Will strength training increase my metabolism?

Performing strength training can help you increase your metabolism in three substantial ways. While you are performing resistance training, you are expending additional calories, thereby increasing your caloric burn, or metabolism, for that given day. After you complete your strength training workout, for the next 24 - 48 hours, your body will have to work harder than normal in order to repair the muscle tissues that have had stress imposed on them. As your body is recovering from your most recent strength training workout, you are burning more calories. Finally, performing resistance training will help increase your metabolism because it promotes an increase in lean body mass or muscle tissue. Muscle is highly metabolically active which means that it requires more calories than fat to be maintained. The more muscle you support, the more calories you will burn. The best way to add muscle is through hypertrophy training. A hypertrophy training program usually consists of intensities (or weight lifted) between 75%-85% of your 1 repetition maximum and 6 -12 repetitions for 3-5 sets with minimal rest periods. This type of training will stimulate the muscles to grow.

Strength training can definitely increase your metabolism.  Our body is constantly working and when you add additional work like lifting weights your body works at a higher temperature, thus increasing your metabolic output.  Strength training causes tiny micro tears in your muscle due to the demand of lifting the excess weight.  After exercise the body must repair the tiny tears and this causes more work for the body and increases the metabolism.  After consistently maintaining a regular strength training program the body increases its lean muscle mass and increases your daily metabolic rate.  Overall strength training can be beneficial and increase your metabolism.

Actually your metabolism is based off your muscle.  The more muscle we have on our body the more calories we will burn in a given day.  One pound of muscle can burn between 30-50 calories.  So bottom line strength training can help improve your metabolism greatly. 

Strength training will definitely increase your metabolism! By taxing your muscles with an external stimulus such as strength training with weights or other forms of resistance, your muscles will not only look better, but also increase your body’s ability to burn fat at rest. The reason for this is because physically trained muscles require much more energy from the body in order to be sustained. They have developed a higher amount of fat-burning mitochondria in the cells, as well as the ability to store more fuel for quick energy production in the form of glycogen, which is a form of stored sugar; this translates into fewer calories that could otherwise be stored in the body as fat! 

Muscles that are strength trained also develop a higher density of tiny blood vessels called capillaries, which aid in improved circulation and recovery time for the conditioned muscles. You can start off with several strength training exercises that work groups of larger muscles and multiple joints simultaneously… such as body weight squats, push-ups, and pull-downs & rows. Targeting larger muscle groups such as the legs, chest and back, not only help condition your core but have a higher metabolic cost and are much more efficient than just isolating a smaller muscle group, such as your arms. This is why adding a balanced strength training program to your existing aerobic exercise regimen will yield you better overall results, especially for the long-term maintenance of your initial weight loss! For more information regarding strength training, cross training, and aerobic training, please visit my blog at:

Dr. Mark Hyman, MD
Family Medicine
Watch as I explain how strength training could increase your metabolism.

Strength training in and of itself no but if the strength training leads to more muscle then yes.  Muscle causes you to burn a higher percentage of calories at rest which is your metabolism or resting metabolic rate.  It is the amount of calories you need for simple body functions.

But just because you strength train does not mean you will add muscle, many people do not add muscle when they train with weights.  It is a cycle effect and good nutrition has to fuel your workouts which gives you the energy to train hard and output as much intensity as possible.  If you use more intensity than you have in the past and then can recover through rest and appropriate calories and nutrition your body will become stronger.  If you become stronger you will add lean muscle tissue, the lean muscle tissue will increase your resting metabolic rate causing you to burn more calories throughout the day and several other benefits.

Weight lifting in and of itself does not put on muscle, you have to be intentional and you have to do things right.

Yes, strength training gives our metabolism a boost because muscle burns more calories, even at rest, than fat. At barre3, I often see clients who build muscle and start to feel like they are getting a tiny bit bigger before they actually slim down. It is so fun to watch those lean muscles they've been sculpting start to appear as they melt off the pounds.
Samantha Heller, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics

Strength training has many benefits, including increasing your metabolism. In this video, registered dietitian Samantha Heller explains how gaining muscle can help you lose weight. 

Yes, strength training will  increase your metabolism. 

  1. You will burn calories while you are working out. 
  2. Strength training will boost your base metabolism for 24-48 hours after your workout, and you will be burning more calories than if you had skipped the workout
  3. Strength training builds strong muscles, and muscles at rest burn aprrox. 50 calories/day per pound of muscle, while fat cells only require about 3 calories per day per pound of fat.

I think it’s important to understand what your metabolism is first, in order to understand and find ways to increase it. By definition, metabolism means the rate in which your body processes food. Food is energy that your body needs to function. However it also requires energy to digest food. Finding the correct balance of nutrition is the most important part to increasing your metabolism while sustaining energy levels and promoting fat loss.

Strength training with Weights is one way you will definitely increase your metabolism in time but the “how” is the key to understanding your metabolism. Increasing your metabolism is not a DIRECT effect from Strength Training. So the indirect effect is that Strength Training will help you build muscle which in turn does help increase your metabolism. Muscle burns a much higher percentage of calories at rest with an estimated 50 calories per day. Whereas body fat is much lower in calorie expenditure on a per day basis.


No matter what your goal is in relation to fitness, having a fast metabolism is a benefit to achieving your goals. So I highly recommend adding strength training to your exercise routine a minimum of two times per week depending on your goals and schedule.

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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.