When embarking on a journey to lose fat, most people do large amounts of cardio and conditioning while eating far too few calories. I’m here to tell you that this is not the way it needs to be.
What needs to be done is:
1) A consistent strength program
2) Consuming the optimal amount of macros needed to support muscle growth.
Strength training for fat loss is a controversial topic. Lots of people out there believe that lifting weights is only useful if your goal is to build muscle and gain strength. And if you don’t want to be ‘big’ and ‘bulky,’ you’d be much better off doing cardio instead.
A big part of the issue is the idea of ‘weight loss.’ People only want to see the scale go down and couldn’t care less what that means.
Weight loss can result from various things – fat loss, muscle loss, water loss, glycogen depletion, etc. You can’t know how productive your weight loss journey is if you fixate on the number your scale shows you.
A simple mindset shift can help you a lot here. Instead of aiming for ‘weight loss,’ you should care about losing fat – there’s a massive difference between the two.
Fat loss is concrete. We aim to lose fat tissue while preserving as much muscle as we can. We care about scale weight, sure, but visual changes are much more critical. Plus, maintaining our strength in the gym is a good measure of how effective our regimen is.
Since muscle is around 18% more dense than fat, even when no weight is lost, the body shrinks. The body firms and shapes up in the right areas and shrinks down in the problematic areas.
Also, when comparing cardio and resistance training for fat loss, many studies have shown that lifting weights is much more efficient and better at preserving muscle mass than cardio is. And when you’re trying to lose fat, one of your biggest priorities should be to keep the muscle mass you already have.
This is why resistance training is king when it comes to improving how your body looks.