So you want to lose fat? Find out how to accelerate your weight loss by making the most of weight training in the gym…it’s easier than you think!
Running is a very popular form of cardio used to promote fat loss. While this form of exercise helps to lower body fat, oftentimes lean mass is lost along with body fat. For various reasons, weight training is better for losing fat than just running.
Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption
EPOC refers to the number of calories that continue to be burned after exercise. Cardio such as runningcan burn a significant number of calories while you are performing the exercise. But after you stop running, you stop burning calories.
This is not true with weight lifting. After completing a weight training session, your body continues to burn calories for up to 38 hours. In addition to this, a study done in Norway found that the heavier you lift, the longer the EPOC effect.
Burn More Calories at Rest
Through EPOC, weight training helps you burn more calories at rest. For every pound of muscle that you put on, your body burns six extra calories per day. When you finish your workout and sit on the couch and watch TV, cook dinner, or sit at your desk at work, you are still burning extra calories.
Burn Abdominal Fat More Effectively
If you take a look at people who just run, you’ll notice some interesting things. Yes, these people are very skinny, but they often have noticeable body fat in their stomach, thighs, and buttocks. It’s very rare to see someone who just runs with a set of six-pack abs.
However, people who combine weight training with running, often sport attractive six-pack abs. One reason for this is that weight training helps you burn intra-abdominal fat more effectively. One study performed at the University of Alabama found that people who trained with weights were able to lose more stomach fat than those who just performed cardio exercises.
A study done at Penn State University revealed some interesting facts about the connection between weight training and its ability to help get rid of body fat. Participants on a diet were placed into three groups. One group did not exercise, one group performed aerobic exercise and the third group lifted weight and performed aerobic exercise. The group performing aerobic exercise began their training by working out for 30 minutes, three times a week and gradually increased the time to 50 minutes.
This study lasted 12 weeks and the results were astounding. The participants who only dieted and performed no form of exercise lost 14.6 pounds. The group that dieted and performed aerobic exercise lost 15.6 pounds. The group that combined weight training exercises with aerobic exercises lost 21.1 pounds of fat. When compared with the group that only performed aerobic exercise, the group the performed both weight training and cardio exercise lost 35% more body fat.
Weight Training Increases Metabolism
Adding lean mass helps to make your body more efficient at burning fat. Weight training will raise your metabolism in three different ways. As noted above, it will help you burn more calories at rest (six calories per pound of muscle). Another way is that your body works hard to rebuild torn muscle fibers after each weight training session.
In its effort to adjust to your different routines, your body works hard to strengthen you, so you will be able to easily complete your next workout with less effort. While this is being done, extra calories are being used. Lastly, muscle is more metabolically active than fat. In order to maintain the lean mass that you have, your body uses more calories and this also helps to raise your metabolism.
Get the Best of Both Worlds
The best way to get in great physical condition is to combine weight training and running. Weight training will help you burn body fat, increases bone density, help you sleep better and run faster. Strengthening your bones helps you to reduce the risk of fractures as you age. Sleeping better improves your overall quality of life. If you love running, increasing lean mass will help you run faster because your muscles will be stronger and less prone to injury. Running is great for the cardiovascular system, makes you happier and reduces stress.
If you really want to get rid of body fat, then you must add strength training to your routine. You’ll burn more calories at rest, burn more stomach fat and increase your metabolism. Running, or any form of aerobic exercise, shouldn’t be excluded from your workout routine, but if your focus is on losing body fat, then weight training is the best option.