Which is better for fat loss – cardio or strength training? This is a really common question for my clients hoping to lose weight, and the answer is simply this: both!
Sure, cardio exercise like running, cycling, or walking can help you lose weight and increase your overall fitness. However, if you want to drop fat and improve the overall appearance of your physique, strength training is the way to go. Here are four reasons why you should start strength training to burn fat.
1. Build Lean Muscle Mass
Combined with a nutritious, high-protein diet, strength training increases your overall muscle mass. This isn’t about building huge muscles (unless you want to), but muscle tissue requires more energy to maintain. So, when you add a little muscle and definition to your shape, your metabolism increases and burns more calories just to maintain your hard-earned body composition.
The outcome? An improved capacity for burning fat!
2. Burns Calories for Longer
Sure, you burn fat during a cardio workout. However, once you stop exercising, you stop burning extra calories. On the other hand, you’ll keep burning calories for at least a few hours after a solid strength training workout.
This “afterburn effect” all comes down to that raised metabolism. When your metabolism rises, and your energy expenditure increases, you can torch calories. So, is strength training good for weight loss? Absolutely!
3. Improves Sleep
When you’re trying to lose fat, sleep is your friend. Why? Because sleep helps to regulate your appetite and metabolism. If you’re feeling well-rested, you’re less likely to snack on sugary foods during the day, which helps to regulate your calorie intake.
Aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep each night to help you recover from strength training and control your cravings.
4. Elevates Your Heart Rate
Just like cardio, a great strength workout boosts your heart rate and diverts more blood to your hard-working muscles. The result? You might notice a drop in appetite because there’s less blood flowing to your stomach right after your workout.
So, not only can you use strength training for fat loss, but it builds your cardio system and can act like a natural appetite regulator!
Is Strength Training Good for Weight Loss?
The takeaway? Yes! Strength training is great for fat loss if it’s performed as part of a healthy lifestyle where you’re also enjoying a balanced, nutritious diet. Remember, your goal is to burn fat, not just lose weight, and strength training helps you preserve that toned look while you shed extra pounds!
If you’re unsure how to get started, or how to perform weighted exercises correctly, don’t struggle alone. Instead, consider working with me! Hire a personal trainer – we’ll work together to plan daily workouts and flexible diet plans, all the tools you need to succeed. Or, check out my convenient SloaneSquad app for workouts, community support, and delicious recipe ideas!