4 Reasons Why Strength Training is Important for Weight Loss

Cardio isn't everything. If your goal is to lose weight, it can be very useful to tick the weight training box. Why? How? Let's find out

4 Reasons Why Strength Training is Important for Weight Loss


1. What is the Basic Principle Behind Losing Weight?

To lose weight, you must force your body to draw on its fat reserves for energy. How? By using your heart rate! This heart rate can be increased not only by exercising on a treadmill or exercise bike but also with weight training. When the heart rate increases as a result of weight training, you are doubling the effect of your workout by building muscle, which will accelerate weight loss.


2. Slimming Using Your Heart Rate

In general, the heart rate at which your body consumes most fat is 70-80% of your maximum heart rate on average. In theory for a man, the training heart rate is determined by the following formula: 220 - age, then take 70 to 80% of the result . For a woman, do 226 - age. NB: when referring to an average level, this means that you can be below and above this level throughout your workout. Indeed, your heart rate will adapt to the effort made and will not be fixed like a speedometer!


3. How Does Weight Training Help You to Lose Weight?

Any cardiovascular activity like running or exercising on a cross trainer helps you to lose weight, but when this is coupled with weight training, you can obtain better results. Why is this?

  • The more your muscles grow, the more calories you expend. Consequently, 1lb of additional muscle will burn off approximately 100 calories.

  • Weight training will help to make fat disappear, not your precious muscles.

  • Weight training to lose weight is endurance weight training: 6 to 8 sets, 15 to 30 repetitions and short recoveries between sets (15 to 45 seconds). You must find a weight that is big enough to make you breathless yet small enough for you to complete all the series and all the repetitions. This training must last between 30 minutes and 1 hour.

  • The exercises that burn off more calories are the functional exercises that use the big muscles: legs, back, chest, glutes = squats, pull-ups, push-ups, bench presses, deadlifts, etc.


4. How to Slim With Muscle Strengthening Exercises

Start by completing workout sessions composed of cardiovascular exercises (75%) followed by weight training (25%). After a few weeks, switch to a 50-50 breakdown. How is this done? Here are your options:

  • The split is achieved over time: example: for a one-hour session, do 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercises followed by 15 minutes of weight training.

  • The split is achieved by the choice of exercises: example: 75% cardiovascular exercises and 25% weight training exercises, e.g. circuit training.

Please note that the expected results will depend on your exercise (50%) and your diet (50%)! Naturally, playing sports does not mean that you can eat more or eat sugary or fatty food. Physical activity alone does not mean that you do not have too keep a check on eating too much food. So if you want to lose weight, don't forget to follow a healthy and balanced diet (1/3 protein, 1/3 vegetables and 1/3 starchy foods), eat fruit to take on all the vitamins you need and refrain from snacks between meals. If you consume more calories than your body needs (an average of 2000 calories per day for a woman, 2500 for a man), your physical activity will not be enough to expend your extra calories.


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