Benefits of resistance training

benefits of resistance training

At Fitness Fables we often find that many of our female clients have a reluctance to do resistance training, referred to as resistance training or weight training. Many women believe that cardio is the best way to lose weight and that resistance training will cause them to become “bulky”. We would like to completely dismiss these false and preconceived notions that cardio is the only way to go when it comes to losing weight, getting fit and toning up. While it’s definitely true that cardio workouts get your heart working harder and as a result, help your body burn calories, resistance training is what’s really going to give your weight-loss goals that extra boost.

So whenever we get the question: “But, will weight training make me bulky?”, the answer is simple - Not at all. While resistance training may lead to gains in lean body mass or muscle, it is not the muscle that causes the “bulky” look. The bulky look happens when you haven’t lost the fat on, in, and under the muscles that you’ve developed or if you follow a very intense exercise program that we have prepared for you with the goal in mind to bulk-up (mostly for fitness competition purposes), which is also always accompanied by a special eating program with loads of protein and fiber.

In some cases, our female clients are trying to bulk-up to compete in fitness or bodybuilding competitions. While this requires a lot of resistance training, it is an entirely unique and extremely intense resistance training exercise program than what we normally provide to those clients seeking weight loss solutions. 

The benefits of resistance training

Burn more calories

While your cardio workout may help you to lose weight, resistance training is what actually helps you burn more fat. While resistance training may not give you the instant heart-pounding, sweat-dripping satisfaction of, jogging or cycling, building lean muscle definitely works in favor of your weight-loss goals in the long run.

A big question that beginners ask us, "Should I really count calories?". 

Calories are defined as the amount of energy used to perform physical activities. These activities also include breathing, thinking, and maintaining your heart rate. Calories are also defined as the amount of energy we get from the food we eat and what we drink. So, in essence, the important thing to then conclude is simple - We need a calorie deficit, to lose weight.

Read more about counting calories


Tone up, not bulk-up

Resistance training is a great way to get your body in the best shape. Sure, your weekly afternoon jog may yield some results that can clearly be seen on the scale, however, if a tighter and more toned body is what you are seeking, then resistance training is what you need. To really bulk up you would need an intense exercise plan prepared by your trainer, but getting our clients toned is our specialty especially when it comes to resistance training. Need a perkier bum for your December holiday to Durban? We recommend squats and dead lifts. Want more defined arms and a sexy back? Do some shoulder presses and pull-ups. Wherever you need toning, rest assured knowing that you can work with a trainer to find a resistance training routine that works for you and your goals.

Faster metabolic rate

Most people would really love this perk, am I right ladies? This is just an added bonus when the resistance training is really paying off and you are building stronger and leaner muscles. Having more lean muscle means your body will burn more calories at rest. The more muscles you have the higher your everyday base metabolic rate will be. Think of it this way - Person A does resistance training and Person B loves cardio. They both indulge in a Netflix binge day. While sitting the whole day doing nothing but cry during their Grey’s anatomy episodes, Person A would have burned more calories than Person B. The metabolic demand of a pound of muscle is much more than it is for a pound of fat. So, just sitting around, the amount of energy needed to maintain a pound of muscle per day is more than that of a pound of fat. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn throughout the day. By increasing your base metabolic rate and burning more calories at rest, you're also increasing your calorie deficit, which is necessary for weight loss.

Improve your mood

It is a well-known fact that whether you go for a brisk speed-walking session outside or do some resistance training at the gym, your body will release endorphins. All forms of exercise boost your mood and make you feel happier, more relaxed and can even help you focus. While your outdoor jog will have a great effect on your mood, studies have shown that resistance training will elevate your level of endorphins even more. Evidence has shown that when it comes to the neurochemical and neuromuscular responses you experience when doing resistance training, it has a definite positive effect on your brain. So if it isn't enough that you will tighten up that booty, you will feel happy while doing so. Win-win, right?

You get stronger

An obvious one, we know but this one should not be overlooked. To go about our daily lives, we need muscles and as we get older our muscles naturally weaken. Once you have dipped your toe into the possibilities of resistance training as a possible weight-loss option for yourself, you will grow to love it and eventually be hooked. When you start to see and feel the effects of resistance training on your body as you go about your workday, you will start to feel more energized, capable and fit. When you find a suitable resistance training program for you, you will ultimately invest in a fitter and more toned body as you grow older. There are two types of resistance training: 

  • Isometric resistance. This involves contracting your muscles against a non-moving object, such as against the floor like in a push-up.
  • Isotonic resistance training involves contracting your muscles through a range of motion as in weight lifting.


If you are still a bit skeptical about grabbing a pair of heavy dumbbells and doing some jump squats, the best way to go about it is to talk to a professional trainer. Not only will you get a personalized fitness program that will cater to your goals and capabilities, but you will also have an excellent program to keep for life and one you can actually stick to without getting bored (if it isn't obvious already, resistance training is anything but boring, we promise). By the time you need to get back into that bikini, you will be feeling stronger, fitter and sexier than ever before. We guarantee it. 

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