The Wellness Revolution

exercise & fitness

Fat Loss by Strength Training

The best way to lose fat is with a proper combination of weight training and cardio along with a balanced diet. The very act of weight lifting can affect fat loss by increasing both the number of calories burned by your body during and long after the workout. Strength training for fat loss does not have to be all that different from strength training for muscle mass or maximal strength. Our muscles are metabolically active tissues, meaning they are located in your body where stored fat is burned. More muscles require more energy which is provided by burning excess fat.

The best exercises for fat loss are the ones that recruit larger muscles and work multiple muscle groups at a time because they use the most energy to perform. These exercises involve squats, deadlifts, rowing, snatches or bench press and are known as compound movements.

Strength Training Movements for Fat Loss:

While a variety of exercises are best, there are some basic exercises that you can include to aid fat loss. The best movements for fat loss are the ones that recruit larger muscles and work multiple muscle groups at a time because they use the most energy to perform. These exercises involve squats, deadlifts, rowing, snatches or bench press and are known as compound movements. Research suggests that the use of free weight, multi-joint movements like squats, bench presses, shoulder presses and bent-over rows will burn more calories than machine and cardio exercise. This is likely because compound exercises use other muscles such as those that assist the target muscles and stabiliser muscles. Secondly, moderate weight lifting with proper execution is completely injury free as humans are generally good at moving heavy weights.  

Rep-Speed and Volume for Fat Loss:

The weight you train with and the number of reps you can complete has a major effect on fat burn. To burn more calories, higher reps do the trick. However, if two guys are lifting different weights, the heavy lifter will burn more calories in the resting phase, as he has exhausted his muscles the most, and will have a higher high rate performing the exercise also. The total number of sets you do is also directly proportional to fat loss. Increase in exercise volume also helps in increasing muscle size. As a general rule, doing 15-20 sets per workout burns more fat than doing sets under 15. 

Exercise intensity and training frequency for more fat loss:

Another thing regarding strength training for maximising fat loss is the use of intensity techniques for performing the exercise after passing the point of failure. If someone passes the point of failure by some assistance or intentional cheating, their body releases growth hormone which does many wonders for our body along with fat loss (lipolysis). 

How often you train the muscle group can also have an impact on fat loss, more workouts during the week equals more calories burned. Longer sessions of weight lifting can increase the calories burned also promoting more fat loss in our body.

Correct Weight Lifting Techniques

Weight lifting as a ritual of strength training is as old as our recorded time. Ancient Egyptians would lift sacks of sand to strength train for hunting and military duties more than 2000 BC. Greek strongmen and athletes would lift stones to develop strength and athletic abilities. Despite the fact that humans have a historical fascination with strength and muscle development, only a few have familiarised themselves with this topic. It is scientifically proven that weight lifting with progressive resistance helps our body in growing muscle and overall physique development. It amazes people to watch sports superstars Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James and Daniel Ricciardo to share their weightlifting stories every now and then. 

We have mentioned some basic weightlifting techniques for you to get most out of your workouts.

Choosing the right weights

The idea of weight lifting is not to lift too heavy nor too light. If you lift too heavy ,you tend to cheat by losing proper form. While lifting feather light also doesn’t  put sufficient stress on the muscles to grow. A big mistake made by most beginners is trying to use more weight than their muscles are capable of lifting. Once you’ve chosen the weights, try to lift in front of the mirror. During back exercises like barbell rows and deadlifts, keep your back straight and upright. Secondly, make sure you don’t bend your knees in front of your feet. It cause knee pain by shifting the pressure from your glutes and hamstrings to your knee joints

Warm up before lifting weights

Maximum number of injuries are caused when people dive right in lifting as heavy as possible. Think of your muscles as elastic bands. Elastic bands lose their flexibility on cooling. Muscles also behave in a similar way. So, always try to do 5-10 minutes of cardio or calisthenics before lifting. In the last part of warm up, make sure you do a few warm up sets of reduced weight before lifting heavy.

Full range of motion 

Weight lifting has its maximum benefits when an exercise is done through its longest range of motion. This allows you to simulate the maximum amount of muscle. This maximum muscle contraction leads to the stretching of the opposite muscle. For example, bench press done in a strict full range of motion will make your shoulders and back flexible and stronger.

Necessary equipment for better execution of lifting exercises

Resistance training demands more than only a tracksuit and pair of shoes. There are a lot of options in gym gear that help you lift easily. 

  • You should wear a suitable belt if you find difficulty in maintaining your back straight in exercises like barbell rows and deadlifts.
  • If your hands are affected by the exposure of heavy weights, you may use wrist wrap or gym gloves.
  • Knee wraps are also a good option to protect your knee joints from heavy squats & barbell lunges.

Best breathing technique for weightlifting

It is often noted that most immature lifters breathe only once or twice in a set. This spikes lactic acid in our body and causes soreness in the muscles. You should try to breathe deeply in every rep. The most common practice is to inhale on the easy part of the movement (usually the lowering phase) and exhale on the hardest part(usually the upward phase). This breathing pattern helps in the supply of fresh oxygen and builds your training rhythm.

We should understand that our body is designed to lift weights instead of sitting all day long to a computer screen. Most people ignore these exercises as they aren’t as joyful as running or swimming. However, people aspiring to achieve an ideal physique should also do weight training just as they do running and dieting.

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