So often we assume that the only benefits of lifting weights are increased size and strength.
But lifting weights to lose weight? No way, that is a cardio and diet thing right….
Wrong. Here is why.
As Humans when we stimulate our muscles through resistance training, we traditionally see Hypertrophy ⇒increased size in our current muscle fibers
There is another way to increase muscle mass Hyperplasia ⇒which is growing more actual muscle fibers, but as I said this does not account for much human muscle growth.
The larger our muscle fibers are, the more forcefully they can contract (strength) but they also require more energy to support this increased size. That is important and will be discussed later.
Essentially, we are born with all the muscle fibers we will ever have in our lifetime, it is up to us to grow and strengthen these muscle fibers through resistance training.
The known health benefits of having a strong musculoskeletal system is widespread, but one benefit that often escapes peoples understanding is how much energy muscles need to consume to stay healthy.
You see, muscles are metabolically active tissue, which means they need a constant food source just to survive, let alone contract and produce movement.
This may seem common sense to you, consider how much food a large body builder consumes versus a small inactive elderly person…
But consider the resting metabolic rate of the muscle. As you lay in bed sleeping, sit around at your office doing work, or while you are driving around doing your daily chores if you have more muscle mass, you are burning more calories the whole time, not just while exercising, but while resting!
The key here is to slowly change your body composition to be made up of more FFM (fat free mass) such as muscle, so you have a greater ability to burn off excess calories, instead of storing them (Fat mass).
Refer to the illustration above and compare the RMR % of Muscle vs Fat (20% vs 3%) Muscle burns many more calories at rest than fat. This is why we need to change our composition from Fat mass to FFM. Smart Strength and a well-crafted resistance training program will help.
Combine this new source of energy expenditure with a carefully managed diet, and you are on the best path to lose weight. Not to mention gain all those other amazing benefits that resistance training affords!
Work Smarter, not Harder