Cardio is practically synonymous with weight loss, as countless people do aerobic exercise to shed fat and get thin.
But what if there were another, more effective exercise modality we could use to lose weight? The alternative is weight training.
While people see weight lifting as something only suitable for meatheads, this way of training offers vast benefits for anyone looking to lose weight. Let’s see why that is.
Reason 1: It Helps You Retain Muscle
One of the biggest mistakes people make is focusing on weight loss. Instead of looking at the whole picture, folks begin to fixate on the number shown by the scale. If the number goes down, all is good. In contrast, if the weight stagnates, something is wrong.
The truth is, weight loss shouldn’t be your primary goal. Instead, you should care about fat loss, which allows you to retain your muscle and achieve a lean and athletic physique.
Weight training plays a vital role in the fat loss equation because it causes a strong stimulus, signaling your body that muscle is valuable. As a result, you maintain more lean tissue, lose fat, and reach your goals quicker.
Reason 2: It Offers a Modest Calorie Burn
People often do cardio for weight loss because it offers a good calorie burn. Interestingly, weight training provides a similar benefit. While not as great for burning calories as aerobic exercise, weight training can help you burn some 300 to 500 calories per workout, depending on factors like:
Exercises you do
Rest between sets
Level of exertion
A typical resistance workout burns around 400 calories. Do three of these per week, and you’ll burn an extra 1,200 calories per week that could aid your weight loss efforts.
Reason 3: It’s a Fun And Varied Way to Exercise
Cardio is by no means bad, anyone that knows me knows I love Step aerobics (steady state cardio), and you shouldn’t stop doing it if you enjoy the occasional run, step workout or bike ride. The problem with cardio is that it can be monotonous, and some people struggle to find enjoyment in doing it.
Not enjoying your workouts makes you more likely to give up and saps your motivation to push yourself. Sure, you can do it for a while, but how long do you think you could last doing something you genuinely don’t enjoy?
Weight training is a breath of fresh air because it offers more versatility, making you more likely to stay consistent and enjoy your workouts. Lifting weights provides a true sense of progression, allows you to do countless exercises, and brings noticeable improvements in your appearance and physical capacity.
Reason 4: You Don’t Have to Do A Lot Of It to Reap The Benefits
One of the best weight training benefits is that you don’t have to do much of it to reap its benefits. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to train six days per week and live at the gym to build muscle or get stronger. As little as three sessions can be enough, so long as you:
Train all major muscle groups
Do a healthy blend of compound and isolation exercises
Push yourself hard enough
Focus on small and steady progress