Resistance training is an essential component of any weight loss program. While many people associate cardio with weight loss, incorporating resistance training into your routine can lead to greater success in shedding unwanted pounds. Not only does resistance training burn calories, but it also has several other benefits that can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Resistance training, also known as strength training, involves using resistance to build muscular strength and endurance. This can be done with weights, resistance bands, or even bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats. Here are some ways that resistance training impacts weight loss:
Increases Muscle Mass
“The great thing about resistance training is that it helps build more muscle,” saysCarol Mack, DPT, CSCS, at CLE Sports PT & Performance.
Resistance training is one of the most effective ways to build lean muscle mass. When you have more muscle, your body burns more calories even at rest. This means that you can increase your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day. In fact, one study found that participants who did resistance training three times a week for 12 weeks had a 7% increase in resting metabolic rate, which resulted in burning an extra 125 calories per day. Over time, this can add up to significant weight loss.
Resistance training is a great way to burn calories. Depending on the intensity of your workout, you can burn as many calories as you would during a cardio session. While cardio burns more calories during the actual workout, resistance training can continue to burn calories for up to 72 hours after the workout. This is because resistance training causes micro-tears in your muscle fibers, and your body needs to repair and rebuild them. This process requires energy, which means you continue to burn calories even after you’ve finished your workout.
Reduces Body Fat
Resistance training is also effective at reducing body fat. While cardio is great for burning calories, it doesn’t necessarily target specific areas of the body. Resistance training, on the other hand, can target specific muscle groups, which can lead to a reduction in body fat in those areas. For example, doing squats and lunges can help reduce fat in your legs and glutes, while doing push-ups and rows can help reduce fat in your arms and back.
Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Resistance training has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. This is important for weight loss because insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. When your body becomes less sensitive to insulin, it can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. By improving insulin sensitivity, resistance training can help your body better regulate blood sugar levels and promote weight loss.
Boosts Energy Levels
Finally, resistance training can help boost your energy levels. When you have more muscle mass, you have more energy to perform daily activities. This can help you stay active throughout the day and burn more calories. Resistance training has also been shown to improve sleep quality, which can further increase your energy levels and promote weight loss.
Some Tips for Getting Started With Resistance Training
Start with Bodyweight Exercises
If you’re new to resistance training, it’s a good idea to start with bodyweight exercises. These exercises don’t require any equipment and are a great way to build strength and improve your form before moving on to weighted exercises. Some examples of bodyweight exercises include squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks.
Gradually Increase Weight and Intensity
As you become more comfortable with resistance training, gradually increase the weight and intensity of your workouts. This will help you continue to challenge your muscles and see results. It’s important to remember that progress takes time and it’s better to increase weight and intensity gradually to avoid injury.
Use Proper Form
Using proper form is essential when it comes to resistance training. Improper form can lead to injury and prevent you from seeing results. If you’re not sure how to perform an exercise with proper form, ask a personal trainer or watch a tutorial online.
Rest and Recover
Rest and recovery are just as important as the workout itself. Your muscles need time to recover and rebuild after a resistance training workout. Make sure to take rest days in between workouts and get enough sleep and nutrition to support your recovery.
Mix it Up
Mixing up your resistance training routine can help prevent boredom and keep your muscles challenged. Try different exercises, weights, and rep ranges to keep things interesting and continue to see progress.
Remember, resistance training is just one component of a healthy weight loss program. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and lifestyle changes are also important for achieving your weight loss goals. Consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
By incorporating resistance training into your routine, you can achieve your weight loss goals more efficiently and effectively. So next time you hit the gym, don’t skip the weights – pick them up and start lifting!