One of the most asked questions of personal trainers is if you are able to lose fat by lifting weights. Paired with this is the misconception that cardio training and diet alone burn fat, while lifting weights only increases your muscle mass. However, scientists and trainers have proven that strength training, or weight lifting, combined with the right diet burns more fat than just cardio. Here’s why.
Losing fat with lifting weights
A big part of losing fat involves increasing your metabolism. Developing lean muscle helps you burn more calories:
- Studies have shown that 0.5 kg of muscle burns about 10 – 20 calories a day whereas the same amount of fat only burns about five calories a day.
- Muscle also takes up less space than fat which makes you slimmer.
Strength training only works if you use enough weight to stimulate muscle growth. Using too little weight won’t develop your muscles while using too much weight will put on the bulk that you are trying to avoid.
High repetition training
Studies show that lifting between 60-80% of your repetition max is the best way to induce muscle growth and lose fat. This means that you need to do between 10-20 reps although 8-16 is recommended for someone trying to lose weight.
This high rep training is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). This is how long your metabolism is elevated after exercise. The best strength programme can elevate your EPOC for up to 38 hours after your workout. This means that knowing how to do the best high rep strength training is an essential part of losing fat.
How to do high repetition training
- Choose a weight you can only lift 16 times.
- Begin with one set of each exercise. Build your way up to between two and three sets by adding weights after about four weeks so that you can only finish 12 reps of your exercise. Add a rep each week until you reach 16. After you’ve reached your goal, increase weight again.
Some exercises that have been proven to work in high repetition training are:
- Barbell Presses
- Inverted Row (Pulling)
- Russian Twist
The right diet
And, of course, every training programme needs the right diet paired with it. Nutrition is a critical part of muscle growth. This means that high-protein foods, carbohydrates and fats should become your favourite foods.
To lose fat, you need to lessen your calorie intake and, at the same time, maintain your protein intake at 1g per 0.5kg of bodyweight.
Try to incorporate these into your diet, here is a list of foods that you can add to your shopping list:
- Chicken Breasts
- Greek Yogurt
- Lean Beef
- Cottage Cheese
- Turkey Breast
- Edamame Beans
- Lean Biltong
- Pork Tenderloin
- Brown Rice
Weight lifting holds other benefits too. For example, it:
- Helps to strengthens bones and connective tissue.
- Assists in enhancing balance and stability.
- Helps to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Lifting weights has loads of benefits for your body. Losing weight is just one of these. However, you need to adopt the correct form while you do these exercises because – if you don’t – you risk seriously injuring yourself.
Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Olympic Lifting CPD Course will give personal trainers the edge on weight lifting so that they can be sure to instruct their clients in the best possible form. To find out more and to register, follow this link. Alternatively, visit our website to learn more about our other health and fitness courses.