There’s a huge misconception that you shouldn’t lift weights when trying to lose weight. Not only is it believed that it could stunt your results, but it’s actually thought to truly be counterproductive. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

On the contrary, strength training/weight lifting is a great way to support fat loss. Why? Because it builds lean muscle, increases BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), and increases the speed of your metabolism.

Which is better for fat loss – strength training or cardio?

Although it is widely accepted that cardiovascular exercise is generally better for total calorie expenditure during a workout, the keyword here is ‘during’. Strength training is universally more effective at burning total calories and fat overall. By increasing muscle mass, you increase your BMR and as a result, a higher BMR equates to more calories being burned throughout the day, contributing to a calorie deficit – essential for weight loss. This is what is known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).

To answer the question, however, it’s fair to say that a combination of both types of exercise is likely to generate the best results in both the short and longer-term. As a Personal Trainer, I always plan my programmes around these principles – combining both cardio and strength training in order to maximise my client’s workout to achieve their goals.

This seems different to what I’ve heard elsewhere – why is that?

During an aerobic, cardiovascular workout, it’s widely accepted that more calories are burned during a workout than a typical strength training workout of the same duration. The distinction? While you may certainly be losing weight, you’re also losing a proportionate amount of muscle at the same time. Additionally, it can also slow down your metabolism rather than speed it up. A detriment if you’re trying to lose weight.

Here’s the answer: Increase intensity and begin to implement a consistent strength training regimen consisting of weight-bearing exercises in conjunction with aerobic activity. This is the optimal weight loss plan. Oh, and don’t forget to hone in on your diet, as well!

If you need help with any of these elements, contact me today – I’ll be only too happy to explore your options.