Are you attempting to use weight lifting for weight loss, or would you like to know how weight lifting is going to affect weight loss?
If so, you should read this page fully. If you have any questions at all, just leave your questions in the comments section at the bottom of the page. I will answer your questions there.
Weight lifting and weight loss are in conflict with each other. Let me explain.
The First Thing That Happens When You Start Lifting Weights…
This will happen to everyone almost every time:
You will gain weight immediately. The weight you are gaining is an increase in water and nutrients that are being held in your body and muscles.
It's a good thing this is happening — this is just one case where weight gain is good. Another is when you add lean muscle mass.
But many people (my wife included) get upset because the scale is showing an increase in body weight. Some people even quit weight lifting immediately because the increase in body weight is too much for them to take.
Yes, many people take the number on the scale far too serious. My wife knows everything on this page, but still takes the scale too seriously.
An increase in body weight is NOT a bad sign when you start lifting weights. Please remember that as you read on about weight lifting for weight loss.
Doesn't Weight Lifting Burn Calories?
Yes, weight lifting definitely burns calories and lots of them quickly — that is, if you're doing it correctly.
Your weight lifting workouts should start our rather easy as you should always start out with light weights and work on perfecting your form on the best weight lifting exercises like the squat, deadlift, bench press, row, overhead press, chin up, and dip.
If you lift the weight on each exercise with good form and technique, you should increase the weight for the next workout.
You will get to a point where your workouts start becoming very intense. This is when you'll burn the most calories. As you burn calories, you are creating a calorie deficit through the exercise you are doing. This leads to weight loss IF you are eating the right foods throughout the day.
So yes, weight lifting can help with weight loss BUT I want to explain THE MOST IMPORTANT point I will make on this page.
Weight Loss Is NOT As Fast When Lifting Weights!
Yes, you will be burning more calories through weight lifting, BUT you'll also need to be taking in more healthy calories so your body can recover properly from the weight lifting workouts and build lean muscle mass and strength.
If you're really interested in weight loss ONLY, you have THE WRONG GOAL. In the weight you lose, you want all of that body weight loss to come in the form of body fat. You don't want to lose muscle mass.
If you lose muscle mass, you are slowing your metabolism and putting yourself into a hole. As you lose muscle, you make it even harder to burn body fat and lose the right type of body weight!
So you might be thinking…
Well, I will just lift weights and not eat very much.
Yes, that will work for weight loss BUT you'll also dig yourself into a hole that way as well. You won't be able to get stronger in the gym for any considerable amount of time, you won't be able to push yourself in the workouts, and you'll end up overtraining and possibly causing sickness as well.
Your Body Needs Food to Recover From Weight Lifting Workouts
When you lift weights, you are damaging muscle so your body can build it back. Your body requires resources to repair that muscle and build it back stronger and possibly larger than before. If you aren't feeding your body the proper foods to give it those required resources, your body will fight back. You may become sick and have to lay in the bed versus working out or trying to lose weight.
If you are weight lifting for weight loss ONLY, you need to change your mindset.
This mindset will lead to failure.
If you are ONLY looking for the fastest possible weight loss, weight lifting isn't going to help you unless you follow the above scenarios and get really sick. Once you're really sick, then you'll lose weight really fast. BUT, this would be very bad and absolutely ridiculous to attempt. You can even kill yourself slowly taking this approach. DO NOT starve yourself and lift weights until you are very sick! No one should want that.
Weight Lifting for Weight Loss ONLY Does Not Work!
If you instead focus your weight lifting efforts on getting stronger and building lean muscle mass, you will burn calories during and after your weight lifting workouts at a much faster rate. You will feed your body properly so it can recover. You will get much stronger and give yourself more opportunities to build lean muscle.
As you build lean muscle, your body will become even better at burning body fat.
So now your weight loss on the scale has really slowed because you are burning body fat BUT you are replacing that body fat with lean muscle. Lean muscle is denser than body fat so you'll actually appear much healthier and with better proportions.
Your waist will become smaller and your upper back and shoulders will become wider. This leads to an even better appearance because the wider upper back and shoulders will make your waist appear smaller. You will look amazing.
But to get to this point, you'll need to understand that fast weight loss is NOT the goal when you're lifting weights.
STOP Worrying About the Scale
Your body weight does not matter. Your appearance and health does matter.
Stop looking at the scale and freaking out if the number increases. This number can increase for so many different reasons. Did you know you can weigh more and actually look smaller (And MUCH better) as you add lean muscle and lose body fat. One pound of body fat is larger than one pound of lean muscle (much larger).
So replacing one pound of body fat with one pound of lean muscle will make you smaller and will make you look so much better.
Each week when using the WLC System, you should try to lose 1 pound of body fat while doing your absolute BEST with the weight lifting workouts, cardio workouts, and with your diet plan. You will slowly replace the body fat with lean muscle mass. Forget the number on the scale. Seriously, forget about it. You should ONLY use it to measure your fat loss and muscle gain during the weekly assessment. That's it.
If you are losing fat and gaining muscle, you are on the PERFECT track to the best body you've ever had.
STOP weight lifting for weight loss AND focus on building lean muscle during your weight lifting workouts. The fat loss will come. The lean muscle will come. And you will look amazing.
When people focus on fast weight loss, they usually end up losing so much lean muscle along with some body fat. They lose weight fast, but they look worse. They get the “skinny fat” look because they lost all of the hard and dense muscle and replaced it with loose body fat that hangs there. Muscle doesn't hang there!
I truly hope this page on weight lifting for weight loss has really opened your eyes and helped you. If I missed any questions you may have had about weight loss or weight lifting, please let me know. I am happy to help you any time. Just let me know.
One last warning: If you're looking for a list of weight loss programs that work, you're not going to find a big list or even a small list that will actually tell you not to lose your muscle mass!
Navigation Links for the Burn Fat Section of Weight Lifting Complete
You are currently within the Burn Fat section of the website. Below are other articles about burning fat, weight loss, six pack abs, and a fat burning strategy: