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Strength Training for Weight Loss

Review supports the benefits of resistance training and losing body fat.

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Strength Training for Weight Loss

For those interested in weight loss and management, here’s more evidence to support the value of strength training. According to a research review published in Obesity Reviews (2021; doi:10.1111/obr.13428), strength training is effective for improving body composition, reducing body fat, increasing lean body mass and helping individuals with overweight or obesity with weight loss. Edith Cowan University researchers in Joondalup, Western Australia, conducted a review of 114 studies with a total of 4,184 participants.

The most effective weight loss strategy? Strength training combined with reduced calorie intake. The combination of resistance training and aerobic training also produced significant weight loss results for participants. These findings were consistent for both men and women across age groups.

“[W]e can use resistance training and achieve meaningful effects with a diet based on caloric reduction. We can reduce body fat percentage, whole-body fat mass, body weight and [body mass index],” said lead study author and graduate student researcher Pedro Lopez. “If you’re comparing the literature, these effects are similar to aerobic exercise with caloric restriction in adults who are overweight or obese. . . . The study also showed resistance training was effective in avoiding losing muscle mass when lowering the number of calories being consumed.”

See also: Weight Loading and Weight Loss

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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