How Important Is Resistance Training For Weight Loss? - Part II

In my last article we discussed why resistance training is important for weight loss. With that established, what happens when you hit your goal weight? Do you just stop lifting weights? At the risk of pointing out the obvious, I will tell you the answer. No, you shouldn't stop resistance training. Why? What does resistance training do for weight loss maintenance?

Increased lean body mass = increased metabolism

Unsurprisingly, resistance training has been shown to increase lean body mass (LBM). As I stated in last week's article, LBM requires more energy (Calories) than fat mass; therefore, resistance training, through increases in LBM, causes your body to burn more Calories at rest. [1] This is known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Think of BMR as your baseline Calorie burn. You burn x amount of Calories just sitting and breathing. Increasing your BMR will help reduce the risk of weight regain.

Another thing I would like to note is that LBM is more than just muscle. LBM accounts for all fat-free mass and includes your organs and bone as well. Resistance training also increases bone denisty in addition to muscle growth, albeit to a smaller degree and bone has a similar contribution to BMR as muscle [2]

Now let's apply this to real life. What happens when you complete a fat loss diet? You add Calories back in. No one just drops their Calories and leaves them there forever. This means we need a way to combat weight gain as we add those Calories back in. That is where the resistance training comes in to provide that defense against the weight regain mentioned above.

Resistance Training prevents weight-gain associated with aging.

I add this part because it is the same principal as weight maintenance after completing a diet. It is no secret that as you get older, your metabolism slows. We've all said or at least have heard someone say, "I could eat all I wanted when I was younger and wouldn't gain a pound." This is because growing is extremely energy intensive. When you're finished growing is when the first drop in metabolism occurs.

After the first initial drop in BMR as growing comes to an end, BMR will continue to slow at the rate of  3-8% per decade. This is because the average person loses 5 pounds of muscle each decade. [3] At the typical BMR of 1500 Cal/day, an 8% drop in BMR would mean a 120 Cal per day decrease in metabolism. Assuming no dietary changes are made along with this, which they usually aren't, this would translate into a ~12 pound weight gain per year. The loss of muscle mass is due to inactivity. This can be reversed by starting a resistance training program. As you can see, resistance training can solve a lot of problems.

Thanks for reading! Join me next week where we are going to discuss a very controversial topic. You wont want to miss it. In the mean time, if you'd like to know more about how Treadaway Training can help you apply all this information in your life, you can jump on a free strategy call with me at the link below.

God bless you AND your family and I will see you next time!


[1] Gary R. Hunter, Nuala M. Byrne, Bovorn Sirikul, José R. Fernández, Paul A. Zuckerman, Betty E. Darnell, Barbara A. Gower. (2008). Resistance Training Conserves Fat-free Mass and Resting Energy Expenditure Following Weight Loss. Obesity Research Journal, May, Volume 16, Issue 5, 1045–1051
[2] ZiMian Wang, Zhiliang Ying, Anja Bosy-Westphal, Junyi Zhang, Britta Schautz, Wiebke Later, Steven B Heymsfield, and Manfred J Müller. (2010). Specific metabolic rates of major organs and tissues across adulthood: evaluation by mechanistic model of resting energy expenditure. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. December, 1369–1377
[3] Westcptt, W.L. (2012). Resistance Training is medicine: Effects of strength training on health. Currents Sports Medicine Report, 11, 4, 209-216