How to Lose Fat with Weight Training
Losing fat is a package of factors and weight training is one of those crucial components. The problem with losing “weight” without weight training is the weight you’ll lose won’t all be fat.
When you eat less calories than what your body burns per day, which is crucial to lose fat, you need to send the signal to your body to hold onto lean muscle through weight training.
If you don’t, weight loss will come from muscle, fat and water. And sometimes you’ll drop MORE muscle than fat resulting in a down regulating metabolism and making fat loss even harder than it needs to be.
A mistake I see all the time is men over 40 doing excessive amounts of cardio and dieting but still struggling to lose their belly fat.
One of the questions I get is “Rob, I’m in my fifties, I eat very well and do cardio, running nearly every day but can’t seem to lose stomach fat, any ideas?”
Yes! Start a sensible, structured weight training routine ASAP, take another look at your nutrition, overall calories and how those calories are structured.
If you have a sensible weight training, nutrition and cardio plan in place you WILL drop fat and get the lean, pleasing appearance you want.
If you rely on cardio and lack of calories to lose fat, you simply won’t get the same results as those that use weight training as a means of losing fat.
How to use weight training to lose fat
A sensible weight training program to lose fat should revolve around the major compound exercises that are safe and productive for men over 40.
They include exercises such as bench presses, pull-downs, pull-ups, squats, deadlifts to name a few plus a few isolation movements.
No other exercises work better for building lean muscle and boosting hormone production.
A productive weight training session is NOT about turning it into a cardio style workout! It’s anaerobic in nature meaning you should be striving to beat last weeks workouts on a key pool of compound exercises.
Side note – cardio-strength circuits are an effective alternative to traditional cardio, providing you have your main strength training workouts in place first.
For example, if you got 6 reps with 60 kgs in the barbell incline bench press last week, your goal this week would be to get 6 reps with 61 kgs.
By getting stronger on the key compound movements you’ll build strength and lean muscle well into your fifties, sixties and beyond!
By staying strong and building lean muscle, you’ll make the job of losing fat that much easier. And if you stick to the safest and most productive exercises for men over 40, you’ll stay injury free which is crucial as you get older.
Multiple sets of low reps
Multiple sets of low reps such as 6 x 4, 3 x 6 or 5 x 5 work well for men over 40.
They demand much less of the recovery machinery, keep focus on the reps that matter, spare the joints and keep the workouts short.
The problem with using lighter weights and higher reps for your main strength training workouts is they don’t have the same effect on lean body composition.
Frequency of strength training
Three strength training workouts are the key to losing fat and getting in awesome shape for men over 40, if you can’t build lean muscle by using three strength training sessions per week it’s the basic combination of your training, nutrition and progression that’s at fault and needs to be fixed, NOT the frequency of your training.
And the benefits of three strength training sessions go way beyond the results you’ll get as a natural, they also fit perfectly into your busy schedule making fitness a part of your life and not an obsession.
The stronger you get, the less weight training you need to maintain lean muscle, right now as I write this I’m maintaining my strength and low body fat with only TWO strength training sessions per week.
The bottom line is 2-3 strength training sessions per week work perfectly for men over 40.
As we grow older it takes us longer to recover between strength training sessions and what works well for you at 40, might not necessarily work well for you at age 55.
How many exercises per body part?
You’ve learned that sensible, productive weight training is one of the keys to losing fat, but how many exercises should you be doing per body part?
One or two exercises is all you need per body part, sounds crazy but if you only got strong at incline bench presses and pull-ups, how much better do you think your upper body would look?
The incline barbell press would build the chest, shoulders and triceps and the pull-up would build the back and biceps.
And since you’re training in the correct rep ranges you’ll look lean and defined, rather than big and bulky.
I’m sure you’ll agree that the lean and mean look is much more appealing especially as you get older.
I remember a time in my twenties when I was bombing and blitzing my muscles with multiple exercises, multiple sets and reps and training 5-6 times per week – utter madness!
It wasn’t until I learned the merits of abbreviated training that I truly learned what works perfectly for naturals AND the key to staying injury free and being able to train for life.
It’s funny because I still see a lot of people falling for the same craziness that I did all those years ago. They’re copying the conventional body building “split” routines, eating 5-6 meals per day, plus protein shakes, I feel like shaking them and telling them to stop that crazy nonsense!
There’s a much smarter way to get the lean, pleasing body you want.
Getting a lean body that looks awesome for your age is a package of factors, weight training, cardio training and nutrition.
For the weight training portion, you need to focus on key compound movements performed in the correct rep ranges to build and preserve lean muscle.
Then as you drop fat with nutrition and sensible cardio you’ll get the lean, chiselled appearance you want.
Always err on the side of simplicity when using weight training for fat loss, you don’t need to be lifting weights more than 3 times per week and using endless sets and reps.
If you’d like a complete weight training fat loss system, check out my Abs over 40 course, it contains everything you need for building lean muscle and dropping fat.