Why Strength Training Is Important for Weight Loss?

Why Strength Training Is Important for Weight Loss?

Whenever someone thinks or talks about the best kind of workouts for losing weight, you might not think about strength training. Why? Well, maybe you lack knowledge about how effective or best this workout is. Of course, it is true that cardio workouts will make your heart work harder. On top of this, it will make your body burn more calories.

Strength training is the best exercise which can make your weight loss goals get the extra boost. So, before you start doing strength training exercises, you need to have a good and clear picture of what it is and how much beneficial it can be. Keep in mind that weight loss goals are not suitable for everyone.

People having or suffering from the history of disordered eating (even those who are in recovery) will need to consult their doctor before starting their weight-loss goals. This even includes the new exercise routine. So, even if you aren’t suffering from the history of disordered eating, it is very much important that you have a realistic expectation. Also, you must make sure that you are pursuing weight loss in a healthy manner.

Plus, you need to keep in mind that the results are very difficult to come by. Sometimes it might take a long time to achieve it and even there are chances that it will be tough to maintain. You do need to realize that exercise is only a part of the equation. Before starting any exercise, you must create a calorie deficit (where you burn more calories than you consume in a single day) for losing weight.

It won’t require you to simply workout, however, you even need to be cognizant about the things that you put into your body. Make sure that you eat regularly, have the required quality of calories and watch the portion size. Also, you need to have good sleep on a regular basis. You should learn to lower your stress levels.

Frankly, you must take good care of your major and other bodily needs. As there are multiple factors to be considered, no wonder weight loss is somewhat a unique experience to any individual. The key is to incorporate strength training into your day-to-day routines if you goal is to reduce weight. Of course, strength training will not provide you with sweat-dripping and instant heart pondering satisfaction like indoor cycling or Zumba classes. Still in the long run, it will assist in building lean muscles which will be great for your weight loss.

Benefits of Strength Training

Besides providing you with well touted and hardcore muscles, strength training does more. The following are some of its major benefits –

Making You Stronger & Fitter

One of the obvious benefits is that strength training can make you very strong, and this is something that you should not overlook. Your muscle strength plays a crucial part in making things easier for you to do especially the day-to-day activities. Muscles play a great role and as we get older, we end up losing our muscles.

Do you know that strength training is also known as resistance training? It involves toning and strengthening of the muscles especially by contracting them along the resisting forces. There are two major kinds of resistance training –

  1. Isometric resistance – This consists of contracting your muscles with a non-moving kind of object like against the floor in the push-up.
  2. Isotonic strength training – Here this consist of contracting the muscles with a wide range of motions like lifting weights.

Strength Training Protects Muscles Mass and Bone Health

Right around at the age of 30 we end up losing about three to five percent of our lean body mass. This is with each year of aging. Studies and research show that simply a thirty minute of high intensity and impact resistance training twice a week will improve your functional performance. Also, it will even help in improving your bone structure, density and strengthening in postmenopausal women having low mass in bones. Most importantly, they have no amount of negative effects.

In the same way, muscle strengthening activities will assist in increasing as well as preserving the muscle mass, power, strength. These are very much important for the joint, bone and muscles health too as we start to age.

Strength Training Will Keep the Weight Off

Doing aerobic exercises is great. For example, running, walking, cycling, etc is the best way to increase the number of calories that you burn each day. Plus, it will help in shedding the extra pounds too. In the same way even strength training helps too.

Researchers and medical experts feel that strength training is very much useful for weight loss as it assists in increasing the resting metabolism of your body (here it means the rate in which your body will burn calories when you spend your entire day, that too not exercising). Now a good resistance workout will increase the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

Strength Training Will Assist You to Have A Better Body Mechanics

One of the best aspects of doing strength training is that it will benefit your coordination, balance and even posture. A study conducted on older individuals who were at the higher risk of falling (and even leading to huge damage) due to bad physical functioning, ended up doing strength training. With that the risk of them falling reduced to about 40% in comparison to individuals who did not do any strength-training exercises.

Strength Training Will Assist in Chronic Disease Management

There are many studies that document the wellness benefits of strength training. These include assisting individuals with chronic diseases who manage their conditions. Now if you are suffering from arthritis, then doing strength training will be very much effective like medication in reducing arthritis pain.

Strength Training Will Boost Your Energy Levels and Improve Your Moods

Now strength training will improve your level of endorphins (these are natural opiates that are created by the brain). These are commonly used for lifting the energy levels and improving the mood. Most of the exercises are known to boost one’s mood as it helps in increasing endorphins.

