While we continue with our Fitness Myths series today’s myth stems from many areas, and we’ve heard it in many forms over the years. First, studies are often quoted showing that people who only do strength training lose less weight than those groups who use diet modifications on their own, or through a combination of exercise plus diet modifications.
While this may be true on one level, there is MUCH more to this outcome than meets the eye.
Myth: Resistance Training will only help me build muscle, but not help with weight loss.
People often believe that picking up weight builds muscle and leads to weight gain. This myth is particularly prevalent among women who say “I don’t want to ‘bulk up’”, and therefore avoid strength training with anything more than the lightest weights.
This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, resistance training, when done PROPERLY and CONSISTENTLY will lead to increases in muscle tissue. However, it takes A LOT of work over a long period of time. Plus, increasing muscle is a GOOD thing, and doesn’t mean you will look like a bodybuilder.
Muscle takes approximately 2.5x more energy to maintain than body fat. According to Christopher Wharton, a Ph.D. researcher with the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, more calories will be burned if you spent more time exercising and the more vigorous the exercises are.
This means that 10 pounds of muscle would take 50 calories to maintain while at rest and that 10 pounds of fat only takes 20 calories to maintain (at rest…well, fat never gets active anyway).
Looking at this simple example, it’s easy to see how resistance exercise is extremely valuable for your metabolism. It also points to the second part of this myth.
People often mistake “weight” loss for “fat” loss. Weight is what the scale says, body fat is a completely different entity.
Muscle is denser and weighs more than fat. Therefore, losing 10 pounds of fat and adding 10 pounds of muscle won’t change the scale, but it will dramatically change your body composition, how you feel, how you look, and your performance in life.
Because muscle takes more energy to maintain, even when sleeping or resting, your body will burn more calories than someone with less muscle.
Scale weight can still be an important measure. For example, if you are 5’4” and 300lb, the number on the scale should be coming down each week if you are exercising and eating well. However, how this “weight” loss is done will determine the long-term results.
There are many people out there promoting “quick fixes” and “magic pills”, but nothing equates to the mental and physical transformation that comes from changing your lifestyle, activity patterns, and nutritional habits over the long term. Resistance training should be a vital part of this “ideal body composition” equation.
So, learn how to move your body correctly, THEN add resistance and continue challenging those movements in a number of ways. The physical, psychological, and performance benefits are endless. Get started…Your body will thank you!
If you need help just book your FREE Success Coaching Session with FRESH! team.
Here are the 10 best exercises with resistance band for beginners
And 5 bodyweight exercises also made for beginners that are very powerful for cardio and strength