When you start working out, you’re often presented with two main goals: losing weight or building muscle. The two are often viewed as opposite ends of the fitness spectrum, when in fact you often need one to achieve the other.
I’m here to answer the question “should I lose weight before building muscle” once and for all so you can take control of your fitness goals.
Do I Have to Lose Weight Before Building Muscle?
While there are no rules around whether you need to lose weight before building muscle, experts agree that there are some benefits to this process. First and foremost, losing weight first can help speed up your metabolism and give you the energy necessary for harder workouts, like weight lifting.
It takes more time to build muscle than to lose weight, so you can see the results of your weight loss work faster. This is rewarding and can help get your fitness routine off on a positive note. On the other hand, focusing on building muscle first can actually make you gain weight (since muscle is denser than body fat). It is completely normal to gain weight when lifting weights, but this might be discouraging if you expected the opposite from your workout routine. The key thing to remember is that gaining weight when weightlifting is the right kind of weight!
So while you don’t have to lose weight before building muscle, it’s often the best way to begin your fitness journey as it helps you see results quickly and ease into more difficult workouts.
Benefits of Weight Training
All of this isn’t to say that building muscle isn’t beneficial to weight loss. In fact, weight lifting, especially, is essential for long-term fat loss.
Weight training not only helps you build muscle but can also boost your metabolism. That’s because weight training creates an afterburn that cardio simply does not. Even after you finish a strength training session, your resting metabolism may be elevated for up to 38 hours! It can also improve sleep and energy levels, which can help you have harder, more effective workouts over time.
When you lose weight then build muscle, you may experience these positive benefits of weight training more quickly.
Best Way to Burn Fat and Build Muscle
Ready to learn how you can burn fat and build muscle effectively? It all begins with a well-rounded fitness plan.
Working with a personal trainer can be the first step in helping you build a workout plan that aligns with your lifestyle and goals. They can help you improve the efficiency of your workouts that are tailored to help you lose weight, keep it off, and build muscle. Along with a personalized fitness plan, a personal trainer will also be the biggest supporter of your wellness journey. They will help motivate you no matter what the experience brings, celebrating your personal victories and assisting you through any frustrations that are bound to happen along the way.
Start your wellness journey today with my curated strength training app, SloaneSquad. Whether you decide to participate in personalized strength training or work with a personal trainer, you will find a plan that can help you achieve your health goals at your own pace.