Sure, strength training is the workout du jour for those wanting to build muscle and future-proof their proof body. (FYI from the age of 30 women typically start to experience atrophy, that’s a decline in muscle mass.) But the anxiety surrounding this type of training remains. Does strength training burn calories a la cardio? There’s no better person to ask than the founder of Roar Fitness and transformation trainer, Sarah Lindsay (@roarfitnessgirl).
Q. Does lifting weights help you lose fat?
A: The simple answer (and who doesn’t love the simple life) is yes – as with any training if your heart rate becomes more elevated than it is at rest, which it will when you lift, your body is burning calories. Not only can you boost this calorie burn by focusing on compound moves (those that work multiple muscle groups at one time) such as deadlifts and walking lunges, but challenging your body during a tough lifting session means it will draw on energy to recover and repair afterwards; to expend energy, you’re torching cals.
Lifting weights increases muscle mass
One of the biggest benefits of lifting weights in terms of overall calorie burn is that building muscle in the body has a heightening effect on your metabolism, which means that your body will use more calories at rest over the long term.
Read on: weights and weight loss – your guide to reps and set
According to a discovery at Boston University, it’s thanks to the muscle fibers at play.
Endurance training, such as LISS increases the amount of type 1 muscle fibres. Lifting weights increases type 11. More of the latter can reduce body fat and decrease overall body mass. “Type 11 muscle doesn’t just allow you to pick up heavy things, it is also important in controlling whole-body metabolism,” explains study author Kenneth Walsh. “It appears that the increase in type 11 muscle fibre orchestrates changes in the body through its ability to communicate other tissues.”
The takeaway? Strength training trumps cardio (metabolically speaking) as cardio focuses on calories in vs calories out, a short-term solution at best.
That said, I’d never recommend calorie burn to be your sole purpose in weight training. Your initial goal should be to become good at lifting – to perfect technique and form so your body is working its muscles effectively in each movement – and then you should be motivated to increase strength. Once you nail good form and growing strength, you can train hard; the heavier you can lift for the set amount of reps, the more stimulus you’re proving to your muscles and the more effective the workout.
Read on: best weight lifting trainers for women
Weight training exercises
Haven’t set foot inside a gym in months? New to the concept of weight training for women? Let Lindsay’s Instagram inspire you with weight training exercises.
So the most common problem people message me about is that when it comes to training they have no idea where to start. WELL HERE IT IS! Do this 3x per week for 3 weeks. I know it sounds boring but you will progress faster with repetition- focus on increasing the weight. This workout programme is appropriate for anyone looking to start toning up and losing fat and how I start most of my clients when they join @roarfitnessldn. Even with all my years of training I will always come back to this kind of conditioning workout if I’ve had as little as 2 weeks off. Lift as much weight as you can for the given reps (form allowing of course). Each exercise 13-15 reps with 60 secs rest. Perform 3x before moving onto the next pair. Very simple, very effective. Hope this helps- Let me know how you get on x ���� -Roar vest from @joeymyron �� -Leggings @lornajaneuk ��
Oct 23, 2017 at 10:08am PDT
Nov 1, 2017 at 9:01am PDT
For more inspiration follow #WHtransform on Instagram.