Weight training also more commonly known as strength training was thought to be the focus for bodybuilders wanting to bulk up. For the common person who wanted to slim down and lose weight, the generally accepted advice was to cut calories and increase your aerobic activity.
Research released in 2021 reveals that traditional ways of weight management may no longer be the primary norm, opening the door to the field of strength training for people who had previously relied primarily on aerobic exercise for weight loss.
Aerobic exercise is brisk exercise that promotes the circulation of oxygen through the blood and is associated with an increased rate of breathing. Examples include running, swimming, jump roping, and bicycling. This exercise improves cardiorespiratory fitness, creates other health and functional benefits, and burns body fat, but does not build muscle.
Dr. Mary Hagstrom, an exercise physiologist, and professor at the University of New South Wales has published important findings from her 2021 study. According to the statistics, strength training alone may help people lose up to 1.4 percent of their total body fat mass. Dr. Hagstrom and her team looked at data from 58 research studies that used accurate ways to measure body fat, like body scans, to look at the effects of strength training regimens, lending credibility to the study's findings. Of the 3000 study participants, none had any prior strength-training experience.
How can strength training help you burn fat and look thinner?
Muscle burns up to 3x more calories than fat.
Strength training builds muscle.
More muscle creates more fat burning in your body.
In fact, strength training not only burns calories, but the body continues to require extra calories for the next 24-28 hours to repair the fatigued muscle fibers. This is referred to as excessive post-exercise oxygen utilization (EPOC). The more oxygen used during and after strength training, the stronger the EPOC, or intense calorie burning.
According to Dr. Hagstom, the study revealed that even when strength training is done on its own, it results in a favorable decrease of body fat without the need to restrict your food intake or run.
Many still think the connection to health and fitness to a number on the scale. This is one of many reasons to put the scale away. You can burn fat, be thinner, and not lose weight. How can this be? Dr. Wayne Westcott, director of the Exercise Science Program and Fitness Research Program at Quincy College explains, “Muscle not only burns calories and uses energy when you're active; when you're at rest, muscle also burns lots of energy — so much energy that it makes up about 30% of your resting metabolic rate. When you're sound asleep at night, your muscles burn 30% of your calories.”
What is the significance of having muscular mass?
Aerobic activity promotes the fat reduction, but it also causes muscle loss. Strength training causes the least amount of muscle loss while causing the most fat reduction. Aerobic exercises use around six calories per pound every day. In individuals who strength train even while their muscles are at rest, the figure rises to 9 calories per pound per day. This lends weight to the concept that strength training might help you maintain a healthy body weight.
Westcott discovered in his research that the typical individual, who is in strength training, loses roughly one pound of fat per month while simultaneously gaining a pound of muscle. You may lose fat without losing weight. People may be astonished to learn that the scale is perhaps the same, but they need smaller clothing sizes. This is due to the fact that muscle acquired is more compact and dense than fat shed.
“If we didn't have scales, just had full-length mirrors, people would do a much better job of deciding what kind of exercise they should do or not do." Westcott
It's not only the research by Dr. Hagstrom and Wayne Westcott that supports the data; another study published in May 2021 by Charlotte A. Peterson and John J. McCarthy connected strength training to molecular changes in the body that lower body fat percentage, body fat mass, and fatty tissue in healthy persons. When compared to other forms of exercise, strength training enhances bone mineral density, lean muscle mass, and muscular quality; something that was previously solely linked to aerobic exercise.
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