Should I do resistance training to lose weight?

Absolutely!  Resistance training increases your muscle mass which helps to increase your resting metabolic rate.  Plain and simple, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn.  You should still couple resistance training with proper nutrition and cardiovascular training for best results.    

Any activity that increases the calories that you burn will help you lose weight. Resistance training may not burn as many calories as some cardio workouts, but it can have a dramatic effect on your body composition. When you are increasing muscle mass while losing fat, it may not reflect right away on the scale. However, you will notice that you are losing inches while gaining strength and definition. This increased muscle mass will raise your metabolic needs leading to an increased number of calories burned daily, even at rest. Not only will this assist you in losing weight, but more importantly in keeping it off.

Adam Krueger
Yes most definitely. Weight training will help increase muscle mass and in turn will help you burn up extra calories you normally would not burn up during the day. Also that extra muscle will burn more calories during the workout and additional calories after the workout, during your recovery! You cannot lose!!
Technically, no, but I suggest that you incorporate resistance training into your weight-loss strategy. If you can create an energy deficit (more energy out, less energy in), then you will lose weight. However, if you want to lose that weight more quickly and efficiently, and keep it off longer, then resistance training is for you!

Muscles are fat-burning machines; the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn every day at rest. Resistance training helps build muscle, as well as increasing bone density, enhancing function, and creating a toned appearance. Why wouldn't you choose an exercise with so many pluses?
Chris Powell
Absolutely. First let's clarify that weight is lost by consuming fewer calories than your body is burning. Keep in mind that it is common to lose some muscle (which accounts for much of your metabolic "burn") along with the fat as your body loses weight. So to burn fat at your fastest rate, we need to preserve as much precious "calorie burning" muscle as we can. So how do we stimulate muscle growth? Resistance training! If you are new to resistance training, select simple compound exercises like pushing, pulling and squatting to hit all of the major muscles of the body. Remember that muscle DOES weigh more than fat so you may notice the number on the scale rise a little at first, but don't fret...your fat loss will be accelerated!

Adding resistance training into your routine 3-5 times per week will increase your overall strength and metabolic rate (what you burn for fuel). This will result in weight loss as it helps you burn more overall calories, whether working or at rest. It is important to note however, that in the beginning of resistance training programs some people will notice a slight gain on the scale. This is common and should not exceed 5 pounds. The muscles respond to the added stress of resistance training by soaking in a bit fluid (water retention) which can add to the number. This should subside within 2 weeks and as your lean muscle mass builds and you burn more and more, you will notice a drop in the scale. I encourage my clients to pay more attention to the way the clothes fit as a better gauge of progress. Should you find you gain more than 5 pounds, hold onto it more than 2 weeks, and/or have tightness in the clothes, it is time to have a more honest assessment of your food intake.

Absolutely!!! Resistance training should be a part of your weight loss program. It is a great way to increase your calorie burn, not only while you are doing it but also throughout the day. It is important to remember that without a reduced-calorie diet, weight loss is very hard to achieve. Nutrition cannot be ignored! 

A well-designed resistance training program will increase strength, neuromuscular control, power, flexibility, endurance and altered body composition.

Yes, you should absolutely do resistance training to lose weight.  I would combine resistance training with cardiovascular exercise. 

Resistance training will build lean muscle mass.  Lean muscle will burn calories all day long, while fat cells will not.  Also, research has shown that resistance training will elevate your base metabolism for several hours after you exercise, further increasing your caloric burn. 

Resistance training can be an important component for successfully losing weight and keeping it off. Benefits from a regular resistance/strength training routine include:

  • Reduce your body fat, increase your lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently. Many people will try to starve themselves into weight loss focusing only on controlling calorie intake. While it is important to have a calorie deficit for loss weight, it is also important that you maintain muscle mass during weight loss to keep your metabolism from slowing down.
  • Strength training can help accelerate your weight loss efforts. The best strategy is to include calorie restriction - strength training and a cardiovascular component into your workout.
  • Having more lean muscle mass will help you to continue burning calories even when you are doing nothing. Strength training is a great way to maintain and increase your muscle mass while you are in the process of losing fat.

Strength/Resistance Training Options:

  • Body weight: Push-ups, pull-ups, abdominal crunches and leg squats and lunges.
  • Resistance tubing: Tubing can provide resistance - stand on tubing for biceps curls, row, triceps press, shoulder raise.
  • Free weights: Barbells, dumbbells for exercises at home or gym.
  • Weight machines: Fitness centers offer various types of resistance machines.



Of course you should.  Resistance training is just another part of the weight loss program.  Doing resistance training will help you build muscle which in turn will help increase your metabolism by 30-50 calories for every pound of muscle you gain.  In that process it will help you lose weight.  Just remember this is only one part you also have to make sure you eating right and on a proper cardiovascular program as well
Yusuf Boyd, NASM Elite Trainer
Athletic Training

Incorporating resistance training into your weight loss program will be very beneficial. Remember, the basic principle to weight loss is more calories out, less calories in. Resistance training will increase the amount of calories burned and you will see a noticeable difference in just a few weeks. With weight loss being your main goal, the best way to incorporate resistance training is through circuit training. Circuit training is resistance exercises done one after the other with little to no rest in between each exercise.

Wendy Batts
Absolutely! Resistance training should be done for any fitness objective and has particular benefits to weight loss goals. To lose weight we need to burn more calories and eat fewer calories. Performing resistance training will help you burn more calories during and for the time following the workouts. With the right resistance training program, you’ll improve posture, endurance, and strength; and reduce the risk of injury. All of these things not only help you look and feel better, but naturally encourage you to be more active in daily life, maximizing your calorie burning potential.

Resistance training helps the body burn fat and build muscle, by itself isn't likely to produce weight loss, because muscle weighs more than fat. Resistance training helps the body burn fat and builds muscle. Having a well rounded training program that includes resistance training, cardio and a healthy diet is key in any weight-loss plan. Once you start a regular program of resistance training, your body shape will definitely improve. In fact, don't be surprised if you notice you've dropped a dress size even without a change on the scale. Because muscles burn calories at a faster rate than stored body fat does, sticking to your resistance-training regimen after you reach your goal will make weight maintenance much easier. Resistance training helps increase your body's power and endurance, and it reduces the risk of injury to muscles, ligaments and tendons during everyday activities and especially while doing sports. The nice part is you see results very quickly.


Weight loss will come from more calories being burned than consumed. This is dictated by the law of thermodynamics. Performing resistance training while seeking a weight loss goal is beneficial for a couple of reasons. First, resistance training will help to maintain lean body mass while you are operating in a caloric deficit. The stress placed on the muscle during resistance training, in combination with proper nutrition, will work to repair and maintain the muscles while body fat is being reduced. The resistance training can also help to build lean body mass in individuals which increases basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories which are being burned at rest). Muscle is more metabolically active, meaning it takes more calories to maintain muscle than fat. Since resistance training builds muscle, an individual will be burning more calories at all times, not just during exercise. Resistance training has also been shown to increase the amount of calories the body burns after an exercise session. The increased intensity from the resistance will maximize the amount of oxygen needed for the training session, as well as during the recovery. As your body works to replenish oxygen supplies, it will burn calories.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.