With New Years now underway may people are hard at work trying to accomplish their goal of weight loss. Luckily, more individuals are also realizing that strength training can be one of the best methods for losing weight out there. Why is this so? Here are the top 5 reasons.
It Increases Your Metabolic Rate
You’ve probably heard that every pound of muscle you build will burn approximately 40-50 more calories per day simply at rest. Unfortunately this is a myth. While each new pound of muscle you build will only increase your total daily calorie burn by about 6-8 calories, don’t underestimate this. If you add 15 pounds of muscle to your frame over the course of a year that means you will be burning around 100 calories more per day or 3000 calories more per month. This would translate into a one pound fat loss every month without you having to change anything diet wise.
Even more importantly, strength training will reduce the risk that you will lose muscle with age and this can work in a similar fashion. Imagine what would happen if you lost 15 pounds of muscle off your frame because you became inactive. If you didn’t start to reduce your food intake – which as we all know no one likes to voluntarily do, you would be gaining one pound a month or 12 pounds a year. Over time, this will add up! Strength training is a great way to prevent future obesity.
It Makes You Appear More Compact
Whenever you increase your muscle mass by strength training you will make your body appear more firm and compact. So theoretically, even though you may not actually be losing weight per say, you will look thinner since your body now occupies less space (muscle is more dense than fat tissue).
It Reduces Overall Body Fat Percentage
Another great thing that adding muscle mass by strength training will do for you in terms of fat loss is change your total body composition. For example, let’s say you had a 200 pound person who had 20% body fat. He would have total fat mass of 40 pounds and a lean tissue mass of 160 pounds (200 – 40 lbs). Now, if he started strength training and actually increased his weight to 210 pounds but also decreased his body fat to 15%, he now has 31.5 pounds of fat mass and 178.5 pounds of lean muscle tissue. This is going to look 10 times better than before even though theoretically he is heavier.
This is also another perfect example as to why judging your success at weight loss by the number on the bathroom scale is not a smart move.
It Reduces Your Risk Of Injury
When you are on a properly planned strength training program (one that does not induce injury in itself) it is going to help to strengthen the tendons, ligaments and muscle surrounding your joints therefore reducing the chances that you become injured during your training. This is especially important because if you become severely injured at any time you are likely going to have to stop training altogether in order to recover and this will itself really decrease your chances of fat loss (unless you become more strict with your diet).
It Burns More Calories In The Period After Training
The final reason why strength training is great for enhancing fat loss is because it causes your body to begin burning a large number of calories after you have finished training. This is a process known as EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption) and is a strong contributor to total body fat loss over time. Furthermore, this EPOC measurement is significantly higher after a weight lifting session than after a moderate paced steady state cardio session making it much more effective.
So if fat loss is one of your goals this January make sure you include strength training in your workouts. The benefits are numerous, not only with regards to getting leaner but also for maintaining proper health.
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