Resistance Training and Weight Loss

Resistance training can be a powerful part of any weight loss plans.

Seriously if you’re planning to lose weight, do yourself a favor and include some form of resistance training.

Resistance Training Builds Lean Muscle For:

  • Boosting your metabolic rate
  • Turning on fat burn for losing excess weight
  • Toning and shaping your body

What’s Resistance Training and What’s it Got to Do With Weight Loss

Most of us think of resistance training as lifting weights. However resistance training can be anything that requires you to exert repetitive energy to counter an outside force.

You can do that with almost anything including weight lifting, resistance bands, exercise balls, or even with soup cans or full milk containers.

The principle is the same no matter which form you use. As you do repetitions – muscle fibers break down and then go into a recovery and repair mode.

This is what makes resistance training such a powerful weight loss technique:

  • Each time you tear down muscle with resistance training your body makes it stronger than before.
  • The repetitions of resistance training burns fat to create the energy needed at the time and for some time afterwards.
  • As you are gaining muscle, you are naturally losing fat.
  • The more muscle you have the easier it is to burn fat. When you’re body is at rest 10lbs of muscle burns about 50 calories a day. Ten pounds of fat only burns about 20 calories.

When Resistance Training Doesn’t Work for Weight Loss

I see plenty of overweight and obese people wandering around the gym weight room wondering why they’re not losing any weight?

If simply going to the gym was the answer, I feel sure there would be far less overweight people?

Here’s 7 mistakes I regularly see people making when it comes to resistance training:

1. Not Using Resistance Training At All

Well, this is for sure the first mistake dieters going to the gym make?

They have an idea, which is false by the way, that cardio is the last word when it comes to the gym membership and weight loss.

I’m sure you can see for yourself how many more people show up, walk or run on the treadmill, ride a Recumbent Exercise Bike, and leave.

Cardio is great for losing pounds.

However, the more muscle you have — the easier it is to burn calories.

Cardio can take off pounds, but it’s removing muscle at an astounding rate also.

In fact, a study done at Penn State, two groups of dieters – one all cardio – the other all resistance training – lost about the same amount of weight, 21 pounds.

The difference: of the 21 pounds, cardio dieters lost 6 pounds of muscle.

Why that’s important?

Strength training builds muscle. Building 3 pounds of muscle allows you to burn over 100 calories a day with no exercise or movement at all.

Building a body of lean muscle means you will be a constant fat burning furnace, even at rest.

2. Working Out To Slow

The next mistake dieters make when it comes to strength training is not employing HIIT routines in their workouts.

If HIIT is unfamiliar to you, it merely means to do your reps as fast as possible, and then take a very short interval of rest before speeding through the reps again. Hence HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training.

Even when doing your resistance training with HIIT you’ll experience the benefits of cardio. Doing the strength workouts in a fast manner fires up your metabolism for much faster weight loss.

Employing HIIT for weight loss has nothing to do with body building, which is an attempt to mentally activate muscles to grow. Instead, you implement speed into your reps with very short rest intervals, while not forgetting that good form is a must.

3. Using Incorrect Form

Resistance training is a must for the most effective and long lasting weight loss, but the speed you’re doing it is essential.

Don’t hurt yourself with bad form.

No matter what sort of strength training, or even cardio on machines, nothing winds up as important as staying in good form.

Speed is key, but I see far too many people who sacrifice form for speed or even strength, when it comes to training with weights.

Always keep safety at the forefront to avoid strains, and injuries that can dampen all your plans and goals.

4. Using Too Much Weight

Here’s another all too common mistake that’s really easy to make.

Unless you’re into competition weight lifting or just building muscle for sport, more weight means very little to anything.

Here’s how that works:

  • Gaining muscle for looks and strength usually means 3-4 sets with 6-8 repetitions each. Adding more weight on a fairly regular basis with not so many reps, staying highly focused on the muscles in play, is used to gain strength and muscle size.
  • To lose weight, increase health, and build endurance levels employ 1-3 sets with weights you’re able to speedily go through 12-16 reps with.

Your reps should take you around a minute or less, and if your are out of breath and find it too hard to complete — you are using too much weight.

Remember the goal is a fast workout that’s burning off calories, not bodybuilding.

5. Not Using Enough Weight

Ok, let’s look at the opposite problem you could find yourself with that will not produce the weight loss you’re looking for with resistance.

You don’t want to basically use no weight at all, and get no workout at all. That’s sorta counter productive, right there.

When you’re confused about which weights to grab off the rack, remember this:

You shouldn’t be able to do 25 or more reps in the 45 -60 seconds you’re pumping.

Challenging your endurance and strength at fast intervals is the key here.

6. Not Taking Rest Days

I have no problem walking or running for cardio and weight maintenance on an irregular schedule most days of the week.

However, your body needs rest and days off when strength training.

You must get sufficient rest to allow your muscles to rebuild. The important thing to remember is to stay on your diet, and don’t give yourself all you can eat days as a reward.

Without rest days, your body will hit plateaus where it simply refuses to cooperate with this fat loss program anymore. Why worry with dealing with sore muscles as your only  compensation for your efforts.

Here’s a post to help you set a workout schedule.

You’ll get the best dieting and results as you build and tone your body with structured workout routines that exercises different parts of your body on different days.

7. Hanging Out At The Gym

This mistake is another one you can easily find yourself implementing into your gym time: too much idle time that turns into just hanging out.

When you go to the gym, use the time to train.

Get away from spending all your time:

  • Flexing and posing for the mirror
  • Standing around shooting the breeze more than you’re working
  • Drooling over the girls (or boys) running on the treadmills
  • And the most used excuse I see – constantly scrolling through social media and text messages on your smartphone

Do your training, keep your mind on your weight loss goals, and resist every impulse to do anything other than that during your scheduled workout time at the gym.


Use these 7 tips to get the most value and reward from your resistance training and see real results in your clothes, in the mirror, and on the scales.

Resistance training and successful weight loss go hand in hand to meet all your dreams for better health and a better body.

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