Is it possible to lose weight by lifting weights?
Is lifting weights a good way to shed pounds? What is the process of losing weight when you lift weights? Weight training, also known as resistance or strength training, can have a knock-on effect on numerous aspects of our health, in addition to protecting bone health, enhancing balance, and increasing energy levels.
"Lifting weights is a mainstay of any fat loss workout plan," says Sean Light, a BodyRock coach and personal trainer with over 100 million views on his workouts. “Strength training builds lean muscle, which acts as a fat burning furnace, re-shaping your entire body. Lifting weights is literally the fastest way to change your body, and it still surprises me how many people still don’t understand how effective it is.”
Lifting weights can help you lose weight. We sifted through the research and posed the questions to the experts in order to help you understand just how powerful strength training is when it comes to losing weight. Let’s break it down.
Can you lose weight by lifting weights? Yes, but this depends on how you calculate weight reduction. Lifting weights can aid in the reduction of total body fat. That said, strength training, will increase your lean muscle mass volume. So, if you're assessing your total weight loss by stepping on the scales, you might not notice a difference in your weight - even tho you may have lost inches off of your waist line or dropped dress sizes. 5 pounds of lean muscle mass is smaller and tighter than 5 pounds of body fat, so it takes up considerably less room on your body, even though it obviously weighs the same amount as 5 pounds of fat. For a mind blowing visual of what 5 pounds of lean muscle looks like compared to 5 pounds of body fat, checkout this article on what losing 5 pounds of body fat looks like here.
A model of just 5 pounds of Body Fat.
Lifting weights can help you shed body fat if you're gauging your total weight reduction by the quantity of fat you lose - which is the best way to measure lasting changes. Furthermore, the more muscle mass you have, the higher your basic metabolic rate will be, resulting in more calories burned both at rest and during activity. Every pound of lean muscle burns on your body burns 3.5-5X more calories per day than each pound of body fat. The more lean muscle you have, the more power your body requires each day, and the more calories you will burn. Women that build lean, athletic looking muscle have a 3.5-5X advantage 24/7, 365 - all day long, even at night while they are sleeping. Building lean muscle is the equivalent of stepping into the Iron Man suit of fat loss. It’s that epic.
This process is known as exercise post-oxygen intake, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE). After a strong workout, your body goes into overdrive, devouring oxygen and speeding up your metabolism. Even after you've completed working out, you'll have burned a lot of calories. According to the ACE, "Excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption is a physiological condition that raises net calorie expenditure following a workout. Simply put, even after you've finished exercising, you continue to burn calories."
How does lifting weights affect your body? Lifting weights can have a variety of physiological effects. Resistance training, in addition to raising your metabolism and lowering your body fat, has been shown to improve your posture and balance. Other studies have discovered that it can also help; your bone density health, sleep, stress and cortisol levels, risk of injury, cardiovascular health, mobility and flexibility as well as mental health and mood.
For a more detailed breakdown of all of the benefits of strength training, check out this article on what happens to women’s bodies when they start lifting weights.
How strength training can help you lose weight quickly. If you're looking for a way to drop weight, you're likely looking at combining diets and cardiovascular exercise (cardio) to achieve your weight loss goals. An astounding number of women take the less effective cardio exercise route because there is still a gender based stigma around lifting weights that should have died in the 90’s. Don't skimp on lifting weights, though: you can get a better than gym quality strength training workout from home, with basic gear like a set of dumbbells, a bar and weights set or even just by snapping on a weighted vest and following a guided workout like our Intro to Strength series or our 30 day Beginner Bootcamp program, both of which combine cardio and strength training at a beginner level of exertion.
The Journal of Applied Physiology released a study that looked into whether lifting weights, cardiovascular activity, or a combination of the two was the best way to lose weight. Not surprisingly, a combination of the two workouts was determined to be the most beneficial when looking at total body mass, fat mass, and lean body mass.
Resistance exercise is critical for increasing lean body mass and improving overall fitness. Meanwhile, aerobic exercise aids in the reduction of body fat and total body mass, combining with resistance training to alter your body's muscle-to-fat ratio. To put that fitness speak into plan English, lifting will help you lean out, and get stronger.
Combining strength training and cardio based HIIT training into a single effective workout can be a real challenge for a fitness beginner. Both strength training and height intensity interval training are typically offered at the intermediate to advanced levels, and are seldomly effectively combined together at a beginner level of intensity.
One of the biggest reasons that people quit their fitness routines is that their workouts are just too hard for them. If you are going to exercise, the workout program has to meet you at your current level of fitness ability, and progress you forward from there. This is exactly why we created the 30 day Beginner Bootcamp workout program. We combine the most effective fat loss workouts - strength training and HIIT cardio, into one, with daily 10-15 minute long workouts that are designed specifically to help you shed body fat, build lean, athletic muscle tone, and get stronger and more physically capable and confident.
A shot from week 1, day 3 of our 30 day Beginner Bootcamp workout series. This complete workout is just 12 minutes long.
These types of workouts have been proven to be more effective than a 45 minute jog, and the best part is that they are achievable. When was the last time you experienced a workout as achievable for you? Meeting you at your current level of fitness with the most effective forms of fat loss training is what makes our Beginner Bootcamp experience so powerful. For a limited time you can get a full year of unlimited access to our Beginner Bootcamp series (and all of our other beginner level workout programs) for just $69 with code NY22.
We get that strength training can seem daunting. Images of women with dumbbells and bars and weights can look intimidating. It’s easier to imagine yourself jogging or on an exercise bike - but these types of workouts aren’t 10% as effective as strength training combined with HIIT. Jumping into an advanced weight lifting workout would be completely overwhelming for over 80% of the adult population. Thats why we create workouts that are specifically designed for beginners, and there is no shame in being a beginner. Being a beginner means that you are taking on the challenge of something new - it means that you have the courage of being pioneer, and here at BodyRock, being a beginner is a badge of honour.
Our BodyRock Bar & Weights Set is perfect for home based strength training.
The take away from this article is that strength training - which involves lifting weights, combined with some cardio, is the most effective way to lose fat and re-shape your body. It’s a game changer that is still relatively unknown, and here at BodyRock, our renewed mission is to help as many fitness beginners as possible get access to everything that they need to get into the best shapes of their lives - no matter where they are starting from or how great the challenge. Getting our beginners the best information and access to the best workouts at their level of ability is what we do here. If you like our vibe, please consider giving our 30 day Beginner Bootcamp a try - we’d love to have you.