In our “muscle centric” approach to exercise, we would first have you focus less on weight and more on body composition. If you add lean muscle which would be one of the main benefits of strength training, then you are adding metabolically active tissue. The idea of muscle being metabolically active goes well beyond simply increasing your resting metabolic rate. When you contract your muscles through strength training exercise you are releasing cell signaling myokines. These myokines also interact with adipokines (cell signals from fat cells) and cell signals from the gut microbiome. This myokine signaling is what is believed to be responsible for many of the benefits associated with exercise and High Intensity Strength Training. You can see a full list of benefits on our blog here.
If you combine strength training with a good nutrition protocol you can simultaneously add muscle while losing body fat. The smart combination of both nutrition and strength training is the most efficient and long lasting approach to changing body composition.
Dieting alone or in conjunction with “aerobic” training in the absence of strength training can sometimes lead to what we refer to as “indiscriminate” weight loss. This means that you are potentially losing both fat and muscle. We want to provide a stimulus through strength training that sends a signal to our body that the muscle is necessary and therefore must be maintained or even gained during calorie restriction.
Exercise alone can sometimes work but it is not the most efficient method and is not necessarily the best strategy for long term results. I’m sure you know of some athletes who were very active while training for their sport and also lean during their competitive years. Then, they get to a point in life when they are no longer as active yet do not adjust their nutrition accordingly. In other words they continue to eat as if they are still training as they did previously. As a result, they often gain body fat. As the saying goes “You can’t out train a bad diet.”