Training with weights is an essential part of any successful fat loss program. Not only does it make you stronger and more energetic, weight training increases total energy expenditure by three powerful mechanisms:
- Builds muscle and increases metabolic rate so you burn more calories daily
- Increases levels of catecholamine hormones that burn fat
- Increases enzymes involved in fat burning
What follows are the ten key points you need to focus on to lose fat with weight training:
#1: Train Using the Most “Bang For Your Buck”Multi-Joint Lifts
Besides allowing you to get stronger faster, multi-joint exercises such as squats, deadlifts, step-ups, rows, and presses involve more muscle, which helps the body increase its net energy expenditure. The end result is you burn more calories and increase muscle mass for a high metabolic rate.
#2: Get A High Protein Intake To Promote Recovery
A high protein intake of at least 1.6 g/kg of bodyweight preserves muscle mass during fat loss and boosts metabolic rate.
#3: Do Sprint Interval Training
To increase your energy deficit from exercise, try interval training because it has similar lean mass preserving effects as weight training, whereas aerobic exercise tends to be catabolic, leading to a loss of lean muscle.
#4: Separate Your Lifting & Interval Workouts
Do weight training and conditioning workouts separately to ensure recovery and take full advantage of the afterburn boost you get from each one.
#5: Get Your Sets & Reps Right
Don’t back off your training when trying to lose fat. Use weights in the 8 to 15-rep range (65 to 80 percent of maximal). Train at least 3 sets per exercise because a higher volume is best for increasing muscle mass and it causes a significant metabolic disturbance, raising metabolic rate.
#6: Time Your Rest Periods
Generally, shorter rest periods (60 seconds or less), are ideal for fat loss. However, when going heavy, you may need to extend rest periods in order to maintain training intensity.
#7: Progressively Increase Weights
As your body adapts, you need to increase your weights in order to continue overloading the body to get stronger along with getting leaner.
#8: Keep Workouts Short But Intense
Complete workouts in 60 minutes because this will ensure stress hormones aren’t unnecessarily elevated, causing a catabolic environment.
#9: Train To Failure
Training to technical failure has been shown to boost afterburn more than prescribed rep schemes in which you complete your set with energy left in the tank.
#10: Count Tempo
Tempo refers to the speed with which you perform the up and down motion of the exercise. By counting tempo, you precisely control the stimulus to the muscle. Use extended lifting tempos for fat loss. For example, lower the weight on a 4-second count and raise it on a 1-second count because this will elevate EPOC more than standard tempos of 1-second up and down.