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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Does Lifting Weights Burn fat?

Does Lifting Weights Burn fat?

Does lifting weights burn fat?
Publish Date: 08/02/2020
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Weight lifting might be the great fat-loss remedy most people are looking for- of course, the one that makes you shed weight boost your mood, and generally, improve your metabolism.

Besides muscle build-up, weight lifting can also aid weight loss and make you look leaner within a brief fitness cycle. Not to mention that it accelerates scores of benefits, both mental and physical.

However, there’s this traditional adage that muscle weighs more than fat. Well, mass is mass either way. But there are various key differences between muscle mass and fat, which are important to understand.

Muscle Weigh More than fat.

According to the Social & Health Research Center, muscle is more dense than fat. That means it is heavier in terms of mass but occupies less space.

For instance, consider the difference between a pound of steel vs. a pound of feathers. Both are equal to a pound. However, steel can easily fit your hand, whereas you’ll need a whole-empty bucket to accommodate all the feathers.

Similarly, if you consider two people of the same height and weight, the one with a higher body-fat proportion will certainly wear a larger clothing size.

Scientists have researched how many unwanted calories people burn during various activities. Based on research, you can count on your body to estimate how many calories you can burn through different workout types, including cardio and weightlifting.

Weight Training Fosters Short-Term Calorie Burn

One reason why weight training earns a point in the fat-loss contrast against cardio stems from the number of calories burned after a session. Studies have shown that metabolism can be raised after a weight training session for a minimum of 38 hours (post-workouts).

That means instead of burning, say 50 calories while sitting probably watching TV, you’ll burn 70. The 20 extra calories might seem a bit shallow. But, when you multiply that by 38 hours, you’ll know how much the resultant difference can impact your routine calorie expenditure.

When you approximate that out on a monthly basis, it becomes even clearer how regular weight training can influence your ability to burn calories and so fat.

Weight Lifting and Long-Term Calorie Burn

Weight lifting increases muscle mass. Perhaps this is the biggest benefit as increased muscle build up in the body supports metabolism. This means that your body will consume fewer calories while at rest over the long run.

Since muscle tissue is relatively stable (so long you have some stimulus on the muscle and are consuming enough protein), it won’t be lost. In other words, weight training allows you to secure a larger degree of lean muscle mass, which acts as the body’s driving force, thus an effective weight loss strategy in the long-run.

This explains the reason why males typically eat more than females. They have more lean muscles on their body, which makes them burn more calories around-the-clock.

However, it is important to know how much muscle you can build within a given period. Naturally, males are able to produce 1-2 pounds of net muscle on a monthly rate, while females gain 0-5-1 pounds.

Weight Lifting for Weight Loss

Weight loss might be difficult in practice, but the success of weight loss actually comes down to one simple equation: burning more calories than you eat.

According to the JAMA paper in September 2014, one pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories. That means if you weigh 500 calories a day, you may lose a pound a week.

Based on Harvard Health Publishing research, a person weighing 155 pounds can burn 446 calories after a 60 minutes weight lifting session, and a 185-pound person can burn 530 calories.

Studies show that your body can continue burning calories even after weight training. The lean muscle you build through lifting weights accelerates your resting metabolism. 

Although other exercises such as cardio certainly have their benefits (heart health, stress relief, they normally burn calories instantly). Weightlifting, on the other hand, is rather special as it brings after-burn benefits.

Weight lifting also improves your body composition, such that when the number decreases on the scale, you’re usually expending a combination of water, body fat, and muscle.

Strength training is more effective than cardio since it helps maintain muscle, thereby giving you more tone. Experts say that when you lift weights, you are more likely to burn body fat. Couple a fat burner & a pre workout with your workout, it will help you lose fat faster. 

Weight Lifting and Body Reshaping

Another major benefit associated with weightlifting is that it will enable you to reshape your body completely.

Other exercises, like cardio training, will generally make you lose weight. But since weight loss is basically a union of muscle and fat, you will be left with smaller bits of unwanted fat in the body.

When performing weight lifting, you can speed up the weight loss process by ensuring a calorie-restricted diet. This way, you will stand a better chance of cutting body fat while enhancing your body’s natural curves.

You will also achieve better overall transformation than if you lost weight using cardio exercises.

If you’ve ever come across someone who happened to lose a considerable amount of weight but still looks somewhat soft, it is probably because they’ve lost some fat, but their muscles aren’t properly toned.

Bottom Line

The best bet for fat loss can be linked to a mixture of cardio and weight training. After all, BMC Public Health research showed that overweight persons who followed a 12-week weight training alongside cardio sessions lost more weight compared to those who merely relied on cardio.

Weight lifting modalities come in many forms, including body weight, suspension trainers, weight machines, Olympic lifting, and free weights. For an effective fat-burning endurance routine, experts suggest considering ten workouts that hit the most muscle groups.

This could be squats, lunges, push-ups, chest presses, lat pull-downs, kettlebell swings, and performing fast-paced circuits. Work with a relatively heavyweight that you can manage for 12-18 raps in 30 seconds.

A weekly schedule that incorporates strength-training (3-4 times per week) cardio (2-3 times per week) and some bit of active recovery practices like yoga, walking, and Pilates (once per week) and one day for resting can boldly impact fat loss and overall body reshaping.

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