You are on this page probably because you’re unsure whether you can Lose Weight with Resistance Training. You’ll be delighted to know that you can certainly lose some extra pounds while improving your muscles and maintaining a healthy blood flow. I, personally, have tried a lot of fitness training and nothing worked as good as resistance training for me. I started at approx. 235lbs, and after 12 weeks of resistance training, I am now down to 215lbs.
What Exactly is Resistance Training?
Gym goers often refer to resistance training as weight training or simply strength training.
Some exercises of this training style require you to lift a weight. However, not all exercises of resistance training are associated with weight lifting. Resistance training can also refer to some exercises where you need to pull against resistance.
So, this type of training basically includes postures where you need to either lift or pull against resistance. The equipment can be a barbell, a machine, a bodyweight, a kettlebell, a powerband, and many more that you can consider as external resistance. The benefits of all these pieces of equipment can defer depending upon the exercises you perform.
What are the Benefits of Resistance Training?
There are numerous benefits of resistance training, starting from the growth of muscles to the development of skeletons. It helps to build strength and improves muscle size (source).
Regular practice of this form of training can take your muscle fitness to another level and help counteract any form of age-related muscle loss (source). By enhancing your strength, it can allow you to perform your daily tasks much better.
However, there are plenty of other benefits that resistance training can provide you. It can lower your body fat and thereby decrease the risk of heart disease.
It can lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol level and effectively reduce the stress on your heart and body when you lift something heavy. Diseases or life hazards such as sarcopenia and osteoporosis will be at bay when you do this form of training.
Here are some health benefits of resistance training:
- Maintaining balance and flexibility
- Reduction of cognitive decline
- Improved muscle activities and strength
- Enhanced stamina for better performance
- Reduction of extra body fat and weight
- Improved posture
- Less risk of injury due to accidents
- Better sleep and prevention of insomnia
- Improved body image, mood, and confidence
- Prevention of anxiety, stress, and depression
Can you Lose Weight with Resistance Training?
Though resistance training is a lower calorie burn activity than some other types of exercises such as cardio, some exercises can make you lose weight by burning a lot of calories. A 10-minute session of resistance training will help you to burn approximately 50-100 calories.
Sit-ups, leg raises, and other toning exercises will burn approximately 50-60 calories per 10 minutes. Moderate workouts with weights will burn approximately 60-70 calories per 10-minute.
If you compare all of them, resistance exercises prove to be more effective than these types of workouts when it comes to losing weight.
More muscle = a higher BMR (base metabolic rate)
The basic formula here is that if you train for strength, you overload your muscles, which helps that particular muscle to grow. This, in turn, enables you to build lean muscle.
And the more lean muscle you have, the more your body will lose calories while you are at rest! So higher BMR leads to an automatic caloric deficit(if you are on a diet, of course!), leading to weight loss.
How to lose weight with resistance training?
Losing weight is not as challenging as it seems when you know the correct technique. While there are several ways of losing those extra pounds through exercise, resistance training is now getting a lot of hype among fitness enthusiasts.
The professional trainers, as well as the health experts, are recommending resistance training to those who want to get back to their normal shape through a workout.
Though resistance or strength training has been widely practised for improving muscle health, it can have a drastic impact on your body weight. Other types of exercises such as cycling, running, and free hands may only make you lose weight while weakening your muscles. In contrast, resistance training benefits you both ways.
You can include resistance exercises in your daily workout regime to lose weight. Performing three to five sets of these exercises for a week will make you realize how you are reducing extra fats through fatigue. You can either do resistance exercises only or do it with a combination of cardio. However, make sure you target all your muscle groups while choosing exercises.
What Type of Resistance Exercises is Best for Weight Loss?
Almost all types of resistance exercises will lead to fat loss depending upon how correctly you perform. It is quite evident that all types of resistance workouts aren’t made the same.
While some exercises focus on strengthening your core muscles, others are designed to focus on your hand, feet, shoulder, and other body muscles. For an effective result, you need to incorporate exercises that can make coordination of different muscle joints. Such a combination is known as compound exercises.
These combined workouts focus on multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Some exercises target two or more muscles into one move. Contrary to the isolation exercises that work on one muscle at a time, these can engage multiple muscle groups at once.
For example, if you combine planks with shoulder touches, it will work on both your core muscle, biceps, and other muscles at once.
Here is an awesome video of an at home resistance band workout:
Different Types of Resistance Training for Weight Loss
Here are some different types of resistance training that can boost weight loss:
Bodyweight Resistance Exercises
Below are some common resistance exercises that I personally do regularly, and you can try them at home without any equipment.
