Exercise: Weight training

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Weight training can assist with weight loss.

Lifting Weights
Lifting Weights

If you understand how you burn calories, you understand why it is important to keep muscle mass.  Weight lifting is one way to protect and build more muscle mass.  

Many consider weight liftings or residence training to be one of the most important methods of losing weight and I tend to agree.  Weight lifting not only burns calories, but it also burned them for more than one day and it raises your metabolism.   You may ask, how does it do this?  Well, it is quite simple, lifting weight makes small tears in the muscle fibers that require repairs.  These repairs allow the strengthening of the muscle and require energy to rebuild.  

Examples of Resistance Trainings:

  1. Weights
  2. Body Weight exercises such as push up, pull-ups, and sit-ups
  3. Isometrics
  4. Resistance bands

I cannot tell you how many people have told me in my nearly 50 years that they were not going to lift weights because weight lifting makes you gain weight.  Although this may be true, it will also make you leaner if you eat right.  As I indicated above, resistance training in all forms is another effective way to burn calories and lose body fat.   It has been shown to increase your resting metabolic rate which means you’ll continue to burn calories even after you finish working out.  This means that you will be able to eat more without gaining weight.  

  1. One study by Feurer looked at moderately to severely obese patients placed on a six-week exercise program.  In this study, they look at subjects 18-70 years of age and put them in an exercise program twice a day with both resistance and cardio training.  They found that the mixed 6-week training program led to not only decrease body fat and increased strength but is also led to a higher quality of life​[1]​.  
  2. Another study looked at the effects of resistance training and caloric restrictions on metabolic syndrome.  The subjects had conformed metabolic syndrome which a diabetes Type 2 precursor that included high blood pressure, central obesity, metabolic changes.   During the study, the test group lost over 5% body mass and significant improvement in all aspects of the metabolic syndrome when compared to the control group​[2]​.  

Recommendations:  The bottom line is you will likely gain weight lifting weights, but it will be the more dense muscle that will reduce your waist circumference and increase your overall health.  You still need to watch what you eat and do some cardio to work your heart, but it will work to lean you up if done right.  Also, remember, your knees don’t care what kind of weight is on them.  If you put a bulldozer on a compact car chassis, it will fail, and so will your knees if you overload them.  It does not matter if it is muscle or fat.   Most of us will not go to that extreme so that a little muscle mass will improve your health and hel[ you keep the fat off.  


  1. [1]
    J. Feurer, “Effect of a mixed 6-week training period on body fat in moderately to severely obese patients, without caloric restriction, with a 3-month follow-up,” Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, p. e53, Sep. 2016, doi: 10.1016/j.rehab.2016.07.122. [Online]. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rehab.2016.07.122
  2. [2]
    E. Normandin, E. Chmelo, M. Lyles, A. Marsh, and B. Nicklas, “Effect of Resistance Training and Caloric Restriction on the Metabolic Syndrome.,” Med Sci Sports Exerc, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 413–419, Mar. 2017, doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001122. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27741216
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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