Thursday, September 30, 2010

Does Strength Matter for Fat Loss?

People often try to burn fat or drop weight with steady state exercise activities. They, for some reason, believe that this is the key to losing weight. There is nothing magical about "aerobic" activity. "Aerobic" simply means "pertaining to oxygen." The aerobic energy system is no more special than the anaerobic energy systems (ATP-CP and glycolysis).

In fact, if you are training the aerobic energy system exclusively, you are not training very intensely. You see, the aerobic energy system is too slow acting to support high intensity activities, and it is high intensity activities that drive fat loss.

Strength matters for fat loss. The key is not being able to produce small amounts of force over an hour long period. The key is to maximize the intensity of a workout. What better way to do that than to strength train? Ask yourself this. Are more calories burned lifting a 10 pound box off the ground or are more calories burned lifting a 100 pound box off the ground. Obviously, lifting the 100 pound box off the ground burns a great deal more calories.

You may be thinking about interjecting here that you should be able to lift the 10 pound box more times than the 100 pound box, and that over time you would burn more calories. That may be true, but that is missing the point entirely. What if you just got so strong that lifting the 100 box became easy? Wouldn't you then be able to lift the 100 pound box multiple times and burn a lot more calories in a lesser amount of time? Yes.

Additionally, who said that you can't just switch what you are doing when you get tired of lifting that box? Let's say your legs are exhausted after lifting so much. Pick a new exercise that you aren't tired of doing that also requires a great deal of strength. It's simple.

So, in answer to the question that is the title, I say, "Yes. Strength matters a great deal for fat loss."

Learn more when The Theory of Fat Loss is released!


  1. Your book looks awesome! Where can I get a signed copy with dolphins?

  2. When it comes out, just send me an email and I'll get on that for you.

  3. Very interesting. I particularly concur with line 5.

  4. Are there no merits to aerobic training?

  5. There are. It is just limited for fat loss.

  6. @Sam Cain: actually, there is a post on one really good use for aerobic training that you can find here


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