Can strength training burn fat?
The first thing that comes to mind while considering fat loss is cardio. We’ve been told for a long time that cardio is great for fat loss because it keeps you in the “fat burning zone”. Theoretically, it makes sense, since your typical steady state cardio, such as walking bad jogging, primarily utilizes the energy system know as the aerobic energy pathway, which creates energy through combinations of glucose byproducts, oxygen, and most importantly, fat stores.
So yes, it makes perfect sense, but mostly on paper. In real world applications, we see that traditional cardio is not as effective as it seems. Even with the fat burning zone, the amount of energy burned with cardio isn’t as significant as cardio enthusiasts would lead you to believe.
Weight lifters, on the other hand, feel that building muscle mass is the best way to lose weight because it helps you to burn more calories throughout the day. If you have more muscle, you will burn more calories every second of the day.
Strength training is a completely different beast. The higher intensity of weight training allows you to burn calories at a much faster rate. The reason for this is that weight training allows you to use your larger and stronger type 2 muscle fibers, which require significantly more energy than the type 1 fibers used in cardio.
The higher the intensity, the more energy the body must use, resulting in calories being burnt even after you’ve done doing out. This state, known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, aka EPOC, aka the “afterburn”, has shown to burn upwards 75 calories, or 33% more than your traditional cardio 16 hours after the workout.
It may not seem like much at first, but keep in mind that you’re spending far less time in the gym and it can definitely add up.
Some studies suggest that EPOC from strength training is still elevated even 36 hours later!
and the best part of it is that roughly 80% of those calories come straight from your fat. Also with strength training you’ll build muscle along the way.
And the good news is that the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you’ll burn. So now that you know that strength training can help you burn fat effectively, it’s important that you follow the ideal exercise routines for it. Exercises that include heavy compound movement and target multiple muscle groups at once.
- Barbell Bench Press
- Barbell Deadlift
- Bench Step-Ups
- Bent-over row
It should also concentrate on a level of intensity that will cause muscular failure at around 15-20 reps. This allows you to use all of your muscle fibers, resulting in a higher metabolic demand, which burns more calories and improves muscular growth.
This isn’t to say that you should abandon cardio in favor of resistance training; after all, cardio has several benefits, like increasing endurance and boosting heart health.
Finally, give it a chance and see how it works out for you.