A man holds himself up on one PowerBlock adjustable dumbbell, pulling another dumbbell to his chest.

Benefits of Lifting Weights For Weight Loss and Fat Burn

Long known as the gold standard for building muscle, weight lifting’s fat-burning properties have been relatively undervalued when compared to cardio-centric training options like high-intensity interval training (HIIT). But will lifting help you lose weight? Yes, in fact, there are many scientifically proven weight-loss benefits to lifting weights. In this overview, we’re diving into how lifting weights helps you lose weight by burning calories and developing lean muscle — and how you can get started on your own strength training journey.
1. So, how is lifting weights good for weight loss?

Most people think of running, biking and other cardio activities as the best options for shedding pounds. And while it’s true that cardio and high-intensity workouts are great tools for burning calories, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of lifting for losing weight. Although cardio burns more calories during the workout, weightlifting is better for building muscle – and muscle tissues burn more calories at rest than fat tissues. Essentially, lifting weights raises resting metabolism so you’re using more calories during non-workout time.

Following an intense weight-lifting or resistance-training session, the body’s base metabolic rate (BMR) can remain elevated for up to 48 hours. In other words, you’re burning a lot more calories after the workout. On the other hand, your BMR returns to normal soon after a cardio workout is done. Because of these factors, a regular weight-lifting program can burn more calories overall than a regular cardio program, which means more weight loss.

It’s also important to note that strength training enables more sustainable cardio exercise. Overuse injuries caused by weak muscles can put you on the sidelines from calorie-burning activities, so being able to build up the muscle groups that keep you going during high-intensity workouts will in turn enable you to continue losing weight.

2. How does lifting weights help you burn fat?

Strength training can also be more effective than cardio at burning fat tissue. Part of this is because of the overall metabolism increase. Another reason is that weight-lifting exercises often target several muscle groups at once, which maximizes calorie burn. When you work out with adjustable dumbbells for example, you’ll burn more fat since you’re using your arms, legs, core and other muscles to stabilize the weights.

Weight lifting can literally change the inner workings of your cells. A recent study found that following a workout, muscles release special bubbles of genetic material into the bloodstream. These bubbles jump-start the fat-burning and metabolizing process. In other words, the simple act of lifting weights can immediately start burning fat cells even before you’ve been doing it long enough to start building strength.

How often should you lift weights for healthy weight loss?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), most people need to engage in at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity to produce weight loss. To achieve this, you can split up those 150 minutes into 3 to 5 lifting sessions per week.

If you’re on the lower end (3 workouts per week), focus on longer full-body workouts with a lot of compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups. If you’re doing 5 workouts a week, do shorter workouts that target specific muscle groups. Focus on different muscles in each workout so the other groups have adequate recovery time.

We also should remind you not to do too much, too soon, as overtraining is a leading cause of fatigue and injury. Start with 2 or 3 short, moderate sessions per week and gradually build your way up. It’s the safest way to accomplish long-term weight-loss goals.

What equipment should you use during your strength training and weight loss journey?

If you’re going to start incorporating more strength training as part of a weight loss journey, it’s important to select the right equipment that levels up as you do. An adjustable dumbbell is an amazing tool to add to your arsenal, especially for those who want to burn fat. You can easily add or subtract weight to build a highly customized strength program that targets a variety of muscle groups, and level up as you start to develop lean muscle.

Below are some PowerBlock products to consider adding to your routine as you ramp up your strength-building journey.

Sport 24

Perfect for those who are just getting started weight lifting or for those who prefer high-rep workouts for building greater endurance. The Sport 24 is PowerBlock’s light and compact set of 24 lb. adjustable dumbbells. Level up or down by increments of 3 lbs. for a wide variety of exercises for any muscle group.


Pro 100 EXP

The Pro 100 EXP is PowerBlock’s heaviest set of adjustable dumbbells, so it’s a good fit for those who already have a good baseline of strength to build upon. What the Pro 100 EXP offers is the ability to truly level up. The first stage ranges from 5-40 pounds, with the option to add three more stages of 20 pounds to reach 100 pounds per dumbbell.


Dumbbell stands

It’s important to keep your home gym clutter free for a safe and effective environment. PowerBlock dumbbell stands offer a sturdy platform where you can quickly switch out weights and get started on your exercise, all while keeping your equipment off the floor once you’re done.