The Easiest Way to Speed Up Your Metabolism

Cardio junkies of the world—listen up! A cardio workout may burn more calories within a workout session than a weight-training workout does, but your metabolism (and calorie burn throughout the day) will stay elevated long after your weight lifting workout is complete.

Surprised? It’s time to re-define our workouts and understand how our metabolisms really work. Today, you’ll learn how to boost your metabolism the better way—with weights. 

Why Are We So Obsessed with Cardio?

Do you remember the aerobics craze in the ‘80s? Ladies were strapping on their leotards and hitting live TV. I’m sure I’m not the only one who owned a small stack of their VHS tapes so I could complete these cardio workouts from home. The 80s were awash with aerobics videos, and our approach to working out even today is shaped by what we learned decades ago. 

Today, we’re addicted to cardio more than ever with the invention of fitness watches. We love to see all the calories we burn during those cardio workouts, and we feel discouraged when our calorie count is lower during our strength workouts. 

But, we know a lot more about physical fitness and our metabolisms now than we did forty years ago. What we’ve found is that weight lifting will boost your calorie burn even more than cardio will because of its impact on our metabolism. 

Why Strength Training Boosts Your Metabolism Better Than Cardio

Cardio burns more calories per session, but weight training helps you burn more calories every day. Here’s what you need to know: 

  1. Weight training burns calories during your workout: In general, weight lifting for 30 minutes can burn between 90 and 126 calories. Increase your vigor during this workout, and you can burn up to 250 calories per half hour! 

  2. Weight training boosts calorie burn post-workout: Research has found that you’ll burn more calories in the hours after a strength training session than a cardio workout. One study found that strength training results in a metabolism boost for up to 38 hours post-workout!

  3. Weight training boosts your metabolism long-term: Muscles burn a lot of calories. Unlike fat which stores energy, muscle is always in an active state of burning energy. Lifting weights not only helps to increase your metabolism during and after a workout, it also affects your resting metabolism, giving your daily calorie burn a continual boost. 

  4. Weight training becomes even more important as we age: As the years go on, we lose muscle mass. It’s this loss of muscle mass that reduces our metabolism the most! Weight training helps rebuild that calorie-burning muscle. Plus, strong bodies are less prone to injury, helping you stick with your health goals for the long run!

Get an Accurate Snapshot of Your Metabolism

Body composition is much more important than the number on the scale. This measurement refers to the percentage of fat, bone, and muscle in your body. Body composition helps determine what is a healthy weight for your unique physique. 

For example, one 150-pound woman may have a very small frame, low muscle mass, and an unhealthy amount of body fat. Another with the same weight might be in great shape, with a larger skeletal structure, more muscle mass, and a healthy amount of body fat. 

If you want a true understanding of your metabolism, look at your body composition. Knowing your body fat percentage will help you set healthy goals for your one-of-a-kind body. This information can also help you understand why you might not be seeing the same results as someone with the same bodyweight but more muscle mass. 

To find out your body composition, a health professional might use skin calipers to measure your stored fat. In general, women should aim for a body fat percentage of under 32%. Men should aim for a body fat percentage of under 21%.

Hop off the Treadmill and Pick up the Kettlebell! 

It’s time to take a break from the treadmill. Cardio workouts are beneficial for your health, but they should never take the place of weight lifting. If you want to give your metabolism a real boost, pick up the weights and start a strength-training routine.

Not sure what workouts are most effective? On Monday, June 13, we’re opening a new session of LEAN. Over the following 7 weeks, you’ll learn everything you need to know about sustainable health and fitness—including the best weight lifting workouts for weight loss. Sign up today for LEAN!

Looking for more practical tips on how to give your fitness journey a boost? Join my insiders’ list to get my weekly newsletter. Each Monday, you’ll receive helpful health tips, a weekly recipe, and a personalized workout to try that week!

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