A fun resource to follow if you like crude language around fitness and fun doodles: (click image to go to Physiqonomics.)
A few weeks back I talked about how exercise can absolutely help you with weight loss (again, *IF* that is what you want).
However, I don’t think one should train specifically FOR weight loss.
Like I wrote earlier, when people try to exercise for fat loss, but don’t have any base understanding of their eating habits, they’re likely to unconsciously increase their eating to accommodate their extra energy expenditure.
If you do have your eating habits and food awareness on lock, then ANY training is going to create a caloric deficit that can help with fat loss. The number 1 most important thing is to find an activity that you enjoy and will do on a regular basis.
Obviously at SPS, we love weight training, and I can talk about its benefits until you want to smack my face. But in the end, it’s what YOU find interesting and tickles your brain.
Typically, when people talk about training for weight loss they mean some form of conditioning or cardio. And cardio/conditioning has all kinds of health benefits:
- Cardiovascular flexibility
- Better blood lipid profiles
- Better brain function
- Better insulin sensitivity
- Stress reduction and better sleep
- SO MUCH MORE!
But if you’re doing it specifically to create a caloric deficit, I have bad news for you: most styles of cardio don’t work as well for caloric deficits as lifting heavy does. Even the highly lauded HIIT style training often isn’t done with the intensity necessary to get significant results, because that level of intensity SUCKS to do. Plus, pairing HIIT with a heavy lifting protocol can quickly push you over the recovery threshold, leading to overreaching and overtraining.
So you’re looking to lose weight? Eat for fat loss and train for muscle gains.
While in a caloric deficit, without strength training, your body will catabolize (break down) both fat and muscle to make up the energy needs difference. But by incorporating strength training, you’re signaling that the muscle is needed and it will be better preserved than without strength training.
If you want to add in conditioning, because you enjoy it and want to reap the benefits listed above, have at it! But don’t forgo strength training with the notion that conditioning will better accelerate fat loss compared to strength training.