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Is Weight Lifting Good For Weight Loss?

Exercise can speed up your weight loss, the right kind of exercise even more so. How good is weight lifting for weight loss?

If you look at people lifting weights, they don’t always look like they are putting in that much effort. They take a lot of breaks and mostly move the weights in a slow way. How does that help you lose weight?

Can you lose weight by lifting weights?

Weight lifting is …., well literally just that, lifting weights with your body. This weight can be your own body weight, weights from the gym (barbells, dumbells, kettlebells,..) or just stuff you find around the house.

The goal of weight lifting is mainly to put stress on your muscles.

When you exercise and even more so when you lift heavy weights, you make tears in your muscles. This might not sound too good and if your body just left it like that it probably wouldn’t be good. However, the good part for your health comes after the exercise.

Your body repairs your muscles and puts on a little extra. This way you are better prepared to deal with similar situations in the future.

It might not always look like it but weight lifting workouts can get pretty intense. However, the real calorie burning part is due to the extra muscle you put on.

The heavier you weigh, the more energy your body uses to move you around. You might have noticed that you hit weight loss plateaus when you lose weight. This is one of the reasons for that.

Weight lifting is a multiplier

The extra muscle you gain from weight lifting acts as a multiplier of calorie burning 24/7. Everything you do will require more energy in the form of calories from your body. Sleeping, sitting at your desk, hanging out with your friends,…

That’s the real power of weight lifting.

If you are not happy with the results from only weight lifting you can always do cardio or HIIT on top of that. The extra muscle will help you burn more calories during that exercise too.

Can you lose weight by lifting weights

How much weights should you lift to lose weight?

The 2 things that need to happen to build muscle are the following.

  1. You need to break your muscles down enough
  2. You need to give your body time and nutrients to repair the muscles

The more and the heavier weights you lift the more you will break down your muscles.

This is not the same for everyone, it’s difficult to make a general rule that applies to everyone. You need to see how much you can lift and continue from there.

What weight lifting exercises are the best for weight loss?

You have a lot of different muscle groups in your body, some bigger than other. You want to do exercises that target these bigger muscle groups. That’s the easiest way to build a lot of muscle mass.

Your biggest muscle are your legs, back, chest and shoulders.

Here are some exercises to add to your workout plan for weight loss at the gym:

  • Legs: squats, leg presses, lunges (with barbells), kettlebell swings, leg curls,…
  • Back: bent over rows, deadlifts, wide-grip pull-ups, wide-grip cable row,…
  • Chest: benches, machine chest press, cable fly, pec deck machine,…
  • Shoulders: overhead dumbell press, plate press out, lateral raises,…

If you can choose between a targeted exercise like for example leg presses or a compound exercise like squats, choose the latter.

Compound exercises are exercises that also involve other muscle groups besides the main one you are focusing on. Squats for example will also train your abs a little bit and remember, more muscle is more calorie burning.

Calorie burning body weight exercises

Doing muscle building exercises at the gym is more effective because you can work with heavier weights and thus break down your muscles more. However, that does not mean you can’t build muscle at home. Here are a few home exercises you can add to your daily routine:

  • Legs: squats, lunges, glute bridges, jump squats,…
  • Back: planks, supermans, quadruped limb raises,…
  • Chest: push-ups
  • Shoulders: handstand, press outs, lateral raises,…

What should you eat to lose weight while lifting weights?

Eating the right things after a workout can be very important.

To repair/build muscle you need to make sure that you consume enough protein, vitamins and minerals.

Carbohydrates can also help you grow more muscles.


Matt Claes

Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.