However, in terms of strength training, there are additional research which show that neuromuscular and neurochemical responses to such kind of workouts will provide better evidence that it provides a positive effect on the brain. Now if this doesn’t convince you, then there are evidences that show that strength training will even help you to sleep better.

Strength Training Will Burn More Calories

Strength training will assist in boosting your metabolism (which is the rate at which your resting body will burn calories all around the day). However, resistance or weight will assist in boosting your calorie burn while and after you are working out.

Now you will end up burning calories while doing strength training and your body will continue to burn calories after strength training too. This is like what you do after aerobic exercises, which is called as ‘excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or ‘EPOC’.

When you are doing strength, resistance or weight training, your body will need more energy which is based on the energy that you are exerting. Hence, it means that the tougher you are working out, the more energy you will need. It even means that you will burn more calories while working out and more calories will burn after working out, while the body is recovering from the resisting state.

Strength Training Provides Cardiovascular Health Benefits

Now along with the normal aerobic exercises, doing muscle strengthening physical activity can help to improve your blood pressure. As per recent survey, doing muscle-strengthening physical activity twice a week along with 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity weekly will help in lowering the hypertension and even lowering the risk of getting heart disease.

Weight Loss Strength Training Exercise

The following are some of the major strength training exercises you can do –

1) Body Weight Training

Like most exercises, body weight training is just doing an exercise where your own body is the main weight that you are lifting. Well, this is the best exercise for any individual irrespective of their age and weight. Also, it is something that they need to do in order to start their strength training journey.

So, why is it the best place to begin? There are two major reasons.

  • The first reason is that you always have your body with you. So, it means that you can work at any place using body weight training.
  • It is the most human thing to use your body for resistance training. Simply by learning to pull and push along with hanging and the squat and lunge, you are literally doing what your body is designed for and to do.

2) Dumbbell Training

One of the first steps in the world of strength and weight training is dumbbells. In addition, most gyms will be having dumbbells, including the basic ones that are present in the apartment complex. Keep in mind that a set of dumbbells won’t be taking a huge amount of room. Hence, it means that you can have a pair right in your house.

In addition, dumbbells can help to make it easy for adding difficulty in body weight movements. For example, exercises like holding the dumbbells while you are doing lunges. Also, dumbbell exercises will be less intimidating compared to the barbell training for certain people. Not many people know that they are the basic step towards the barbell training. Like most exercises, dumbbells have the added stabilization challenge.

Also, it will point out the imbalances of the muscles very easily. You might even scale easily too. So, if the ten-pound weight becomes easy to pick, then you need to try the fifteen pound one.

3) Kettle bell Training

If you check out the kettle bell, it is just like a cannonball with a handle. Of course, they are available in imaginable weights, and won’t take up a huge space in a room. Also, there are dozens of ways it can be very much compact workout. Now even though there are adjustable kettle bells, it will be better if you work with one and then adjusting your movements with the progressive overload. Also, if you are a member of the gym, then you will have many kettle bells which you can use for leveling up.

4) Barbell Training

Irrespective of the age and sex, if your goal is to become strong in a quick manner, then you need to use the 20 seconds of courage and become comfortable with the barbell training. Of course, you can progressively overload. All you need to do is add weights on either side of the bar. This will allow you to progressively life more and more weight each week.

This is often for the lower body movements like dead lift and squat. Here the biggest setback for barbell training is that for training at home, you would have to buy a squat rack, a bench, barbell and enough weights for your garage and house. This can be an expensive investment as you are starting out.

How Strength Training Helps in Cardio?

It is important that you know that both strength training and cardio won’t cancel each other out. So, it is only half the battle. You must balance both in a proper manner. Mixing strength training and cardio will need a good individualized approach. This will be based on your body type, goals and the kind of sport you do.

Here the first thing you need to do is decide whether your focus is to gain muscle or lose weight. If you are trying to do both at the same time, it will seriously slow down your progress and even can frustrate you. Sometimes it might even lead to over-training injuries. Here it won’t mean that you are going to select a training method in comparison to another. The entire focus is to make them work as a whole.

Regarding various aspects of fitness, balance is the major key for mixing both strength training and cardio. These both needs to be there in your day to day routine. Some might consider both these methods to be very much incompatible, when they are scheduled, still they will work together to assist you in reaching your fitness goals.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.