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Metabolism and Strength Training

How does Metabolism and Strength Training complement each other?

Sedentary adults can experience a 3% to 8% loss of muscle mass per decade along with resting metabolic rate reduction and fat accumulation (Westcott, 2012). Aging does not have to fulfill this prediction!

Generally, people work out and often feel that if they “burn” 500-600 calories in their workout they will lose weight.  However, burning calories is not necessarily related to weight loss or increasing your metabolism.  Often the premise of eating less and expending more energy is thought to be the simple recipe for weight-loss.

However, cardiovascular training alone has not been shown to increase fat-free mass (i.e reduce fat) (Manikowski et al., 2012). Resistance or strength training is documented to increase fat free-mass.  Increasing fat-free mass equates to building muscles. Increasing muscle mass can lead to an increased resting metabolism. Resistance and strength training has been documented in numerous studies (Manikowski et al., 2012; Strasser & Schobersberger, 2010;Westcott, 2012) to support reduction in central abdominal fat, reduce for risk for diabetes and metabolic syndrome, along with supporting bone health, and increasing resting metabolic rate.

Consider switching your favorite cardio exercise for 30 minutes of strength training three times a week and give that a try for the next month. See what this results in! Remember, success is not always measured in the scale.   

Tanya Tanzillo, MSN, APRN-BC, RHC-1



Manikowski T Terbizan D J Schuna J Tucker J Christensen B Brunt A Rhee Y 2012 Medicine and Science in Sports and ExerciseManikowski, T., Terbizan, D. J., Schuna, J., Tucker, J., Christensen, B., Brunt, A., & Rhee, Y. (2012). Resting metabolic rate changes in women following different exercise training programs. In Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (Vol. 44, pp. 819-819). Philadelphia, PA: Lipencott Williams & Wilkens.  20140321184310558516741

Strasser B Schobersberger W 2010 Evidence for resistance training as a treatment therapy in obesity.Strasser, B., & Schobersberger, W. (2010). Evidence for resistance training as a treatment therapy in obesity. Journal of Obesity,1-9.  20140321184715435295582

Westcott W L 2012 Resistance training is medicine: Effects of strength training on health.Westcott, W. L. (2012). Resistance training is medicine: Effects of strength training on health. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 11(4), 209-216.  201403211845031010019898

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