Can someone lose weight without cardio?

We have been traditionally conditioned over a very long period of time, to believe that cardio is the most effective and efficient way to burn body fat and get leaner. Steady state cardio may not be effective for long term and lasting fat loss, but that’s not to say that cardio should be completely dismissed, as it’s very important for our overall health and well being.

If not steady state, then what?

Research shows us that interval training, where you alternate intense bouts of activity with rest periods, is very effective for improving aerobic capacity, and coupled with the cardiovascular benefits as well.

The great thing about intense bouts (HIIT) is that you will get better fat loss results, in a shorter duration of time. That means, you really don’t need to kill yourself with cardio in order to benefit from it’s fat burning effects.

It’s very important for fat loss goals, to implement HIIT into your training program on a regular basis, as well as strength training.

What can lifting weights do for your weight loss goals

The great thing about strength training for fat loss, is that when working with an effective program, your capacity to lose body fat and increase muscle mass is magnified. As we know, more muscle equals the allowance of more calories to be consumed, without having any negative effects on our body composition.

Lifting weight’s also changes our body shape, making us appear leaner, more defined and shapely. Our clothes become loser, or fit better, and we minimise fat stores on our body.

I will touch on some specific things which will really make your strength training sessions a lot more effective for weight loss.

4 steps to weight loss success with weight training

  1. Make sure you are focusing on your tempo when lifting. Tempo when lifting is one of the key elements to increasing your strength and decreasing body fat. Our muscles need a specific amount of tension in order to become damaged, and therefore heal and grow. This is the key to increasing your strength, and also the amount of calories you burn during the day. The magic of strength training happens outside of the gym, when your muscles are repairing and regenerating. Overall within your workout, you may not be burning as many calories as a cardio session, but the calories burnt outside of your training hours are what makes all the difference.
  2. Increase your loads progressively, that means, lift heavier. Heavier lifting will increase your strength capacity, and also your metabolic potential. The great thing about this is that it’s also a great feeling mentally, to be able to push yourself to strength levels you never believed were possible. This is why so many people love to strength train, as the capacity to grow your inner self belief becomes apparent slowly, and with effective training protocols. Even the smallest progressions make a huge difference over time. Your body will change shape, and become stronger and so will your confidence. This small boost will help us to stay the course, and keep working on our goals. I think a lot of people dismiss the need to keep moving forward, even when the progress is small. This overtime, will increase our fat burning and body composition changes. Sticking with an exercise and eating program long term is that brings the most effective results.
  3. Use compound movements for improving overall body strength and torching the most body fat. Compound movements work most of our body, therefore are more efficient in burning calories. Exercises such as squats, lunges, bench presses and pull ups may be challenging, but it’s specifically what your body needs to become stronger and more efficient at burning calories. You can always start off small, with less weight, and when it comes to lifting your own body weight, use negative movements to train yourself to lift your own body weight. Chin and pull ups may be challenging, but with commitment, you can master them. Remember, that even small progress, leads to bigger achievements over time.
  4. Rest and recovery. In order to build muscle, and burn body fat, we need to be able to allow our bodies to rest and recover from exercise. Training with weights every day will not produce effective results, and lead to over training and possibly a plateau. Nurture your body and allow it to repair and recover. Feed it nourishing food and allow yourself to accept that your body is still working with you along your fat loss journey. We all need to take a break and rest, sleep when we feel the need to and just chill out. One day or two is sufficient, and you will see your strength and fat burning capacity increase with this alone.

I do hope these tips help you along your journey ahead.
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