What is the mystery of weight loss? Well, there really is no big secret. The key to losing weight is to combine a solid diet and exercise routine. Dieting alone can help you drop pounds, but we're here with five of the best strength training tips that will result in faster weight loss.
Strength training really is a dieter's best friend. It will help you lower body fat, torch calories, and build lean muscle mass more effectively, according to the Mayo Clinic. By performing just the right strength training workout on a regular basis, you can kick your metabolism into high gear and burn extra calories.
Eat This, Not That! learned some of the best strength training tips for faster weight loss from Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM, a member of our Medical Expert Board and a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach who has helped develop the Body Program at Ro. When your goal is weight loss, you need to eat less and burn more calories each day in order to create a calorie deficit. Keep in mind that this will cause you to lose lean muscle—but that's where strength training comes in.
Dr. Bohl advises, "Strength training is a great way to burn calories, among its other benefits … It's important to follow a strength training routine while you're trying to lose weight to minimize muscle loss and make sure the majority of the weight you're losing is actually fat mass."
To get started, Dr. Bohl shares the following strength training secrets that can result in faster weight loss. Read on to learn all about them, and for more inspiration, check out 6 Tips for Women To Lose Belly Fat & Keep It Off.
1. Focus on your large muscles.
In order for your body to burn a greater number of calories, it's important to work out your largest muscles, which include the muscles in your legs, such as the quadriceps and hamstrings, and the glutes.
"The calorie difference between working out large muscles versus working out medium muscles isn't the biggest in the world, but if you're at a point where every calorie matters, this might help," shares Dr. Bohl.
2. Perform closed-chain exercises.
Exercises you do that utilize a stationary object such as a bar or the floor are known as closed-chain exercises. Examples include lunges, squats, chin-ups, pull-ups, and pushups.
"Closed-chain exercises tend to challenge several muscle groups at the same time, therefore they can be a more efficient way to burn calories," Dr. Bohl tells us.
3. Work out every part of your body.
Although it's important to concentrate on your large muscles, it's just as essential to focus on all areas of your body.
Dr. Bohl suggests, "You may want to consider a split routine (when you work out different muscle groups on different days), so you can still go to the gym to work out even while other parts of your body are resting."
4. Consume a diet high in protein.
Dr. Bohl explains, "Eating a high-protein diet is important for giving your body the nutrients it needs to recover after a good strength-training workout." In addition, this habit will help ensure you're prepared for your next workout day.
Protein is especially important in your weight loss efforts for more than one reason. According to Nutrisense, consuming a protein-dense diet helps sculpt muscle, and muscle torches more calories when compared to fat. Protein also helps you feel fuller for a longer amount of time.
5. Be sure to include cardio.
There's no doubt about it: Strength training is king for your weight loss goal, but don't neglect other forms of exercise.
"Cardio is one of the highest calorie-burning activities you can do. Therefore, be sure to intersperse your strength-training routine with aerobic exercise, as well," Dr. Bohl points out.