Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

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bobgr
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Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

Post by bobgr » Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:56 pm

I have been lifting for about 18 months regularly. My goal is to lose another 8-10 lbs. beyond the 35 lbs. I have already lost over that time to reach 175 lbs. My other goal is to have muscular definition but not to get bigger. My cardio (and passion) is cycling, which I do usually 4 days/week for a total of 110-150 miles.

My lifting routine is pretty basic. About an hour in the gym with another 15 minutes of stretching. Mostly basic/compound exercises, full body, 3 days a week. I usually do 6-8 exercises (changed once a month) with a warm-up set of 15 reps with lighter weight and then 2-3 additional sets with weights that I can do only 8-9 reps. I use mostly free weights.

I've fairly happy with the way I look now, except that it's clear I have fat around my middle that's got to go. With my lifting, I've definitely seen better definition in my arms but the difference elsewhere is more negligible.

Since my goal is to lose weight for cycling (yet not look like a cyclist with fit legs and a scrawny torso), should I be doing 15 reps of lighter weights for 2-4 sets instead of the heavier weights? I guess if I'm limiting calories (and I am) hoping to lose weight, does it make any sense to do lifting that is designed to increase muscle size? Or does it matter?

Thanks.

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Re: Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

Post by Jungledoc » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:46 pm

I don't think it matters, at least not much. If you are continuing to lose weight, just continue to do what you're doing. If the weight loss has stalled, then you'll need to change something. Look at diet first. You are doing 8-9 rep sets, so that's not really heavy. You could try taking the volume up a little (say 10-12 or so) for some of your lifts. You could also try some upper-body "cardio", like dumbbell or kettlebell complexes. You won't put on a lot of muscle while limiting calories, so I wouldn't worry about that.
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Re: Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

Post by Ironman » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:59 am

Maybe make your cycling routine more like spinning. It takes some max effort work. A lot of this is done with diet though. You are probably used to eating a lot, with a lot of carbs, and that is generally good for the sport you are doing. However you don't want to fuel your body properly right now, you need to force it to use fat. I have found leaving fats and proteins as is, and cutting out most carbs gets you to the right balance of macros, and a good amount of calories to lose fat while retaining muscle.

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Re: Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

Post by bobgr » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:00 am

Thanks, you two. You're right abut the carbs. I eat too many of them. And I need to remind myself to do intervals, as riding at aerobic intensity is my default workout. MY HRM tells me how many of my calories burned are fat. 40% seems to be the aerobic ride but drops to 35% for interval work.

I found great app called My Fitness Pal that allows me to set a weight goal and how many calories I'm willing to lose a week to get there (1 lb. in my case). Also allows me to subtract cardio workouts to get at a net daily calorie goal. Unfortunately, while it allows one to log weight training session, it gives no credit for calories burned or the synergistic effect of the resultant higher metabolic rate. I once wore my HRM during a weightlifting session and found I barely burned 200 calories in a typical hour workout.

Thanks again.

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Re: Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

Post by Dub » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:40 pm

Higher rep work doesn't make the fat loss. It's as possible with higher intensity and lower reps as well. Even maximal effort work is a way to lose fat. I'd say the submaximal range of 6-12 reps with low rest is still the best. Mostly because of the huge hormonal responses it gives, and how it overloads the metabolism and causes nice things to happen for roughly 24h after your workout. So it's not about that.
You can also think about progressing and altering the cycling methods every now and then. Like being said, interval training is a very effective method to lose fat. BUT the other forms of cycling will also make you lose fat, if you time and amount the nutrition right.

In general exercise has little value to fat loss when compared to the importance of your DIET. Exercise gives tools and building opportunities to make muscle instead of fat, but it's more about what happens around the exercise. My tip would be increasing protein intake a little, taking some starchy and "big" carb sources (like grains, rice, potatoes, etc.) away and replacing them with some greens. Time your carbs more around workouts, and try sometimes to work without a lot of carbs in the tank. It will cut out from your intensity, but it will force more fat burning, especially if your protein intake is up to code.

It's not about the calories burned during the exercise. If it would be, I would weight around 30kg-50kg more
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Re: Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

Post by KPj » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:10 pm

Every single person i train for fat loss lifts heavy things and tries to get stronger. I don't think it inhibits fat loss I think it aids fat loss :thumbright:
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Re: Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

Post by xshawnxearthx » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:42 pm

TO answer your question easily, No.

I have lost 93lbs over the last 3-1/2 years and I have only not lifted heavy for maybe 6 months total.

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Re: Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

Post by bobgr » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:53 pm

Thanks, guys. What I was concernes about was giving the body mixed messages. I was wondering if lifting. 8 reps. while denying it the calories to gain muscle size might be confusing it and cause it to become more efficient with the calories I'm consuming-not my objective I was thinking that higher reps (15) wouldn't build size but would keep what I got while I lose the fat around them.

Speaking of rest, Dub, I using 60-75 seconds. Sound right?

I've track calories for three weeks and my split is 15-20% protein, 30% fat and 50%+ carbs.

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Re: Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

Post by stuward » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:27 pm

You have to give your body a reason to hang on to muscle while giving up fat. Without the heavy lifting, sometimes it's muscle the body prefers to give up. I would increase your protein and animal fat as this will help preserve your muscle as well.
MY HRM tells me how many of my calories burned are fat. 40% seems to be the aerobic ride but drops to 35% for interval work.
Your HRM has no idea how much fat or muscle or carbs your body is burning and neither does your Fitness Pal.
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Re: Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

Post by bobgr » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:07 pm

Polar may disagree, though I am sure they wouldn't say it is precise. But it makes a calculation based on my weight, height, age and my VO2max. My fitness pal calculates calories expended based on more general estimates though I use the readings from my HRM. FP does not estimate fat burned.

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Re: Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

Post by stuward » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:12 pm

You're looking at this from a superficial level. Diet plays a big role in how your body uses body fat. Your device doesn't consider that. It also doesn't consider calories burned after the exercise is over.

Intense activity does rely on muscle glycogen for energy, however that type of activity works best for long term fat loss while preserving or increasing muscle. What's important is the long term result on your bodies composition which is completely different than you will see on your device.
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Re: Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

Post by bobgr » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:18 pm

Got it. Thanks.

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Re: Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

Post by robertscott » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:51 pm

bobgr wrote: I've track calories for three weeks and my split is 15-20% protein, 30% fat and 50%+ carbs.
yikes! You need to seriously rethink that

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Re: Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

Post by bobgr » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:24 pm

To what?

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Re: Does lifting heavier weights inhibit weight loss?

Post by stuward » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:22 pm

You obviously follow a different dietary philosophy than the rest of us. The advice that governments have been issuing the last several decades are part of the problem the world finds itself in today.

Building muscle requires protein. You are at the low end. Fat provides access to micronutrients (vitamin A, D, E, K2) which are endemically deficient in modern low-fat diets and also helps build muscle and fuel activity. Then. if you consider the obesegenic properties of carbs, specifically sugar, you need to turn the food pyramid upside down.
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