Strength training is finally being touted as an effective vehicle towards fat loss.
But why it’s effective is a little fuzzy. The old theory is that strength training adds metabolism boosting muscle, but that idea is filled with more holes than a Swiss cheese dart board.
For one, muscle isn’t quite as metabolically active as we Would like. Back in the day, people used to say things like “a pound of fat burns more energy than a small sun.” or something to that effect.
But now the estimation is much lower, attributing the metabolic boost from a pound of muscle to be only a slight smidgen.
Not to mention the notion that most people will struggle to put on even 5-10 pounds of muscle within a year.
Of course personal genetics and differences should be taken into account.
The over all lesson though is that strength training won’t pack the mounds of muscle onto your frame to turn you into a metabolic powerhouse anytime soon.
But don’t despair! Strength training does help you burn more fat and calories, just not through packing on jeeps of muscle othy our frame.
The reason isn’t so much that muscle doesn’t help boost your metabolism so much as it helps you torch far more calories while being active.
To recap, there are only three things you can do to increase the amount of calories you burn while active.
#1- Move more muscle mass. The more muscle you involve in an activity the more calories you burn per unit of time. This is why people can burn more energy XC skiing or kick boxing rather than squeezing a hand exerciser.
#2- Move at a higher intensity. So walking on an incline burns more energy than walking along a flat plane. Hiking with a weighted pack burns more than without a pack.
#3- Do the activity for longer periods of time. Again, pretty simple. Running 30 minutes burns more calories than running for 15 but not as much as 45.
Those are your only three options for burning more fat and calories. Now you don’t have to buy all of those magazines claiming to teach you how to burn more fat and calories.
The cool thing is, you can increase all three of those factors for every workout you do! The reason is because you’ve become stronger through strength training.
You’ll move more muscle ( both because you’ve trained your muscles to use more of it, plus you’ll have put on some), you’ll be able to work harder and you’ll have greater endurance for longer workouts.
It’s a win-win-win. Plus you’ll recover faster from each workout thus giving you the ability to increace your workout frequency. You’ll have more energy durring the day and it will help prevent injury that can stop your fat loss efforts in its tracks.
So keep aiming to become stronger and don’t let the false promise of a faster metabolism disappoint you. Strength training is still a heavy hitter in keeping fat off of your frame.