Resistance training has been shown to confer many benefits such as an increase in muscular strength, endurance, lean body mass, and bone density. These benefits lead to improved physical function, reduced risk of injuries, and an overall better quality of life. Resistance training has also been shown to be safe and effective across all ages, and given the proper supervision, plays an important part in your weight loss journey and more specifically, your metabolism.
Resistance training increases your lean body mass, or muscle mass. This increase in mass is crucial in maintaining or increasing your body’s resting metabolic rate in your quest for weight loss. Typical weight loss guidelines recommend a calorie deficit of 500 kcal per day, which means consuming fewer calories that what you would expend throughout the day. The body’s natural response to such a diet would then be to switch to ‘survival mode’ by reducing its resting metabolic rate. This would be detrimental to any weight loss goal as it would affect the ability to achieve a calorie deficit without going on an extreme low-calorie diet as well as its long-term sustainability to such a diet.
This increase in muscle mass is also crucial to maintaining a healthy weight after your weight loss program without fearing of the dreaded rebound weight. While it still requires any individual to continue practising the healthy lifestyle and exercise habits that they have accumulated, an increase in muscle mass will aid in maintaining the toned shape and healthy resting metabolic rate despite a slight reduction in physical activity and iso-caloric diet, slowing any future weight gain.
What then are some practical guidelines for individuals looking to incorporate resistance training?
- Spilt between cardio (aerobic) days and resistance training days. Doing so not only helps you achieve the most physiological benefits from each session but will also give you a clear objective of what you are trying to achieve each day. Both types of exercises are required for an effective and holistic approach to weight loss and achieving better health. A good target would be 2 – 3x/week dedicated to resistance training, but this will vary on the phase you are in and subject to individual variances.
- There are many variations to a resistance training program which we will not cover in this article. If you are time – tied, it is advisable to perform multi – joint movements before progressing to single – joint movements during each session. Multi – joint movements are typically bigger movements which allows you to burn more calories as well as being functional.
- Ensure that you are on a quality diet. Resistance training provides the stimulus for your body, but the process can only be completed when you provide your body with building blocks. Aim to consume the appropriate amount of protein each meal despite a calorie – restricted diet.
It is also important to note that due to individual variances in response to resistance training, it is always advisable to seek someone professional when planning your weight loss program. Effective resistance training also requires correct movement technique as without it, the risk of injury is high. While we have provided you with some practical steps that you can take to incorporate resistance training into your weight loss journey as well as shown how it can positively influence your metabolism, always seek a professional before you embark on something new.