Will weight training burn fat?
Is it all about the cardio or will weight training burn fat too? We’ve got the facts on lifting and blitzing.
Many of us want to tone up, gain muscle and lose fat. But one question we’re often asked is: ‘Will weight training burn fat, or just bulk me up like Schwarzenegger?”.
If you’re one of many coveting this holy trinity of body goals then you’ll be pleased to know that fat loss and weight training do in fact go hand-in-hand. It certainly won’t make you built like Arnie - unless you seriously want it too.
As with everything in fitness, there are other factors to consider in the process: your diet, exercise regime and the remodelling process your body goes through after working out. Let’s take a closer look...
Weight training to burn fat
Want to lose inches? Science says you need an effective and regular workout which includes compound exercises - only then will weight training burn fat. A compound exercise is a multi-joint movement which targets several muscles at the same time - for example, a squat uses your core, lower body muscles, glutes, hamstrings and calves. An example of an upper body compound move is a biceps curl, which engages your lats, back, forearms and shoulders.
Picking the right weights
Choosing the right weights for your size is vital if your goal is to burn fat weight training. If you want endurance, choose lighter weights and up your repetitions - but if you want muscle tone, use heavier weights with fewer repetitions.
Rest the right way
Resting between weight training sets is important if you want your muscles to repair and body to perform at 110% at your next session. However, in order to burn fat you should avoid resting for too long. Read our guide to maximising your time and effort at the gym for more on this.
Mix it up
Adding cardiovascular workouts will help towards burning fat while weight training - but they’re best performed after your lifting session. From hormone changes to ‘after burn’, here’s why you should wait after strength training before you go into cardio mode.
Circuit training with weights
Bringing abdominal and core muscle exercises into your workout will help burn fat when weight training. You can also incorporate weights into circuit training: add variety to your training by sampling our 15-minute circuit classes. Functional Xpress classes include throwing and catching SandBells (like medicine balls) - weighted tools that will help burn fat.
Weight training and your diet
A healthy, balanced diet with plenty of protein, good carbs, fruit and vegetables is beneficial to fat burning. Certain foods are also better for your energy and insulin levels, as well as your metabolism. Processed unhealthy fatty foods can still burn off fat while weight training - but we wouldn’t advise it. Portion sizes are important: make sure you eat adequate sized portions, without overeating or over-bulking.
The remodelling process
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t see results immediately. The best results of fat loss with weight training are seen around six months after regular training. After half a year, you’ll notice the fat loss and muscle tone improvements - but you must do weight training correctly to achieve this desired outcome.