Losing Weight through Strength Training


Hi, this is a subject I feel passionate about primarily because it worked so well for me. I wrote a blog article about it this week, but I’ll just copy the contents here.

Strength training isn’t just for bodybuilders. It can be an effective part of anyone’s weight loss efforts, whether you are a man or woman, whether you are 21 or 95. Through strength training, you can turn your body into a lean fat-burning machine.

One big thing that I learned during my 75 pound weight loss journey is the important role that strength training can play in the process. From day one I incorporated some strength and cardio workouts and I was able to consistently lose 1-2 pounds per week. And I wasn’t just getting thinner, I was getting stronger. And because of the strength training, I was able to build and preserve muscle to achieve a respectable 12% body fat. And it came with its own secret weapon - I was able to eat more, feel less hungry, and burn more calories even when I was sedentary.

The following 7 points are ways that strength training actually improves the weight loss process more than just cardio or dieting alone. Some are interrelated, but all are important to know for anyone who wants to lose weight.

  1. Elevated metabolism - studies show that a well-designed strength program can elevate your metabolism for up to 38 hours after the workout. In other words, you continue to burn calories long after strength training. Whereas once you stop cardio, the calorie burning stops as well. (source: bodybuilding.com)

  2. Burn more calories - for every three pounds of muscle you gain, you can expect to burn an extra 120 calories a day without moving a single one of those muscles. (source: Women’s Health Magazine)

  3. Burn fat longer - aerobic activity burns fat while you’re exercising, but anaerobic (meaning without oxygen) activity burns fat in the minutes, hours and days following exercise, as your body recovers from your workout. Compare the energy costs of the two activities during a workout session, as many studies have done in the past, and aerobic activity appears to burn more fat, which may explain why many health and fitness professionals still recommend it. But if you add up the fat burned by the two activities during and after exercise — including what’s burned between sets during the workout itself — anaerobic activity comes out ahead. Way ahead. (source: Experience Life)

  4. Improved hormone response - regular, intense resistance training can have a dramatic effect on your endocrine (or hormonal) system, which manages energy, mood and other components of well-being. Hormones also regulate your body’s immediate and long-term responses to strength training, so they not only help you burn fat and build muscle directly after a workout, but they also make you a more efficient fat-burning, muscle-building machine, 24/7. (source: Experience Life)

  5. Feel less hungry - if you drop weight using solely cardio routines, you are going to find yourself having to eat like a bird just to maintain that weight. It will be a struggle and you are setting yourself up for anguish in the form of yo-yo dieting and feeling like you are starving all of the time. If you use weight training you are going to have to worry much less about having to go hungry, because your body will actually literally need those calories (that you are hopefully consuming from clean, healthy, smart food choices). (source: Fitness Blender)

  6. More attractive body composition - the less muscle you have, the more prone you are to look skinny fat at lower percentages of body fat. An extremely under-muscled guy at 15% body fat can look skinny fat whereas a musclebound guy at the same level of body fat can look downright intimidating. (source: Legion Athletics). Many individuals who just hop on the treadmill to lose the pounds don’t end up looking much different — even if they do successfully lose 10 to 20 pounds. This is because they still have the same proportion of muscle mass to body fat; they are just “smaller.” Weight training will help change the way you look completely, giving the impression that you’ve replaced fat with muscle and are actually working at improving your body and changing your body composition. (source: AskMen.com)

  7. Lose fat without eating less - according to the National Center for Health Statistics, a mere 21 percent of women strength train two or more times a week. What you don’t know: When you skip the weight room, you lose out on the ultimate flab melter. Those two sessions a week can reduce overall body fat by about 3 percentage points in just 10 weeks, even if you don’t cut a single calorie. That translates to as much as three inches total off your waist and hips. (source: Women’s Health)

There, now that you know the secret, go make it happen!

If you’d like to explore the links to the sources, or to see my additional related posts, see the original article here.

Saggy skin
Weights for weight loss ? 🤔
Building muscle whilst loosing weight
Does Chest and Shoulders Circumference Eventually Stop Dropping in Size?
Weight training
Weight Training For Beginners?
Haven't been around for a few months but have still been kicking ass!
Week 5 Crystal Palace
Week 3 Three Corners the home of football
Portsmouth S3 W9 - DougNuts emerge as league favourites

Hey @shrinkinguy, I love this post!

I’m only able to skim-read it at the moment as I’m still in the office, but good post, and I like your blog!

I always hear people tell me that they think the only thing you should do in a gym to lose weight is to hit the treadmill/elliptical/stationary bike, but as you’ve said, weight training is so important (and I think it’s way more fun that cardio!)


yup, strength training > cardio (if we’re talking strictly body composition)

BTW, I’m not against cardio, I do 30 mins every morning for health puroposes


Agreed…I think the ideal combination is cardio and strength training. I think many people feel like cardio without strength training is the best way to get fit, but the combo is so much more effective. I personally hate running/treadmill, but I enjoy a spin class twice a week that really gets my heart pumping for an hour.


