When we have a goal of losing weight, it seems like most of us head straight for the treadmill or some other form of cardio exercise.  Cardio is an effective method to help shed pounds.  But if cardio isn’t really your thing? Or what if your exercise routine consists of only cardio and yet you’re hitting a weight loss plateau? Contrary to popular belief, strength training may be the answer you’re looking for!

Yes, the primary objective of strength training is to build muscle.  However, building muscle can be a surprisingly effective tool at getting rid of unwanted fat.  We’ll go over the benefits of regular strength training on fat loss and how you can incorporate this into your exercise routine. 

Afterburn Effect

Simply put, the more muscle you build, the more calories your body burns.  In fact, your body burns three times the amount of calories for one gram of muscle than it does for one gram of fat. The importance of strength training is seen in the afterburn effect.  This effect is when after a workout, your body is hard at work repairing and restoring muscles that have been worked out.  While repairing these muscles, your body can be burning calories for up to 24-48 hours after your workout has ended.

Not Just For Bulking Up

Many people choose not to include strength training into their routine because they don’t want to bulk.  The truth is, bulking is usually paired with intaking more calories and isolating specific muscle groups with heavier weight and fewer reps. If you’re looking to slim down, strength training can be paired with your calorie deficit and include less weight (even just body weight exercises) with more reps.  You can build muscle, lose fat, and still maintain a slim build.

Many Other Benefits

Other benefits of strength training include improved posture, increased endurance, and even lessening your risk of injury not only during strength activities but even cardio exercises.  Strength training also has a significant effect on our heart health, can lower cholesterol, and increase bone density which is particularly important as we age.

Where Do I Start?

Too often, people start way too ambitious when they begin strength training.  There’s no need to head to the gym and start using the biggest weights you can find.  For almost everyone, body weight exercises are a great place to start.  Many great body weight exercises can be found right on the Allwell app to help you get started.

As you eventually start to get more comfortable and build more muscle, you can slowly incorporate weights into your exercise routines to continue to grow more muscle.  Incorporating strength training into your routine will result in a leaner, stronger, more toned body with benefits that go deeper than just what meets the eye.