known as EPOC, or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption).
If fat loss is your ultimate goal, implementing an effective and consistent strength-training regimen into your daily routine will pay dividends to your long-term results. With that said, there are things you can do in the interim to speed up fat loss even more!
Alternative methods to consider:
- Weight loss supplementation
- Sufficient water intake to lose weight
- Weight loss programs
- Fitness apps for accountability
Want to learn more about how to lose fat fast? Read on for more!
Strength Train to Lose Weight
The reason strength training and weight lifting is imperative for fat loss is because it builds muscle. An increase in muscle, in turn, increases one’s BMR. Ultimately, this speeds up your metabolism and assists in weight-loss. While cardio is likely a better candidate for general caloric expenditure during the workout, strength training is much more effective at burning total calories and fat overall.
In short, an increase in muscle mass equates to an increase in BMR. Without getting too in-depth into the science, a higher BMR equates to more calories being burned throughout the day.
Why is this beneficial towards a speedy weight loss journey?
Simple. By building lean muscle and speeding up your metabolism, you naturally burn more calories at rest throughout the day. A higher overall caloric deficit equates to, you guessed it – weight loss. During cardiovascular activity, it’s almost definitive that more kcal are burned than a typical strength training workout of the same length. The difference here is that while you may certainly be losing weight, you’re also losing a large amount of muscle in the process.
This can actually result in the slowing down of your metabolism rather than speeding it up. By strength-training that consists of weight-barring activity AND aerobic capacity, it’s a win-win!
High-Intensity Interval Training
Speaking of aerobic capacity and cardiovascular exercise, have you ever heard of HIIT?
At its most basic, HIIT is a way of training that incorporates cardio into short blasts of weightlifting and/or gymnastics. High-intensity Interval Training is extremely versatile. By ensuring weight-barring activities as a part of the regimen, you’ll experience the best results.
- Decrease in visceral fat
- Increase in EPOC (EPOC is a biological bodily process that allows your body to continue burning energy/calories 36-48 hours after the workout is complete)
- Increase in HGH (higher HGH levels assist in the speed-up of metabolism, which in turn burns fat and builds muscle)
Optimizing The Game Plan For Fat Loss
So, we now agree that strength training and weightlifting are predominately more effective at burning fat and assisting in weight loss when performed in a high-intensity fashion. Let’s now review some closing tips on how to optimize your game plan for fat loss and weight loss:
While many believe that weight lifting will bulk you up, the opposite tends to be true! Take into account the fact that we mentioned incorporating it into an effective program of HIIT, and results will show fast. Incorporating weightlifting into a high-intensity circuit can provide enormous benefits for your fat loss and weight loss goals.
Increase Those Reps & Lose Weight
Sure, compound movements like squats and deadlifts performed in fewer reps are effective for a number of reasons. Performing alternative exercises in a higher rep fashion will elicit more stress on the muscle. Not only is this key for hypertrophy, but it increases the intensity and, as a result, will elicit more fat loss.
Note The Word “Intensity” In HIIT
Push yourself a safe degree. It goes back to the first point about HIIT. To keep it short, simply focus on intensity! Oftentimes, we don’t put in enough effort because our perceived effort is higher than it actually is. Hard work pays off!
Don’t Overtrain. Rest, Sleep, Recover
Recovery has always been an overlooked aspect of training. Funny enough, it’s arguably the most important aspect of any fitness program. Although the act of exercise is necessary, without giving your body time to recover, the effort put into the exercise will likely be worthless, maybe even detrimental.
Hydrate And Fuel Your Training
Although this article is largely about training, diet and caloric intake are just as big a part of the equation as the training program itself, as is supplementation and consistency. Focusing on the amount of food, quality of food, and timing of food will provide the most optimal results. Training is one hour of the day; nutrition is all around the clock.
While the number of methods towards a weight loss journey is endless, both cardio and weight training can provide fantastic weight loss results, especially when paired with proper nutrition and eating habits, supplementation, and most of all, commitment and consistency. This isn’t a one size fits all approach. Everyone is different. With that being said, “the best diet is one that you’ll follow.”
While many have only a rudimentary understanding of what it takes to lose weight properly, it’s quite a complex endeavor. Working out is only one aspect of many when trying to lose weight and reduce the amount of body fat. Nonetheless, strength training provides you with an incredible ability to build lean muscle, improve metabolism, burn more calories throughout the day, and in turn, lose more fat. If you can stay consistent, disciplined, and committed, and follow a proper, effective strategy, not only will you begin to lose fat fast, but you’ll be able to keep it off, hopefully forever!
BONUS TIP: If you really want to burn fat fast, begin to count calories, track your macronutrient intake, and ensure you’re consuming a sufficient amount of water daily. This tip certainly requires going the extra mile and will require some additional knowledge and understanding on the subject; however, once you implement this practice, you’ll notice a huge change to your eating habits, and in turn, hopefully, lose weight even faster!