Why You Should Strength Train for Fat Loss
At Total Performance Centre, collectively our staff have worked with thousands of clients who are looking to feel better, improve their health, and recover from injury and, most commonly, to lose weight. However, many people struggle to reach their weight loss goals, despite working very hard, and when we inquire as to what type of training they’ve been doing, we usually get the same answer: “Cardio, of course”. You see many of us, left to our own devices, will naturally gravitate to performing more steady state, low intensity cardiovascular activities like running or cycling and will stay away from strength training. While there is nothing wrong with doing cardiovascular training, there are several benefits to strength training that we feel are important to share with you. Not only will strength training improve your posture, increase bone mineral density (to reduce risk of osteoporosis), and enhance performance of everyday tasks, it will also help to SHED THE FAT!
Below, we would like to clear up a two common myths out there surrounding strength training and hopefully persuade you to pick up those weights.
Myth #1: To lose fat, you need to do more cardio.
This statement might shock you, but doing more cardio will only make you better at doing more cardio, full stop. The fact is, steady state aerobic conditioning, surprisingly, burns fewer calories than interval training. When we say ‘interval training’ we mean short bursts of high intensity activity followed by recovery periods. A perfect example of this is strength training.
So why does interval training burn more calories than steady state cardio? The reason for this called ‘Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption’ or EPOC. Basically after a training session, our metabolic rate remains elevated, however, the amount of calories that you continue to burn after the session depends on the type of activity. Studies have shown that a high intensity strength training workout will burn calories post exercise than most forms of cardiovascular training. So at the end of the day you’re in a greater caloric debt, which is going to help you shed that fat.
Myth #2: Women should stay away from heavy weights because it will make you get “big and bulky”.
This is probably one of the most common myths we hear. The fact is, there are many biological differences between men and women, and one of those differences is the level of testosterone – a hormone which is primarily responsible for muscle gain. Women only have about 5% of the total amount of testosterone men have, meaning that males have 20 times more testosterone than females! Biologically, women are facing quite an uphill battle when it comes to building muscle.
We have also heard from women that the last time they weight trained, consistently, they got bigger. Well, the likely culprit of that would be increased caloric consumption. You see, exercise is a natural appetite stimulant so even though you don’t mean to, you might be eating slightly more calories and, as a result, that “big and bulky” look is likely increased body fat.
If you make sure to watch your nutrition closely while simultaneous performing strength training exercise, we guarantee you will be leaner, tighter and stronger than ever before.