Consistent resistance training reduces body fat percentage, fat mass and visceral fat in healthy adults, according to a review of 58 studies published in Sports Medicine (2021; doi:10.1007/s40279-021-01562-2). While fitness pros already know this link between strength training and weight loss, the new takeaway is that from a total of almost 12,000 subjects, reviewers found that people lost on average 1.4% of total fat mass from resistance training programs alone, over an approximate 5-month period. This is the same amount of fat loss that people typically experience from cardio training over an equivalent period.
Principal investigator Amanda “Mandy” Hagstrom, PhD, exercise physiology scientist at University of New South Wales in Sydney, said, “If you want to exercise to change your body composition, you’ve got options. Do what exercise you want to do and what you’re most likely to stick to.” A typical weight-training protocol in the studies for strength training and weight loss included 45- to 60-minute sessions, two to three times per week.
See also: How Strength Training Impacts Metabolism
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