Resistance Training: The Key To Burning Fat

Resistance Training: The Key To Burning Fat

Do you walk past the weights section at the gym and go straight to the cardio room? Like many people you feel that cardio type training is more beneficial to your overall health than resistance training. Unfortunately you have been misinformed on this issue and it is now time to set the record straight.

Resistance training has amazing benefits, especially if performed with heavy weights while using the right types of exercises. However you can use bodyweight exercises to build muscle.  A key point to consider is that muscle is 15 times more metabolically active than fat because muscle burns calories to survive even at rest. This increase in resting metabolic rate definitely helps with body weight control and fat loss. The question is, ‘How and why does this fat burning mechanism actually switch on with resistance training?’

Switching On The Fat Burning Mechanism

Well, training with heavy weights at a high intensity using large muscle group exercises or bodyweight exercises can boost levels of human growth hormone and testosterone. This type of training also actives the type 2 muscle fibers which cardio doesn’t do! Type 2 muscle fibers burn energy without oxygen very quickly, they can fatigue easily and are important in functional strength and power because they fire up so rapidly. Olympic sprinters have a high ratio of these fast twitch fibers!

The Type 2 Muscle Fibers

The American Council on Exercise reported that resistance training could improve energy production within the body; this helps to control body fat levels and has been connected to an increase in your lifespan by activating your type 2 muscle fibers. In addition, the type 2 muscle fiber plays a vital role in preserving your strength and power as you age.

Benefits of Resistance Training

Resistance training with compound exercise has the following important benefits within the body:

  • In can improve your quality of life and functional fitness by increasing your strength and power e.g. a boost in leg power can make everyday activities like walking upstairs easier
  • Increased usage of the type 2 muscle fibers can boost muscle cell size and this enhances energy turn over and helps to burn calories
  • Improves bone mass and reduces rates of falling as we age
  • Improves posture and stability
  • Boosts glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and improves your body’s fat burning potential.

Compound exercises

The main types of exercises to include in your workouts should be compound in nature, this means that they move lots of limbs together and use many large muscle groups. The following types of exercises will definitely active your type 2 muscle fibers:

  • Squats
  • Presses
  • Deadlifts
  • Rows
  • Full bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, planks etc.

Resistance training helps to prevent diabetes

Resistance training can help to prevent diabetes by improving glucose absorption within the muscle tissue; this mechanism decreases the levels of blood glucose and reduces the spikes in your insulin levels. It also boosts metabolic function by stimulating the release of the hormone IGF-1 and this binds to the same receptors as insulin.

However, here comes the kicker; insulin like growth hormone 1 (IGF-1) helps with the creation of muscle mass. This is excellent news for improved insulin sensitivity as a boost in muscle mass can increase glucose uptake and utilization for energy production. A final key point to consider is that reduced insulin levels mean reduced fat storage.