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Exploring the Benefits of Strength Training for Weight Loss

Exercise Gain energy Lose weight
Nabil Besri photo
Nabil Besri

March 16, 2024
Weight loss is a complex journey that extends far beyond the simplistic equation of calories in versus calories out. It's actually influenced by a variety of factors, including hormones, gut health, environmental toxins, and more. At MyAuthentikSpoon, we look into eight different dimensions that affect weight loss. Let's discover the benefits of Strength Training for Weight Loss, and how this key strategy can amplify your efforts in a complex landscape.

So if exercise alone isn’t the answer for Weight-Loss, it certainly can play an important role, but the question remains: what type of exercise offers the most benefit?

While cardio has its place, especially for its cardiovascular benefits and joint-friendly options like brisk walking, strength training plays a pivotal role in a comprehensive weight management strategy. Let’s dive in to understand more.

The Scientific Edge of Strength Training and it’s Benefits

Strength training, also known as resistance training, offers profound benefits for those looking to lose weight and maintain it. Contrary to the common belief that cardio is the sole key to losing weight, strength training has been shown to enhance metabolism, increase muscle mass, and lead to more sustainable weight loss outcomes. This is because muscle tissue burns more calories at rest compared to fat tissue, making it a critical component in elevating basal metabolic rate (BMR). We can therefore clearly talk of the Benefits of Strength Training for Weight Loss.

Understanding Strength Training

Strength training involves exercises that use resistance to induce muscular contraction, which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles. There are various forms of strength training:

  • Bodyweight exercises: like push-ups, pull-ups, and lunges, which require no equipment and can be performed anywhere.
  • Free weights: using dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells, offering a broad range of motion and adaptability for all fitness levels.
  • Resistance bands: provide tension and can enhance the strength of nearly any bodyweight movement.
  • Weight machines: focus on specific muscle groups, ideal for beginners or those rehabilitating from injuries.

Difference Between Strength Training and Cardiovascular Exercises

Strength training and cardiovascular exercises serve distinct yet complementary roles in a well-rounded fitness regimen. Strength training focuses on building muscle mass and strength through resistance exercises, whereas cardiovascular training aims to improve heart health, endurance, and calorie burn through activities like running, cycling, or swimming. Incorporating both types of exercise into your routine offers a holistic approach to improving overall health, enhancing body composition, and boosting metabolism. This is how we achieve the full benefits of Strength Training for weight loss

Strength Training: Beneficial at Any Age

The benefits of strength training extend well beyond weight loss. It improves bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, enhances joint flexibility, boosts mood and mental health, and offers significant advantages in maintaining a healthy body composition by increasing lean muscle mass and reducing fat.

One of the remarkable aspects of strength training is its accessibility and importance for individuals at any stage of life. Whether you’re in your 20s or well into your senior years, incorporating resistance exercises into your routine can offer significant health benefits.

For younger adults, strength training is an excellent way to build a strong foundation for physical fitness, enhance athletic performance, and prevent injuries. It’s also a crucial time to establish healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

As we age, the importance of strength training becomes even more pronounced. Starting around the age of 30, we begin to lose muscle mass—a process known as sarcopenia. This muscle loss can accelerate if we’re not proactive, leading to a decrease in metabolic rate, increased fat accumulation, and a higher risk of falls and fractures. Strength training combats sarcopenia by stimulating muscle growth and help maintain and increase BMR, aiding in glucose regulation by utilizing more blood glucose for energy, thus supporting weight management and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

For older adults, strength training is not just about maintaining muscle mass; it’s also about preserving independence and improving quality of life. It enhances balance, strengthens bones, and boosts cognitive function. Furthermore, it can help manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes.

Incorporating Strength Training into Your Routine

To get the benefits of strength training for weight loss and overall health, consider the following tips:

  1. Start with the Basics: Focus on compound movements like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses that work multiple muscle groups at once for a more efficient workout.
  2. Consistency Over Intensity: Gradually increase the intensity of your workouts to avoid burnout and injury. Consistency is key to long-term success.
  3. Mix It Up: Combine strength training with cardiovascular activities to keep your workouts interesting and comprehensive.
  4. Listen to Your Body: Rest and recovery are just as important as the workouts themselves. Ensure you’re allowing your body time to heal and adapt.

How Often Should I Do Strength Training?

To reap the maximum benefits of strength training for weight loss and muscle gain, aim for 2 to 3 sessions per week. This frequency allows for optimal muscle recovery and growth between workouts, ensuring you progress safely and effectively. Each session should target all major muscle groups, with a focus on compound movements that engage multiple muscles simultaneously. Check out our blog on sleep and recovery for best weight loss results. You will be surprised how much it actually helps.

Risks Associated with Strength Training

While strength training is a potent tool for enhancing health, it’s not without risks. Common concerns include muscle strains, joint pain, and overtraining. To mitigate these risks, prioritize proper form and technique above increasing weights or reps. Consider seeking guidance from a fitness professional, especially when new to strength training, to ensure exercises are performed correctly and safely.

Example of a Strength Training Routine

Embark on your strength training journey with this simple yet effective routine designed for beginners. This routine can be performed 2 to 3 times per week, with at least one rest day between sessions.

  1. Squats (Bodyweight or With Dumbbells) – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
    • – Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, lower down as if sitting back into a chair, keeping your chest up and knees behind your toes.
  2. Push-ups – 3 sets of 8-10 reps
    • Begin in a plank position, lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor, then push back up to the starting position.
  3. Dumbbell Deadlifts – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
    • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, hinge at your hips to lower the weights down the front of your legs, then return to standing. If you’re just beginning and in search of new weights for your workouts, Ninjoo’s work has caught our eye. Their vibrant colors and contemporary designs add a layer of enjoyment to using their products, helping to solidify strength training as a habit more quickly. Take a look at their product range; I’m confident you’ll be impressed.
  4. Plank – 3 sets of 30 seconds to 1 minute
    • Maintain a push-up position with your body in a straight line from head to heels, engaging your core.
  5. Bent-over Rows (With Dumbbells) – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
    • Bend slightly at the knees and hinge at the waist, pull the dumbbells towards your chest, then lower them back down.

Additionally, incorporating the use of belts during strength training can enhance your stability and support, particularly for your lower back during heavy lifts, ensuring that you maintain proper form and reduce the risk of injury as you progress in your fitness journey.

Remember, the key to success with strength training is consistency, proper form, and gradually increasing the challenge as your fitness improves.

By incorporating strength training into your routine, adhering to recommended frequencies, understanding its risks, and differentiating it from cardiovascular exercises, you’re setting the stage for a healthier, stronger you.

Continue Learning

If you’re ready to tackle weight loss with a new perspective, MyAuthentikSpoon is here to guide you. Our AUTHENTIK WEIGHT-LOSS and AUTHENTIK DETOX coaching programs are designed to support your body’s detoxification, paving the way for effective weight management. Join us and discover how DETOX can help you break through your weight loss plateau.

Additionally, we invite you to book a free private consultation with our dedicated naturopathic chef. This one-on-one session is an excellent opportunity to have all your questions answered and to learn how to incorporate the right WEIGHT-LOSS strategies into your lifestyle effectively. For more details, tips, and to join our community discussions, visit our website and explore.

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