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Are Resistance Workouts Worth the Hype?

At the moment, everyone in the fitness world seems to be talking about resistance workouts. The days of endless cardio are long over - nowadays, people are training with weights instead. But what are the actual benefits of resistance workouts? Are they suitable for weight loss, or should you stick to cardio? Read on and we'll go into the real benefits of using resistance tools when exercising! 

action athlete barbell weight lifting

Weight training helps you build strength

Let's point out the obvious first - training with weights will help you build strength. Using a range of resistance equipment - such as barbells, dumbells, resistance machines, and booty bands - will help you build whatever muscle you're working on. If you want to increase your strength and tone a particular area of your body, resistance workouts are perhaps the best thing you can do.

Resistance training can help you lose weight

But what if weight loss is your main focus? Well, resistance training can help you there too. This is due to a few things: your body will be working harder, you'll experience 'after-burn', and doing weights will help you lose more fat long-term.

Your body is working harder

When you do resistance training, your muscles need more oxygen. So, you will naturally breathe faster, and your heart will pump blood around your body quicker.

You will also use your energy reserves to give your muscles a boost. This means that you will be burning calories - and subsequently losing weight!

Feeling the after-burn

The weight loss process doesn't stop when you've finished exercising. Muscles need to return to their natural state, so they still require more oxygen.

Your muscles will find this oxygen in excess fat and carbohydrates in the body. The body breaks down these substances through a process called EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. So, even after your workout, you could still be losing weight!

Losing fat long term

If you want to not only lose weight but keep it off, resistance exercises could be your answer: the bigger your muscles, the higher your RMR (resting metabolic rate).

This basically means that the bigger your muscles are, the more calories you will need every day just to live. In turn, this means that it will be much easier to either be in a calorie deficit or to consume the same amount of calories as your body needs.

If you want to increase your RMR deliberately, do some glute and quad exercises. Glutes and quads are the biggest muscles in your body, and the larger they are, the more calories your body will naturally burn.

Resistance training vs. cardio

Both exercises are good in their own ways, but bearing in mind what we have discussed above, resistance training may, in fact, be better for weight-loss purposes than cardio.

This is because when you do resistance training, your muscles will be experiencing increased fatigue. Your body will need more energy over a longer period, as it will need to repair itself after the workout.

You certainly can burn off quite a few calories on an extended run, but you don't burn off the same amount of calories after. Therefore, if you really want to burn some calories and strengthen your muscles in the process, consider resistance training.

Other benefits of resistance training

Protect against injury

Doing resistance training can help you to protect your muscles, joints, and bones against injury. You will naturally become fitter as you work out with weights or resistance bands, and you will have higher stamina. Your muscles and joints will also be much stronger and more flexible, making injury less likely.

Improve your mental health

Doing resistance training can help with your mental health. Any exercise can give you a serotonin boost and make you feel happier both in the short and long term. Resistance training can also help with your self-confidence.

Deal with insomnia

Doing resistance exercises can help you cope with insomnia. Any exercise is excellent for physical exhaustion, which can help you sleep better at night.

However, the fatigue that your muscles will feel after weight training will definitely help your body reach that stage of exhaustion quicker!

Resistance training is certainly worth the hype. There are countless positives to this type of training - not least because it will help you to build your muscles. It's one of the best types of exercise you can do for weight loss, and there are so many other perks too! If you're seeking out any of these health benefits, consider putting resistance training into your fitness regime.

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