I’m just getting back into exercise. I want to make fat loss my number one priority, so should I focus on cardio work to lose the fat, and then start my weight training program?
Assuming you have no previous injuries and are in good health, you should begin your strength training program immediately.
Strength Training For Fat Loss
Not only will it assist you in losing body fat, strength training will also insure that you will not lose muscle in the process. (Should men and women exercise the same way?).
In order to lose body fat, your body must be in a catabolic state – you must be consuming (through diet) fewer calories than you expend through exercise and your daily activities.
Once in this state, your body is quite indiscriminate about the tissues it uses to supply energy, and will break down muscle tissue in addition to bodyfat.
This is something to be avoided, as muscle contributes as much as 70% to your body’s metabolism.
Having less muscle means that your metabolism will be slower, causing you to burn fewer calories throughout the day. This will only hinder your fat loss efforts and make them harder to sustain in the long run.
The converse of that is true as well – by putting on more muscle, your metabolism will increase, causing you to burn more calories throughout the day, without any additional exercise.
Be sure to include strength training as an integral part of any fat loss program.
-Eugene Thong CSCS