To work on your core, shoulder, chest, and arms, this is a perfect workout.
- On a yoga mat or the floor, get down on all fours, keeping your hands wider than your shoulders.
- Keep your body in a straight line and extend your legs so that you get a proper balance.
- Pull your belly button a little inward and contract your abs to engage the core. You need to keep your core engaged throughout the exercise.
- Inhale and bend your elbows slowly until they are at a ninety-degree angle.
- Exhale and contract your chest muscles while pushing back up to the start position without locking out your elbows.
This one is a full-body workout to strengthen your legs, arms, back, lower back, core, chest, shoulders, calves, spine, hamstring, and feet.
- Get on the floor and start from the plank pose. Keep your wrists below your shoulders and your knees below your hips.
- Exhale and lower your forearms to the mat while making sure they are parallel. Inhale and tuck your toes. Then, lift the hips toward the ceiling.
- Gently drop your head, keeping the toes slightly forward. Then, lower the heels by keeping them closer to the mat.
Another full-body resistance workout, burpees, can help you to lose weight effectively as you do three to five sets every day.
- Begin in a standing position and squat down, keeping your back straight. Your hands should be on the floor between your feet.
- Shift your full body weight to your hands and shift your feet back so that you go to the push-ups position.
- Do one push up, jump and go to the starting position. While jumping, your arms should raise over your head.
Resistance Band Exercises
Resistance band is an equipment that helps you to stretch your muscles and strengthen them. Here is a simple resistance band exercise that you can try at home.
Deadlifts with Resistance Band
It is a full-body workout using resistance bands. This exercise mainly focuses on your hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, trapezius, and lower back while supporting other muscles.
- From beneath your legs, pass the resistance band and keep it looped around the feet.
- Now, hold the two sides with your hands. Extend your knees, push your hips forward and breathe out.
- Bend down and raise, uplifting the resistance band. Inhale while bending and exhale while going up.
- You need to repeat this exercise at least 8 to 12 times to complete a set.
Free Weights Such as Dumbbells and Barbells
You can do a lot of exercises using dumbbells and barbells. Here are three exercises you can try at home.
This exercise works the best on your triceps and shoulder muscles. You need a pair of dumbbells to try this exercise.
- Take dumbbells in each hand and keep your hands beside your outer thighs.
- Keeping the back straight, raise the dumbbells to the sides without bending your elbows. Stop when your arms are parallel to the ground.
- Now, slowly lower your hands back to the starting position.
This exercise also requires two dumbbells, and it works on your biceps and shoulder muscles.
- Hold the dumbbells and keep your hands in front of your thighs. Your palms should be facing out.
- Now, curl the dumbbells very slowly up to the chest and back down again to the starting position.
You need kettlebells to perform this exercise. It works on the entire body muscles.
- While holding the kettlebell in front, start from the standing position by keeping your legs slightly apart from your shoulders.
- Keep your arms, legs, and back straight. Now slightly bend your knees and swing the kettlebell back through the gap between your legs.
- Inhale while swinging the kettlebell back and then use the momentum to swing it in front of your body while exhaling.
- Repeat swinging the kettlebells and count the numbers to complete a set.
You can try resistance workouts using machines to get faster results. Here is a list of machine-based resistance workouts that you can consider trying out.
- Leg press
- Leg extensions
- Seated row
- Leg curls
- Shoulder press
- Lat pulldown
- Ab crunch
- Chest press
- Back extension
How much resistance training should you do?
First of all, you should go for a routine that you can do comfortably—something like two non-consecutive days/weekly. Include at least 8-12 reps of each exercise and increase weight gradually if you are doing free weights. Try to target all the major muscle groups.
- 2-3 days/ week for Novice
- 3 days/week for Intermediate
- 4-6 days/week for Advanced
Things to Check Before Starting
To get the best out of resistance exercises, you need to practice regularly. However, there are things that you should check before getting started. Here are points to check:
- Find a fitness instructor as resistance exercises can be too technical. You can also consider taking help from a personal trainer.
- If you are going through physiotherapy, consult your therapist before starting.
- If you have any health issues, consider consulting your doctor.
Now that you know how you can lose weight with resistance training, go ahead and start tomorrow. I’m sure you will get immense benefits from these exercises as I did, if you follow all the above instructions. You can start with one or two sets of each exercise and then increase as you improve.
Find a suitable time in the morning or evening and make a schedule to get started. However, you need to also keep in mind that a resistance workout alone won’t work if you crave a cheese burst pizza right after the session. Dietary changes are a must when you want to lose weight working out. Always keep in mind, the caloric deficit is the key here!