fbpx Skip to content


Strength Training and Weight Loss

Study shows weight training is as effective as cardio for fat loss.

| Earn 1 CEC - Take Quiz

Woman weight lifting to show link between strength training and weight loss

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


Concerned about your place in the new fitness industry? We have 40 years of experience supporting pros just like you! Let’s create a new wellness paradigm together—IDEAfit+ is the extra edge you need. Once you team up with IDEA, be sure to take full advantage of all the benefits of membership.

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.

When you buy something using the retail links in our content, we may earn a small commission. IDEA Health and Fitness Association does not accept money for editorial reviews. Read more about our Terms & Conditions and our Privacy Policy.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay up tp date with our latest news and products.