How resistance training helps you lose weight

How Resistance Training assists weight loss and so much more

In my 15 years as a Personal Trainer at our studio in Trailfinders Sports Club, Ealing and someone who has trained himself for nearly 20 years I understand and have witnessed the need for strength training as part of a healthy lifestyle. Training has changed greatly over the years with the emphasis more on functional movement these days, which when done correctly is in my opinion a much more fun and varied way for people of all ages and abilities to train in the gym or outdoors. This increases the chances of a client making a permanent and sustainable change as they never realised that going to the gym could be so enjoyable.

So how does lifting weights help you lose weight? Surely you just need to go and run for 30 minutes to an hour 3 to 5 times per week? I’ve got nothing against running and I like to run myself however if people think that simply doing cardio is going to help them lose weight and keep the weight off, in my experience they are wrong.

Here are my 10 reasons why resistance training needs to be part of your life:

1) You could lose 40% More Fat

If you think cardio is the key to blasting belly fat, keep reading: When Penn State researchers put people attempting to lose weight into three groups—no exercise, aerobic exercise only, or aerobic exercise and weight training—they all lost around 21 pounds, but the weight training group shed six more pounds of fat than the other groups. Why? The weight training group was almost pure fat; the others lost fat and muscle.

Other research on dieters who do not resistance train shows that, on average, 75 percent of their weight loss is from fat, while 25 percent is from muscle. Muscle loss may drop your scale weight, but it doesn’t improve your reflection in the mirror and it makes you more likely to gain back the flab you lost. However, if you weight train as you diet, you’ll protect your hard-earned muscle and burn more fat.

2) Your Clothes should Fit Better

Research shows that between the ages of 30 and 50, you’ll likely lose 10 percent of your body’s total muscle. This is likely to be replaced by fat over time which may result in an increased waist size. Remember one pound of fat takes up 18 percent more space than one pound of muscle.

3) You will Burn More Calories

Resistance training increases the number of calories you burn whist you are resting. Great news! That’s because after each strength workout, your muscles need energy to repair their fibres. In fact, researchers found that when people did a total-body workout with just three big-muscle moves, their metabolisms were raised for 39 hours afterward. They also burned a greater percentage of calories from fat compared with those who didn’t weight train.

4) You may find you are able to handle stress better

Scientists determined that the fittest people exhibited lower levels of stress hormones than those who were the least fit. Research found that after a stressful situation, the blood pressure levels of people with the most muscle returned to normal faster than the levels of those with the least muscle.

5) Your bones will strengthen

As you age the risk of osteoporosis increases which could cause a debilitating fracture. The good news: A study found that 16 weeks of resistance training increased hip bone density and elevated blood levels of osteocalcin—a marker of bone growth–by 19 percent.

6) You will Get Into Shape Faster

The term cardio shouldn’t describe only aerobic exercise: A study found that circuit training with weights raises your heart rate 15 beats per minute higher than if you ran at 60 to 70 percent of your max heart rate. This approach strengthens muscles and provides cardiovascular benefits similar to those of aerobic exercise—so you save time without sacrificing results. This is one reason why I am such a fan of kettle bell training.

7) Your Heart Will Be Healthier

Researchers at the University of Michigan found that people who did three total-body weight workouts a week for two months decreased their diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by an average of eight points. That’s enough to reduce the risk of a stroke by 40 percent and the chance of a heart attack by 15 percent.

8) You’ll Be More Productive

Researchers found that workers were 15 percent more productive on days they exercised compared with days they didn’t. So on days you work out, you can (theoretically) finish in eight hours what would normally take nine hours and 12 minutes.

9) You will decrease your chances of serious illness as you get older

University of South Carolina researchers determined that total-body strength is linked to lower risks of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Similarly, other scientists found that being strong during middle age is associated with “exceptional survival,” defined as living to the age of 85 without developing a major disease.

10) You may even be Happier

Yoga isn’t the only Zen-inducing kind of exercise. Researchers found that people who performed three weight workouts a week for six months significantly improved their scores on measures of anger and overall mood.


For a free consultation to understand how resistance training is relevant for EVERYBODY please or call 07852 606288


Jamie Lea

Personal Trainer

West London Fitness

Ealing, Pitshanger, Greenford, Hanwell and surrounding areas