In case you did not already know this, next to best nutrition practices, weight training (‘strength training’), is your best weapon for fat loss. Of course, there are other tools in the box. But, I want to be very clear, STRENGTH TRAINING IS THE BEST TOOL FOR FAT LOSS NEXT TO PROPER NUTRITIONAL HABITS.
There are many reasons for this. Here are perhaps the 3 biggest that you MUST (1), MUST (2), MUST (3), know!!! Memorize this and never forget it. This is more powerful than any drug, book, or magical piece of information you will ever find (period).
1) Increasing in lean body mass and thus resting metabolic rate (every pound you gain burns an extra 50 calories at rest per day…and trust me, you could stand to gain several pounds of muscle mass!). Don’t let the scale fool you! I have had many people go up in scale weight but lose pounds of body fat and gain pounds of lean mass radially changing their body fat percentage. Quick example: Reading #1: Female-was 145lbs at 24% fat. Reading #2: 147lbs, lost 7 pounds of fat and gained 9lbs of muscle and dropped 5% body fat ending with 19%! I estimate that I carry at least 30 extra pounds of body weight from the strength training I do, that is an extra 1500 calories per day! On TOP of simple resting metabolic rate needs (~2000kcal). Then, when you add up what I utilize for training sake we are talking an extra 1500-3000+ calories per day (these are not your typical workouts). But, do the math. 3,500 kcal before I even have to lift a finger!
2) Burning calories via exercise (using your muscles/lungs, etc): see article below. But, in short, mechanical work requires mechanical energy. The bigger the motor you have and use, the more fuel burned off. DON’T be a Prius! If you want to look and perform like a lamborghini, you have to do it hard and fast!
3) Hormonal shifts: strength training has drug like effects on your endocrinology. Increases in human growth hormone (if you super set accordingly and use appropriate brief rest periods and use the appropriate big rock exercises), increases in testosterone (IF you choose the correct big rock exercises), drops in estrogen (unless chronic cardio), recycling and filtering of cortisol (dump that work/lifestyle stress…it makes you fat!, stimulation of catecholamines (hormones involved with fight or flight/intense exercise that mobilize glucose and fatty acids for oxidation/energy utilization), and reduction in insulin levels (a powerful fat storage hormone).
Big Rock exercise = big motor = big fuel burned! And he’s not a muscle bound freak! For more on that read DENSITY
Tip 469: Manipulate Training Intensity & Volume to Lose Fat and Get Stronger
• A protocol with an intensity of 70 percent of the 1 RM with 60 total sets equaling 600 reps lifted for a load-volume of 38,000 kg.
• Using the same intensity, another study used a protocol of 50 total sets equaling 500 reps lifted for a load-volume of 25,000 kg.
• In comparison, the present study used significantly fewer reps (199) to reach the 20,000 kg trial. If 400 reps had been tested, the trainees would have neared 50,000 kg. This may have been the threshold needed to elevate EPOC.
Abboud, G., et al. Effects of Load-Volume on EPOC after Acute Bouts of Resistance training in Resistance trained Males. Journal of strength and Conditioning Research. October 2012. Published Ahead of Print.