I used a different approach (I think one of the amazing losers posted it). I lost the weight through diet, and not much exercise. Once I got close to my target weight I concentrated on weight training along with upping my calorie intake due to the weight training. Lost about 5% body fat in the last 2 months while my weight stayed the same.

Now, I have incorporated cardio after my strength training as I need to be able to sprint due to other hobbies I have.


Agree 100%

Diet > strength training > cardio

(If were takking strictky weight loss)


I agree with all of these good thoughts.

The combo of diet AND cardio AND strength training worked out really well for me from the beginning because I basically preserved my lean mass and lost most of my fat (from 36% to 12%). And my BMR stayed about the same during the process so I didn’t feel very hungry. I was able to eat around 2200 calories per day and consistently lost about 2 pounds per week. But it’s cool that there are different paths to success, that’s what is great about this forum.


I want to lose a bit more weight, then start strength training at home. I don’t mind buying a bit of kit, eg bells, but I don’t want a home gym as such.

What I struggle to find is a simple beginners strength training programme that doesn’t go from zero to mental in 24 hours. Also, there is sooo much stuff/advice, it’s difficult to know where to start.

As a tall skinny framed fat man who wants to build muscle for health, fat burning and posture reasons; I don’t want to get ‘ripped’, can anyone point me in the right direction?


Start simple, no need to get a kit (most stay used anyway). Do body weight exercises; push-ups, squats, planks, dips, bridges, dead bugs. As you get stronger move to burpees.

Many Youtube videos are available showing proper form for each of those and even progression training programs.


I’ve left some great resources for beginner strength training plans on this thread mate, hope it helps! :blush:


@miniwomble - great question! I had the luxury when I started of having a personal trainer, and we started out easy. Luxury, because I’m not rich and really didn’t feel like I could afford it. But I was staring at a set of health conditions and a poor quality of living for the rest of my life, I felt like a 3 month engagement was worth it…and it was.

But luckily for you there is tons of great advice here on this forum from others who are either on their journey or who have met their goals and continue the battle.

Here are a few blog posts I wrote for people who are just starting out and don’t have much experience with strength training:
[6 Tips for Getting Started with Lifting Weights][1]
[Total Body Strength Training Workout][2]
[Working Out with Dumbbells][3]
[A Great Resistance Training Routine][4]
[Don’t be Scared of the Gym][5]

And I’ll throw in a plug for personal trainers:
[Do You Need A Personal Trainer?][6]

Good luck, and feel free to ask more questions!
[1]: http://www.shrinkinguy.com/blog/6-tips-for-getting-started-with-lifting-weights
[2]: http://www.shrinkinguy.com/blog/total-body-strength-training-workout
[3]: http://www.shrinkinguy.com/blog/working-out-with-dumbbells
[4]: http://www.shrinkinguy.com/blog/a-great-resistance-training-routine
[5]: http://www.shrinkinguy.com/blog/gym-basics
[6]: http://www.shrinkinguy.com/blog/do-you-need-a-personal-trainer

Lifting weights to lose weight?
Personal Trainers?

Thanks all


In my experience, lifting has been essential for fat loss. Sometimes the scale will even go ip, but then it comes off in large chunks. I feel so much better about any weight on the scale, when I’m actively lifting!


I’m not shilling for Bodybuilding.com but have found Kris Gethin’s twelve week trainer a real great resource in my weight loss journey.

The only danger is the scales don’t take in muscle mass so you can lift like crazy and appear heavier!

Diet plan

Hey mate,

I won’t put my personal thoughts on Kris Gethin on here, but similar to what I said about the FST principle, the legit community don’t take him seriously and he’s viewed as a scammer with extremely low levels of knowledge of nutrition & training to the inner circle community.

But hey, if somethings producing results for you, then that’s all that counts!


thank you, I think is a great article.


Can anyone recommend good supplements? I’m weary of protein powder because of the sugar/sweetners, and the others for cost and lack of science behind them, but I have people telling me I’m crazy to lift without them, especially as trying to lose weight.


Hi mate,

here’s my list of recommended supplements

(apologies for the external link, I’m about to clock of for the night… I’ll remove it tomorrow & write them down instead)



Cardio can help build big muscles as well. My quads are now 29" from cycling.


True, it does help strengthen the lower body. A good combination of full body strength training (upper and lower) and cardio I think is best. I’m experiencing the same thing - on MWF I do full body strength workouts, and on T TH I do a spinning cardio class. My thighs are now 26" and I’m wondering if I should back off on legwork a bit since they get a workout in the spin class.