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There have been countless times that as personal trainers, we have gotten into a debate with clients, family, and even friends about which is the best approach to weight loss. While any educated trainer will inform you that both cardio and resistance training should work together cohesively, many people still fall on the side of cardio only and shun the weight room when trying to lose those unwanted pounds. The fact is that simply doing cardio will NOT give you body you want. Is it needed? Yes, most definitely, but the benefits of weight training are undeniable. Hopefully this will show you why the weight room really isn’t just for athletes or bodybuilders.

Let’s discuss the benefits of adding weight training into your fitness routine and how it will help you reach your goals faster:

  • Burn More Calories:
    Resistance training has been shown to continue to burn calories for up to 24 hours following a session of moderate to high intensity training. Traditional cardio, while it may burn calories during, does not produce the same effect (unless done in HIIT format).
  • Increase Your Metabolism for Good:
    By increasing your lean muscle mass, you can expect to see an increase of up to 50 calories per pound of muscle, per day of additional caloric burn while at rest. Muscle requires more energy than fat, thus requiring more calories per day for your body to maintain. More calories burned leads to more weight lost.
  • Lose Fat Not Muscle!
    Penn State conducted a study on the affects of weight loss through solely aerobic training in one group and solely resistance training in another. The results? Both groups lost 21 pounds, but the group that only did only aerobic exercise lost an average of 6 pounds of muscle per participant. Meaning they only lost 15 pounds of fat. As a result of losing 6 pounds of muscle they lowered their metabolism. The resistance training group saw no decrease in muscle mass and was able to lose 21 pounds of fat.
  • Balance Your Hormones:
    Resistance training has been shown to help the body produce more of several hormones that help lead to positive results. For example, increases in Testosterone and HGH can lead to better mood, more energy, and increases in lean muscle mass. Another example is Peptide YY, a digestive hormone that can be increased through resistance training and can help prevent your body from storing fat. Additionally, resistance training has been shown to help lower insulin resistance, allowing your body to burn fat more efficiently. All of these examples can be lead to weight loss and increases in overall health!
  • Get the Definition You Want!

Unless you are only worried about the actual number on the scale, chances are that you want to reap the benefits of a toned new body from all of your hard work. Cardio simply cannot provide this. By targeting the muscles through resistance training, you can build a physique that will begin to show through in a big way when the fat begins to disappear. You want to be fit, not ‘skinny fat’ right?

So as you can see, there really is a big reason why resistance training should be a vital part of any persons’ fitness regiment. Again, we want to stress that, especially for weight loss, cardio is very important, but it might not be the best approach to simply do hours and hours of cardio. In that same sense, only lifting weights will probably fail to give you the weight loss you want too. So embrace the weight room and the treadmill, and start seeing the results you really want.