Strength training to lose fat

Many people train in a gym or fitness center to lose weightStrength training to lose fat or improve their looks. It is often thought that the best way to lose weight by burning fat is to perform cardio training. Outside the fitness centers, many people can be seen running or cycling ot lose weight. Although cardiovascular exercise is an excellent method to burn a lot of calories, especially when performed at the right intensity, strength training or resistance exercise is often overlooked. Strength training to lose fat is not done by many. This however, is a missed oportunity. Resistance exercise can help greatly in burning fat and improving body composition, because it increases resting metabolic rate.

The increase in metabolic rate has several causes. Firstly, after resistance exercise the muscles need repair and burnt energy needs to be replenished. Repair of muscle tissue costs energy whihc causes the increased energy expenditure in rest following an intense resistance training session. This period of increased energy expenditure can last for up to 38 hours after training, depending on training intensity and volume.

Second, resting metabolic rate increases through hypertrophy, or the increase in muscle mass. Muscle tissue is active even in rest and will require energy to maintain it, so more fat is burned to supply them with energy. An additional advantage is that when the increased muscle mass is activated during training, even more energy can be used in comparison with training sessions before hypertrophy had occurred.

Thirdly, resistance exercise causes the body to relie more on fat oxidation during rest. In other words, not only the amount of energy the body uses at rest is increased by resistance exercise, but a larger portion of it is supplied by the bodies’ fat stores. This makes it easier to lose fat and improve body composition. Another advantage is that resistance exercise tends to target abdominal fat to a larger extent, which has beneficial effects on health and decreases risks on cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus type 2.

Finally resistance exercise helps in improving the shape of the body because the exercises are able to target all muscle groups of the body. When performed at the right intensity and manner, all muscles will grow proportionately causing the body to look naturally healthy.

References:

-Baechle, T.R., Earle, R.W.(2008). Adaptations to Anaerobic Training Programs. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning.Third Edition.USA Human Kinetics.

-Kirk, E.P., Donnelly, J.E., Smith, B.K., Honas, J., Lecheminant, J.D., Baily, B.W., Jacobsen, D.J., Washburn, R.A. Minimal resistance training improves daily energy expenditure and fat oxidation. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2009, 41, 5, 1122-1129.

-Ormsbee, M.J., Thyfault, J.P., Johnson, E.A., Kraus, R.M., Choi, M.Y., Hickner, R.C. Journal of Applied Physiology 2007, 102, 1767-1772.

-Schuenke, M.D., Mikat, R.P., McBride, J.M. Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption: implications for body mass management. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2007, 86, 5, 411-417.

-Wilmore, J.H., Costill, D.L, Kenney W.L. (2008). Adaptations to resistance training. Physiology of Sport and Exercise Fourth Edition. USA. Human Kinetics.