Does Lifting Weights Burn Fat?

Many of us desire a more toned shape and stronger muscles. Weight lifting can be the best option available for us. But does it burn fat?

Lifting weights promotes fat loss and builds muscles at the same time. Metabolically, muscles are more active than fat. So the more muscle mass you get, the more likely you’ll shed fat. However, you shouldn’t cut out cardio entirely. An exercise plan combining weight lifting and cardio exercise may lead to faster results. 

Read on as we explore the benefits of weightlifting and the way it promotes fat burning. We’ll also introduce some ways to maximize your weight lifting sessions and burn fat faster.

How Does Lifting Weight Burn Fat?

Lifting weights builds muscle mass. More muscle weight boosts your basal metabolic rate—the amount of energy your body needs to function at rest. By lifting weights, you’ll have an afterburn, which means that your body continues to burn calories for hours after the workout.

So by building more muscles, your body’s energy expenditure will rise. Gradually you’ll burn more calories just because your muscles are larger. 

Lifting weight solely doesn’t help you burn fat; you need to have a calorie deficit over time. You won’t see your ideal progress if you get more calories than you burn, even if you lift weights every day.

Other Benefits of Weight Training 

In addition to burning fat, weight lifting provides many benefits. Here are the main ones:

Helps Your Physical Health

Weight training can enhance your quality of life by improving your ability to do daily activities such as carrying groceries or playing with kids. It also helps you to have better balance, reducing the risk of falls and injuries. 

Besides, weight lifting helps bone development and reduces the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. When lifting weights, you put temporary stress on your bones, which signals your body to make them stronger.   

Relieves Stress

Yoga isn’t the only exercise that helps your mental health. Lifting weight may help release feel-good endorphins that affect the brain’s reaction to stress, boosting your mood and reducing anxiety.

Lifting weights can also help reduce insomnia and increase your sleeping quality by letting you cope better with life’s stressors. 

Does Lifting Weights Make You Bulky?

Many people, especially women, are afraid that they will look bulkier and gain muscle mass if they lift weights. Lifting weights will indeed promote the size of muscle cells, but the idea of getting bulky with lifting weights is not accurate. 

The only thing that makes you look bulky is fat accumulation. Gaining muscle and losing fat will go hand in hand. Having a well-shaped body requires a relatively low body fat percentage, which is achievable by weight lifting. 

When you lift weights, the stress is mainly on the nervous system, not necessarily the muscles; if you go for heavier weights, your brain sends more signals to your muscles. So lifting weights will make you stronger, not bigger. 

Cardio or Weight Lifting, Which Is Better For Burning Calories?

The effects of cardiovascular exercises like running will last up to 24 hours. If you practice high-intensity workouts like interval training, your metabolism will stay high up to 72 hours after the workout. 

On the other hand, the effect of weight training on metabolism is more durable. As mentioned earlier, weight training increases the basal metabolic rate, so your body spends more energy during resting. In the long term, more calories will burn.

However, the ideal workout routine for improving your body and health is a combination of cardio and weights. This video offers you an excellent 30-minute weight training and cardio combo that you can incorporate into your workout routine:

How To Maximize Your Fat Burning With Weight Training?

Some factors are necessary to consider during exercising to achieve better results. Here are five ways to maximize your fat shedding while lifting weights.

Pick The Right Weight

If you’re lifting weights to lose fat, you need to choose the right dumbbell size. Pick lighter ones and raise your repetitions if you want endurance. But if you crave more toned muscles, go for fewer repetitions and heavier dumbbells.

The Fitness Republic set of weights, available at Amazon, provides solid dumbbells of any size for any fitness level. But if you’re new to weight lifting, consult with your trainer before picking dumbbells.  

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Fitness Republic Solid Steel Dumbbell Rack Holder, A-Frame Dumbbell Storage Racks, Free Weights Dumbbells Set for Home Gym Exercise, (8lb, 12, 14lb) with 3 Tier Rack
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Fitness Republic Solid Steel Dumbbell Rack Holder, A-Frame Dumbbell Storage Racks, Free Weights Dumbbells Set for Home Gym Exercise, (8lb, 12, 14lb) with 3 Tier Rack
  • RELIABLE AND DURABLE: Dumbell Storage Racks are made of steel, this weight rack will hold up to 120 pounds worth of dumbbells
  • SPACE-SAVING DESIGN: Its Space saving design allows you to place the weight tree rack in any part of your gym or home for easy access to your free weights

Have A Healthy Diet

Having a healthy and balanced diet, which contains plenty of protein, fruits, vegetables, and good carbs, is beneficial for shedding the extra fats. Also, adding certain foods to your regimen will promote your energy level as well as your metabolism. 

Protein takes more energy to digest than carbs, so a protein-based diet will be an effective tool to burn more calories and lose weight. But the protein size is essential; consider taking adequate size protein and avoid overeating. 

Go For Compound Exercises

A compound exercise contains multi-joint movements that work several muscle groups at the same time. Since these exercises engage multiple joints and muscles, they require more energy and endurance, raising your metabolism and burning more fats. 

For example, a squat targets your abdominals, lower body muscles, including glutes, hamstrings, and calves. 

An upper body example is biceps curls, which engage your back, forearms, and shoulders.

Try Circuit Training With Weights

Circuit training combines high-intensity aerobics with strength training exercises designed to target fat loss and muscle building. Incorporating weighted tools like kettlebells, dumbbells, and medicine balls into an exercise circuit will help you burn more fat within a shorter period. 

A practical circuit training program contains upper-body workouts, lower-body workouts, compound exercises, cardio workouts, and one-minute rest before starting the next circuit.  Here is an example of dumbbelled circuit training. Remember that a circuit exercise equals one completion of all activities in the program. 

  • Shoulder press: Sit on a bench while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Make sure your palms are facing away from you and keep your chest up and your core tight. Now raise the dumbbells to shoulder height one at a time using your thighs. Do 15 reps. Then repeat the movement with the other hand.
  • Walking lunge: Stand straight. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Take a medium-sized step and drop down to your knee until your leg makes a 90-degree angle. Make sure your knee doesn’t go further than your toe. Then without moving your bent leg, push the other leg forward. Repeat this walking pattern 12 times. 
  • Single-arm kettlebell swing: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a kettlebell in your right hand. Swing your hand backward between your legs. Push your hips forward by squeezing your glutes and lifting your chest. The kettlebell swings forward on its own. Do 15 reps, then repeat the movement with the opposite hand. 
  • Cardio: Continue the circuit with one-minute running or other cardio exercises like bicycling, jumping ropes, or stair climbing. 
  • Rest: One minute at least. 

Give Your Body Time To Recover

If you want your body to perform at its best at your next session, rest between the weight training sets and give time to your muscles to recover. But remember, to burn fat, you shouldn’t rest for too long; one-minute rest can do the job.

Every time you lift weights and put stress on your muscles, you cause tiny tears in them. Recovery time between sets helps your muscles rebuild and will show more significant results in your fat-burning efforts. 

Bottom Line

Lifting weights can be beneficial for burning fat. Besides, it helps you get stronger, gives you more toned muscles, and improves your sleeping quality. If combined with cardio exercises, it may show faster results in fat burning. However, it’s crucial to consider your diet and exercise regimen in the process. Some factors also help you to maximize your fat-burning during weightlifting exercise. 

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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James Wright

James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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