Weight training, also known as strength training, is becoming increasingly popular among people who want to lose weight. And no wonder why, because weight training has so many benefits! If you want to know exactly what weight training means, what benefits it has and which strength training and exercises are best for losing weight, then keep reading. Spoiler alert: these are not abdominal exercises. Let's get started!
What is weight training?
Weight training has various forms. You may immediately think of bodybuilding, but it is much more! Strength training is a versatile and effective form of exercise in which you use resistance to strengthen and enlarge your muscles. Instead of doing endless repetitions without resistance, you add external force, such as weights, machines, resistance bands or your own body weight. By applying this resistance, your muscles are forced to work harder and adapt, which ultimately leads to muscle growth and getting stronger! Because you can use it in many ways, there is always a form that fits your goals, preferences and abilities.
Below are some examples of the different possibilities within weight training (and within Basic-Fit!). Read on to find out which strength training is best for losing weight!
Bodybuilding: this form of weight training focuses mainly on muscle building and aesthetics. Consider the different categories within bodybuilding competitions; each category has its own focal points that the bodybuilder must pay attention to. Bodybuilders often use heavy weights and maintain a specific strength training regimen tailored to their goals.
High-Intensity Interval Training: HIIT is a super cool combination of strength training and cardiovascular exercises. In this type of workout, the intensity is very high, and you only rest for a short time between exercises. So your heart rate goes up a lot! This is a good workout if you want to build both strength and endurance.
Fitness machines: Fitness machines allow you to maintain a specific range of motion while performing the exercise, making you less likely to get injured. You need to be less concerned with balance and stability, allowing you to focus more on learning proper technique. Ideal for beginners! These machines are not to be missed at Basic-Fit.
Free weights: Unlike fitness machines, free weights do require you to focus on balance and stability. Stabilizing muscles are put to work. Think of dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells. A squat, deadlift and benchpress are examples of exercises you perform with loose weights (barbell). Do you want to get stronger in specifically these exercises? Then maybe powerlifting is for you.
Resistance bands: These resistance bands are great for strength training without using heavy weights! They come in different colors, sizes and resistance. Did you know that in the Basic Fit app we have several workouts with resistance bands? Ideal for when you want to do a quick, effective workout while on vacation!
Calisthenics: Calisthenics uses only your own body weight as resistance. For example, push-ups, pull-ups, muscle-ups, dips, human flags, front/back liver etc. The variations are endless. In any case, we think it's super awesome if you can do this!
What are the benefits of weight training for weight loss?
To lose weight, it is important to be in a calorie deficit for an extended period of time. This means that you use up more calories (energy), than you take in. One of the main benefits of strength training in losing weight is that it helps you burn more calories. And did you know that with weight training you burn calories not only during your workout, but also afterwards? After all, muscle tissue also uses energy at rest! In other words, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body burns even when you're watching TV or sleeping. This makes it easier to maintain your weight loss in the long run.
In addition, strength training helps create more self-confidence, also not entirely unimportant while losing weight. As you notice yourself getting stronger and stronger and begin to see progress, you feel proud and confident about what your body is capable of. And those victories, big or small, give you a huge boost! Plus, endorphins (happiness hormones) are released during exercise, so you actually feel better after a strength training.
These are the best exercises to lose weight
To get right to the point, there are no specific exercises that will help you lose weight faster. Whether or not you lose weight depends on your calorie intake, more on that later!
That said, larger exercises, which target several muscle groups at once, do burn more. Take as an example the squat or the deadlift, also called compound exercises. These are two exercises that target multiple muscle groups: your legs, your back and your core (abs). Because these exercises simply take more energy, you burn more calories with compound exercises. If your goal is to lose weight, then it's smart to incorporate as many compound exercises into your schedule as possible! These burn more than, say, an ab crunch or a bicep curl.
Weight training and nutrition
Good nutrition is essential to get everything out of your weight training. By eating properly and sufficiently, you give your body the energy it needs to recover from your workout and build muscle mass. Proteins in particular help build, maintain and recover muscle mass.
How much you eat is very important to the course of your progression. Do you want to lose weight? Then it is important to take in less energy than you consume. Note that even if you want to lose weight, you still need a lot of energy! A personal trainer or dietician will be happy to help you calculate your energy needs and draw up a personal recommendation.