Should I be Lifting
Weights to Lose Fat?

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Weight Training and Belly Fat

The research suggests that weight lifting can help to keep belly fat at bay. A 2015 study in the journal Obesity found that men who did the most weight training exercise gained the least amount of fat in their waists over time.

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Overall Fat Loss with Weight Training

#1 A study...

A study with women also found a relationship between weight training and total body fat. Researchers for a 2016 edition of Age conducted a study with post-menopausal women and had them perform either no exercise, low volume weight training, or high volume weight training. Results showed that women in both training groups lost a significant amount of fat after 16 weeks of weight lifting. The women performed weight lifting exercises three times per week; women in the low volume group did three sets of eight exercises, and those in the high volume group did six sets. Just three days per week of weight lifting can promote body fat loss.

#2 Another study...

Another study, published in a 2016 edition of The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, found benefits for resistance training. About half of the study participants had metabolic syndrome, and half did not. After eight weeks of resistance training using free weights, there was no significant change in body weight among the participants, but female participants and those with metabolic syndrome lost a significant amount of body fat. In addition, all of the participants experienced an increase in lean body mass. Weight training appears to be effective for promoting a lean physique.

Increases in Lean Body Mass

Not only does weight training burn fat and increase the metabolism; it can also increase lean body mass, and researchers have known this for years. In 1985, a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology compared the effects of resistance training, aerobic training, and combined resistance and aerobic training.

Possibility of Spot Reducing with Weight Training

Weight lifting is so effective for fat loss that it can even be utilized to reduce fat in certain areas of the body. Researchers for a 2017 edition of The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness divided female study participants into two groups. One group performed upper body weight training exercises followed by half an hour of cycling, whereas the other group completed weight training exercises targeting the lower body followed by a half hour of exercise on an arm ergometer. After eight weeks, the women who completed the upper body weight training lost more fat in their upper bodies, whereas those who did the lower body weight training lost more fat in their lower bodies.

Increased Metabolism with Weight Lifting

The research shows that weight lifting can promote fat loss, and this effect might be due, at least partially, to the fact that weight lifting can speed the metabolism. A 2001 study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise analyzed the impact of 24 weeks of weight training on both young and older men and women. Study results showed that resting metabolic rate, which is the number of calories the body burns per day at rest, increased by about 7 percent after weight training. Weight training was found to increase resting metabolic rate more in men than in women, but young and older participants experienced the same increase in metabolic rate.

Weight Lifting Compared
to Diet Alone

Weight training on its own is effective for fat loss, but recent research has shown that combining weight lifting with dieting can increase fat loss. In 2017, researchers for the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism analyzed the effects of diet only, weight training only, and a combination of weight training and diet on fat loss among a group of women.

Results showed that women in all three groups lost fat, but those did who did a combination of dieting and weight training lost the most body fat. When added to a low-calorie diet or a healthy diet designed to promote weight loss, weight lifting can augment the loss of body fat.

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The entire body of research on weight training suggests that it is effective for fat loss.

Research shows that weight training programs can promote abdominal fat loss, as well as total body fat loss. Weight training can even be used to enhance fat loss in specific regions of the body, and it appears to be effective when combined with aerobic training. weight lifting can also increase the metabolism and lean body mass, and it is especially effective when combined with a high protein diet.

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