How Strength Training Assists Weight Loss

Strength training is hugely beneficial when it comes to weight loss. Today we dig into what happens inside the body when we lift weights!
Liam O'Toole
May 29, 2024
How Strength Training Assists Weight Loss

10 years ago, when I first joined the gym I was obsessed with losing weight. I had been active all throughout my teens but throughout college I put on a lot of weight and my confidence was shot. In my head this was when I should be at my peak attractiveness (now I'm hoping that happens in my mid thirties instead lol!).

Before I joined the gym I was going about it ALL wrong. I was starving myself and used to work out wearing as many layers as possible to get a sweat up. It was the worst Rocky style training montage you could ever imagine even if I was hearing eye of the tiger ringing through my head.

I have destroyed most of the evidence from this time period but some of the OG WSF members will always take pleasure in reminding me. Now that I'm older and a bit wiser I wish I still had more photos and videos to show this side to help others.

Obviously I’ve learned from my mistakes. I've spent 10 years studying movement, nutrition and exercise. Today I want to talk about why resistance training is a very potent weapon in fat loss when combined with a balanced diet. You can't out train a bad diet - this is true, but we can help you make steps toward a sustainable and balanced one.

What happens in the body when we consume calories? On a basic level there’s a couple of options;

  1. Burn for Fuel.
  2. Rebuild Muscle
  3. Store as Fat.

We're keeping it simple in this email but f you want a deeper discussion on how the body uses the various macronutrients we consume, here's a video I made for our latest nutrition course back in February;

Now back to it - Some calories are used up every day by just existence. This is called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and again in the interest of keeping this simple, think of it as the calories we use to do the basics;

Keep the brain thinking, the heart pumping and so on.

Everyone’s BMR is different too because so many factors play into it. We’re lucky in the gym, we have an InBody machine that calculates it for us. A couple of simple examples for you guys to get the idea though would be;

Now while everyone’s BMR is different, when you start strength training, actual magic starts to happen.

When you do push-ups and pull-ups or do a strength training workout, your muscles are “broken down” during the exercise itself, and then they rebuild themselves stronger over the next 24-48 hours.

Guess what happens during those 24-48 hours?

Your body diverts as many calories as possible to “Rebuild Muscle!”

It also diverts additional calories to “Burn as Fuel” to handle this increased “muscle rebuilding” activity.

Which means three amazing things:

  1. Rebuilding muscle is a calorie taxing activity!
  2. Your metabolism is revved up for this period of time, burning more calories than normal.
  3. There are significantly fewer calories available for “Store as Fat.”

So NO, you don’t need to lose weight first before you start strength training. You will lose weight BY strength training (and keep the muscle you have). Balance it out with good quality conditioning sessions for your aerobic work. You can't only do strength training or you'll be out of breath going up the stairs!

Add this to a balanced diet and you've nailed it. You'll be stronger, fitter and you'll look better naked.

I wish someone told me this when I was 20.

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