How weight training helps control body fat?
What’s better for fat loss: weight training or cardio work?
Now here’s the shocking fact – weight training helps control body fat! When early studies compared cardio exercise to weight training, researchers learned that people who did aerobics (cardio) burned more calories during exercise than those who lifted weights. You’d assume, then, that aerobic exercise was the way to go. There is a big chance that you might also equate weight training with building your muscles and cardio with burning off lard, but weights are an amazing weapon in the war against excess body fat. In other words, you should limit your cardio session to a minimum! in this post you will find out how exactly weight training helps control body fat and why this is the best tool to fight stubborn fat.
Human physiology: Weight training and fat metabolism
Exercise alone is insufficient for long-term weight loss. However, combining diet and exercise improves your chances of losing weight and keeping it off. Weight training helps preserve lean body mass (fat-free weight), increases total energy output, and speeds fat use after exercise. Weight training increases energy output nearly as much as aerobics does—if you train intensely. It also increases the amount of calories you burn while digesting food. Above all, it increases the amount of calories you bum during and after exercise— mainly by increasing fat-free mass. Fat-free mass is principally composed of muscle—the most important tissue determining the calories you bum (metabolize).
Metabolism includes all the chemical reactions that occur in your body. Every time you exercise, make new proteins, break down foods you eat, or repair injured tissues, your body uses energy that contributes to metabolism. Muscles are hotbeds of metabolism. They make up about 45 percent of your body weight—more than any other tissue. Muscles use a large amount of energy when they contract. During exercise, metabolism increases by more than 10 times above rest. World-class endurance athletes can increase their metabolism by more than a whooping 20 times above rest.
More muscles and higher metabolic rate
Now you already know that weight training helps control body fat. So now you have to understand the mechanism of action. Even at rest, muscles use a lot of energy because they are highly metabolic tissues. This means that your metabolic rate is higher if you have more muscle. More muscle makes it easier to bun calories and create a negative energy balance that metabolizes fat. Weight training can also help you maintain your muscle mass when you’re trying to low weight, helping you to avoid the significant drop in resting metabolic rate associated with weight loss. So, when you lift weights, you will find it easier to lose fat, maintain your new healthier weight, and look great at the same time.
Muscles continue to increase metabolic rate even when you stop exercising. Lifting weights, particularly when you train intensely, increases muscle temperature, which increases calorie use after exercise. The increased temperature helps to raise metabolic rate above normal resting levels. Just as a car burns more gas when it runs at a high rpm rate when idling, your body’s metabolism runs at a faster rate after exercise and helps you bum more calories all day. Greater muscle mass helps stoke your metabolism during and after exercise. Greater metabolism Is the key to losing weight and mastering your metabolism.
Weight loss through low-calorie dieting alone makes you lose muscle mass and decreases the efficiency of fat metabolism. This makes continued weight loss more difficult and makes it easier to regain the weight. The overall energy expenditure, mainly determined by the frequency and duration of exercise, is more important than exercise intensity for controlling body fat. Most research studies suggest that a good exercise program for losing body fat should Include both endurance and resistive exercises, practiced at least three times per week, with an energy expenditure of approximately 1,500 calories per week.
How aerobic exercise actually decreases muscle mass?
Here’s the problem with low-intensity aerobic exercise. Just like a car can’t run without gas or a kite can’t fly without wind, a body can’t function without food. It’s the fuel that helps you run, lift, and have the legs to make love all night long.
Generally, during exercise, your body calls upon glycogen (the stored form of carbohydrate in muscles and the liver), fat, and in some cases protein. When you’re doing low-intensity aerobic exercise like jogging, your body primarily uses fat and glycogen (carbohydrates) for fuel. When it continues at longer periods (20 minutes or more), your body drifts into depletion. You exhaust your first-tier energy sources (your glycogen stores), and your body hunts around for the easiest source of energy it can find—protein.
Your body actually begins to eat up muscle tissue, converting the protein stored in your muscles into energy you need to keep going. Once your body reaches that plateau, it burns up 5 to 6 grams of protein for every 30 minutes of ongoing exercise. That’s roughly the amount of protein you’ll find in a hard-boiled egg. By burning protein, you’re not only missing an opportunity to burn fat but also losing all-important and powerful muscle. So aerobic exercise actually decreases muscle mass.
What aspect of strength training creates long afterburn effect? How exactly weight training helps control body fat?
Most likely, it’s the process of muscle repair. Weight lifting causes your muscle tissues to break down and rebuild themselves at a higher rate than normal. Muscles are always breaking down and rebuilding; strength training simply accelerates the process. That breakdown and rebuilding takes a lot of energy and could be what accounts for the long period of calorie burning. In fact, a Finnish study found that protein synthesis (the process that builds bigger muscles) increases 21 percent 3 hours after a workout.
Key Points to Remember
- You are not burning as many calories during a typical resistance-training session as you are during a typical cardio session. However, you are burning calories nonetheless.
- Strength training burns calories long after you leave the gym, while you sleep, and maybe all the way until your next workout. The increased metabolic effect of aerobic last only 30-60 minutes after the aerobic session has ended.
- Aerobic exercise builds little (if any) muscle – and muscle is the key component of a speedy metabolism. Build muscle and you burn fat. Muscle eat fat! Add 1 pound of muscle, and your body burns up to an additional 50 calories a day just to keep that muscle alive. Add 6 pounds of muscle, and suddenly you’re burning up to 300 more calories each day just by sitting still.
- Aerobic exercise actually decreases muscle mass. Decreased muscle mass ultimately slows down your metabolism, making it easier for you to gain weight.
Closing Thoughts About Weight Training and Fat Loss
Studies have shown a significant relationship between weight training and fat loss. While both weightlifting and cardiovascular exercise burn calories and boost the metabolism, cardio only raises the metabolism during the exercise and for a very short time after. Weightlifting increases metabolism during the exercise and for a long time after. This is because the body is now growing more muscle as it tries to repair the damage from the weight training. Think of weight training as stoking the fire. Or another metaphor is building a bigger engine. The bigger your engine, the more fuel it requires on a daily basis. This increased burning of calories after the weight training session has ended can last for days. So if you like the sound of boosting your resting metabolism, then weight training should be on your exercise schedule. This is exactly how weight training helps control body fat. So avoid low-intensity high-duration aerobic exercise. Replace them with HIIT instead. We can now only conclude that weight training in combination with the HIIT is the best possible option to combat fat!