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Believe it or not, you possibly can shed extra pounds by gaining muscle. Here’s the way to do it.

Many folks train with the particular aim of losing a few pounds. Exercise is a good way to burn energy, so it will possibly provide help to generate the calorie deficit essential to lose physique fats. However, in relation to selecting the very best kind of train to lose weight, most individuals assume that you just actually should concentrate on cardio. While cardio train akin to working, biking, rowing, swimming, and stair climbing can all be nice methods to burn energy, it’s additionally potential to shed extra pounds by lifting weights. If you are likely to gravitate towards strength training greater than cardio exercises however nonetheless wish to shed extra pounds, preserve studying to discover ways to shed extra pounds by power coaching.

Can you shed extra pounds lifting weights?


One of the highest weight reduction tips that any well being and health skilled will advocate is to include train into your weight reduction program. Most folks assume that this implies cardio train reasonably than power coaching, because it’s considerably counterintuitive you could shed extra pounds lifting weights. After all, the aim of power coaching is commonly to construct muscle mass, and in the event you’re growing your muscle mass, your physique weight will enhance. 

However, this assumption doesn’t consider that so long as you observe a wholesome, calorie-controlled diet and do the appropriate kind of power coaching exercises, you possibly can burn energy via weightlifting exercises and shed extra pounds on the similar time.

How lifting weights can assist you shed extra pounds

Lifting weights in the mirror.

Strength coaching could be a actually efficient type of train for fats loss and physique recomposition. Here are the methods wherein resistance coaching exercises can assist you shed extra pounds.

Lifting weights burns energy

Like any type of train, power coaching burns energy as a result of your muscle tissue want power to contract, which requires burning saved gas (glycogen and adipose tissue) to generate ATP (mobile power).

The variety of energy you burn in a power coaching exercise depends upon quite a few elements, akin to your physique weight and composition, the depth of the exercise, the particular workout routines you carry out, and the length or coaching quantity of the exercise. 

You will burn extra energy you probably have a bigger physique dimension and a better share of lean physique mass relative to fats mass. In phrases of the construction of your exercise, you’ll burn extra energy in the event you raise heavier hundreds relative to your one-repetition most (1RM, or essentially the most you might presumably raise for one full rep) and take much less relaxation. This is as a result of each of those modifications enhance the depth of the exercise and elevate your coronary heart charge, which in flip will enhance your power expenditure.

Finally, so long as the depth doesn’t drop, the longer your resistance coaching exercise lasts, the extra energy you’ll burn. 

Given the quite a few elements at play, it’s tough to offer particular tips as to what number of energy you’ll burn in a power coaching exercise. However, Harvard Health Publishing experiences that half-hour of “vigorous weight lifting” burns 180 energy for a 125-pound particular person, 216 energy for a 155-pound particular person, and 252 energy for a 185-pound particular person.

Since “vigorous weightlifting” is tough to quantify, you too can use metabolic equivalents (METs) for power coaching actions to estimate the variety of energy burned. METs signify the power expenditure of a given exercise in comparison with that of sitting quietly, which is the same as 1.0 MET. The Compendium of Physical Activities experiences that circuit coaching at a reasonable effort is 4.3 METs, whereas resistance coaching doing squats is the same as 5.0 METs. Circuit coaching with kettlebells and cardio workout routines with minimal relaxation is 8.0 METs. Using these METs values and the equation for power expenditure, you possibly can calculate the variety of energy burned whereas power coaching based mostly in your physique weight and the length of your exercise:

Calories Burned Per Minute = METs x 3.5 x (your physique weight in kilograms) / 200

For instance, in the event you weigh 185 kilos (84 kg) and do resistance coaching with squats:

5 METS x 3.5 x 84 / 200 = 7.35 energy per minute.

Then, in the event you do a 45-minute exercise, you multiply the variety of energy burned per minute by 45 minutes. So: 7.35 x 45 = 331 energy.

Although this isn’t a ton of energy, you might definitely burn extra energy in the event you weigh extra and enhance the depth of your exercises. Because that you must burn roughly 3,500 energy to lose one pound of fats, it could take about 10 power coaching exercises (about two weeks, relying on exercise frequency) so that you can lose one pound of physique fats in the event you make no further modifications to your food regimen.

Lifting weights builds muscle mass

One of the first advantages of lifting weights is that it will possibly enhance lean physique mass by stimulating myofibrillar protein synthesis (MPS), which will increase the dimensions of your muscle fibers by reinforcing them with new proteins. 

Because muscle tissue is metabolically lively tissue, growing your lean physique mass can enhance your basal metabolic charge, which means that you’ll burn extra energy all through the day, even at relaxation. This will make it simpler to create the calorie deficit essential to shed extra pounds.

Lifting weights can assist wholesome life-style selections

If you begin partaking in a structured weight coaching for weight reduction program, you may discover that you just’re extra inclined to make wholesome dietary selections to assist your exercise. Although this isn’t a given, many individuals discover that they really feel extra motivated to eat nutritious meals and remove extreme sugar, alcohol, and processed meals as soon as they begin making an attempt to optimize their physique via power coaching exercises.

How to shed extra pounds by lifting weights

A male athlete lifting a dumbbell in a gym.

The following tips can assist whenever you start lifting weights to shed extra pounds:

  • Be aware of your food regimen and attempt to preserve a calorie deficit.
  • Wear a heartrate monitor so you possibly can gauge the depth of your exercises.
  • Lift the heaviest weights you possibly can deal with with correct type for 8–12 reps.
  • Perform compound, multi-joint workout routines.
  • Consider circuit coaching or performing strength training exercises again to again to maintain your heartrate elevated.
  • Increase the frequency and length of your power coaching exercises. Aim for 2 to 3 units of 8–15 workout routines per exercise, performing 8–12 reps per set.
  • Supplement with cardio coaching for improved weight reduction outcomes and higher total well being.

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