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Self Improvements

Speed up your metabolism with strength training

By September 21, 2023September 23rd, 2023No Comments

When you step into a gym, a common sight is individuals with higher body fat on the treadmill while those who appear fit engage in heavy weightlifting. It becomes evident that strength training is an effective method for accelerating metabolism. Metabolism refers to the quantity of energy our bodies require throughout the day, and having a greater amount of muscle mass translates to an increased demand for energy.

In the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle, many of us seek to rev up our metabolism, the magical engine responsible for burning calories and helping us maintain or shed pounds. While cardio exercises, such as treadmill running, are often touted as the ultimate solution, there’s a lesser-known secret to supercharging your metabolism – strength training.

Understanding Metabolism

Metabolism is essentially the complex set of chemical reactions within your body that convert the food you eat into energy. It’s the energy your body expends to carry out basic functions like breathing, digesting food, and repairing cells. In essence, it’s the rate at which your body burns calories to sustain itself.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

One key concept to grasp when it comes to metabolism is Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This represents the number of calories your body needs to maintain its basic functions at rest. Factors such as age, gender, genetics, and body composition all influence your BMR. People with more muscle tend to have a higher BMR because muscle requires more energy to maintain than fat.

The impact of diet

Diet plays a significant role in shaping your metabolism. When you consume food, your body breaks it down into energy. This energy is then used for immediate needs or stored for future use. The types of food you eat, as well as your meal timing, can affect how your body processes and stores energy.

Sleep and stress

Quality sleep is often underrated in discussions about metabolism. Sleep deprivation can disrupt hormonal balance, leading to increased appetite and weight gain. Chronic stress can have similar effects on hormones, impacting metabolism negatively. Prioritizing both sleep and stress management is crucial for maintaining a healthy metabolic rate.

Aging and Metabolism

As we age, our metabolism naturally slows down. Muscle mass tends to decrease, and hormonal changes can affect our energy expenditure. While we can’t stop the aging process, we can mitigate its effects through a combination of regular exercise, a balanced diet, and a healthy lifestyle.

How strength training impacts metabolism

Strength training, also known as resistance training, involves performing exercises with weights or other forms of resistance to improve the strength and endurance of your muscles. Here’s how it affects your metabolism:

  • Increases muscle mass: One of the most significant ways strength training affects metabolism is by increasing muscle mass. Muscles require more energy to maintain than fat, even at rest. This means that the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be.
  • Boosts the afterburn effect: After an intense strength training session, your body continues to burn additional calories to repair and rebuild muscles. This is known as the “afterburn effect” or “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).” The more intense your workout, the longer it takes for your body to return to normal, resulting in more calories burned.
  • Improves insulin sensitivity: Strength training also improves how your body uses insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels. Enhanced insulin sensitivity can help regulate body weight and reduce the risk of diabetes.

Variety of exercises for a faster metabolism

Diversity is key to success in strength training. Incorporate exercises that target different muscle groups, including upper body, lower body, core, and back exercises. Use free weights, resistance machines, and bodyweight exercises to provide comprehensive stimulation to all muscle groups.

Frequency and intensity

To achieve maximum results in accelerating your metabolism, it’s recommended to engage in strength training at least three times a week. Gradually increase the weight or intensity of your exercises as you progress to challenge your muscles and promote growth.

Nutrition and recovery

Don’t forget that proper nutrition is crucial for achieving results. Ensure an adequate intake of protein to support muscle growth and proper recovery post-workout. Also, give your body enough time to recover between sessions.