TWR Episode 003: “Resistance Training for Fat Loss”

Resistance Training for Fat Loss

On Today’s Episode we delve into the topic of Resistance Training for Fat Loss, discuss the recommended rep ranges and provide a few sample workout plans to get you started. We also provide some tips specifically for beginners or those who have been away from the weights for awhile. The topics of discussion have been outlined below for you to easily follow along. Please leave us your comments and questions below, as well as any new topics you would like us to cover in future podcasts. Enjoy!

Resistance training for fat loss will help you get your body into lean, tone shape. Don’t be afraid of resistance training but do use care in your workouts, especially if you are a beginner or have been out of strength training for some time.


Beware of Contraindications:

  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Dizzyness
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Numbness
  • Or if anything else just doesn’t feel right, listen to your body, stop what you are doing, and if needed, go see your doctor.


Proper form is very important to both prevent injury and to maximize the results of your efforts.

Seeing results will take time, so be patient and focus on getting down proper form and technique. Start out at a lower intensity than 100%. If you have been away from the weights for 6 months or more, we recommend starting out with a weight that is at 60% intensity of your max. This will not only prepare your muscles for more intense workouts, it will also reduce your chance of injury.

If you use too heavy of weights too early on, not only will you be more likely to injure yourself, but you also risk burn out, and extreme muscle soreness. Your stabilizing muscles need time to build up to your stronger, larger muscles.

“Just cause you can lift heavier doesn’t mean you should.”


It is very difficult to cut fat and gain muscle at the same time.

 Focus on one specific goal and stick with it. You should either work on cutting first and building later or build now and cut later. If you are using resistance training for fat loss, you will notice some muscle growth, but growth will be limited on a calorie-restricted diet.

Your body needs food for fuel when working on increasing muscle size and strength. If you cut first and then build, your definition and muscle development will be more apparent than if you build first then cut.


Choose workout programs that match your fitness level

If you are a beginner, you should not be attempting intermediate or advanced programs. Working above your current fitness level is a recipe for injury. You need time to learn proper form, technique, and focus, and also to allow your muscles to get strong enough for higher intensity workouts.


Prime rep range for fat loss

While resistance training for fat loss, you will want to focus on higher rep ranges with lower weights. These types of training programs are also great for beginners as they help to your muscles acclimate to weight lifting with a much lower risk of injury than do programs that require heavier lifting at lower rep ranges.

20-25 rep range – premium range for fat loss

  • Drains all the energy out of your muscles; your body will use fats to refill muscles with energy
  • Cardio benefit
  • Prevents injury
  • High calorie burn = more fat loss
  • Increases muscle density – muscles are harder and toner

Health Tip: Don’t cut calories too low when working to cut fat. Remember your body still needs proper nutrition


Use body fat calipers to track your fat loss.

When doing resistance training for fat loss, you will often see yourself getting stronger and smaller, yet the scale may not accurately reflect the decrease in body fat. You will notice your clothes fitting better and you will begin to look tighter and leaner even if your weight is staying the same or only decreasing by a minimal amount.


Full Body Circuits are great for fat loss

Programs that use a circuit of a push movement, a pull movement, and a leg exercise are great resistance training plans for fat loss. You will build strength and see fat loss results on programs such as these. Some examples of programs that utilize this breakdown: Circuit Training Program, Home Workout, Mud Run Training



Focus on Compound Movements

Compound movements allow you to use more muscles at one time than isolated movements. Utilizing more muscles at one time will provide maximal fat burning benefits to your workout and are more efficient. Some common compound movements are squats, chest press, pull-ups, push-ups, and lunges.


Tips for Beginners

  • Start out at 60% and slowly build up. If a program is too difficult, choose one that is more at your level, or scale movements back to 60% and work up from there. Do not overdo it!
  • Hydrate. Drink lots of water. Water is great for your body and necessary for proper functioning and recovery.
  • Stretch. Helps your muscles recover, increases blood flow. Rolling is great for helping sore muscles recover more effectively, and improving flexibility. Massage also works.




Cardio in your Resistance Training for fat loss program

Aerobics sessions on your days off from resistance training will consist of one of three basic types:

  • Fast – higher heart rate, working on speed, sweating, can not talk while doing it. This type is great for cardiovascular benefits and building performance. Not best for fat loss; you will burn more calories in less time but your body will draw those calories more from carbohydrates than fats.
  • Slow – low heart rate (60% of Max HR), walk or slow jog, stationary bike, etc. you can talk while performing this type of cardio. Your body burns fat at lower intensities so you will utilize more calories from fat than carbohydrates. You can also perform this type of cardio whenever and however often you like because it is very low impact.
  • Combination of Fast and Slow –  1 minute sprint followed by 5 minutes walking. Also known as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Short very-intense intervals broken up by longer, slower cardio or complete rest. Brings heart rate really high, works on your performance and kicks up your metabolism. This type of cardio is great for fat loss, but the high intensity makes is so you shouldn’t perform it as frequently. Also, not recommended for beginners. You can perform HIIT running, swimming, or on a cardio machine of your choice.


Cardio Tip: Distance is relative; you will burn roughly the same number of calories walking one mile as you will running it. The time it takes to complete the distance will change of course, and the energy sources your body uses for fuel will also change depending upon your speed.


Don’t wait until you have a deadline of when you want to “be in shape” by and end up trying to rush your progress. Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. Getting healthy is a lifestyle change, not just a quick fix.  Start working on your health and fitness goals today!

Quick Nutrition Tip: Overnight Oats are a quick and easy on-the-go breakfast to get in your nutrition even when you don’t have a lot of time in the mornings.


Strawberry-Banana Overnight Oats

Makes 1 Servings: (per serving) 296 Calories, 15 g Protein, 7 g Fat, 48 g Carbs


1/3 cup uncooked rolled oats (or Muesli with no added sugar, processed ingredients)

1/3 cup nonfat milk (or other milk of choice )

1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1/4 - 1/2 sliced banana

3-4 sliced strawberries

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds (optional – if omitted, subtract 60 calories)


Stir all ingredients together, cover and refrigerate. The overnight oats will be thin once mixed and thicken to a doughy consistency by morning as the oats absorb the moisture if the yogurt and milk.

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Overnight Oats Variations:

For Banana-Blueberry Overnight Oats, substitute 1/8 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) for the strawberries.

For Mixed-Berry Banana Overnight Oats, cup back to 1/3 a banana, 2 strawberries, and add in 1/8 cup blueberries, raspberries, or other berries of choice.

For added texture or flavor toss in some sliced almonds, raisins or other dried fruits or a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter (no added sugar) for the addition of good fats to these oats along with extra flavor.

Thanks for joining us again today. Please feel free to comment below with any questions about this episode or any other topics you would like to hear us discuss. We hope you have enjoyed the show and until next time, Eat. Sleep. Live. Fit!


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