weight training for fat loss, a no no

another thread inspired me to write this, “ovt for fat loss.” i thought i would clarify my stance on the topic, and hopefully help out a few dieters.

quite simply, weight training is not for fat loss. weight training is for increased strength and or muscular hypertrophy, period!

my only exception to this rule is perhaps in the case of a person who is obese. then i may recommend a circuit based program. or in the case of an athelte who is on a substantial amount of androgens.

you lose body fat through adjusting your energy intake as well as increased energy output, preferrably in the form of hiit.

in general when diet, training volume should be decreased and heavier weight low rep training is preferred.

cutting calories, and increaseing cardio output may cause you to lose strength and muscle on its own. add a high volumne training program to that and you have a sure recipe for strength loss and catabolism.

that is all.


well at least one guy agrees with me.


Good post p-dog. This is the message I was trying to convey in that thread.

excellent post


What then is your opinion on the fact that weight/resistance training spikes your metabolism for at least 2-3 hours after a session?

Do you not believe that this metabolic rise would aid in weight loss?


I think what p-dog was saying can be broken down into this:

1- Low Reps
2- Lift HEAVY
3- Use circuit training only if you are a super sized fat dude/chick
4- Fat loss is a diet issue, not so much a training issue

If that’s the case. Than I totally agree with it. Infact that’s what I am doing now and it’s working out great for me!

In one study, doing four sets of 10 reps in the squat, bench press, and powerclean, was shown to raise metabolism for up to 48 hours, and far more dramitically, than a typical cardio routine (I read this over a year ago, so I have forgotten the details). The general point, however, is clear to me–one can very effectively use weight traing for fat loss. I have been training 6 days a week, with a relatively high volume (each muscle twice a week, with up to twenty sets, most not to failure, per muscle each workout), while using the “fat fast” diet, and I have gone from a four pack to almost a six pack in two weeks (If i flex and the lighting is right, etc.). I think weight training helped my fat loss.

Floo… exactly…

Currently… I am running (including 100m sprints to add intensity)6 mornings per week AND I am training 4 afternoons for about an hour each session… (I use to instruct… Pump and Combat… so that was even more cardio…)

My gains have been outstanding.

My bodyfat continues to drop.

I feel fucking amazing!

For me… the key is DIET!!

P-Dog… I think you have generalised once again. What works for one may not work for another. However you have a right to your opinion!

Sometimes I think you post, just to create friction.



I agree.

Also Floobadoo, I dont think that Pdog said you wont lose fat / weight doing higher rep training. Only that you are going to also be losing quite a bit of LBM in most cases.

The hypocaloric state you are in when cutting is just not meant for the higher loads. You are sure to start munching away at that hard earned LBM. That is why the use of low rep/heavy weight work, and not to much, is more optimal. Just do enough to keep (hopefully) the strength you have allready gained.


Its hard to agree with that. Just look at CT’s The Beast Evolves and see if weight training is not for fat burning. He was on a ZERO calorie diet for 2 weeks while he was lifting and did cardio. If thats not real world proof weight training isn’t for fat loss than I don’t know what is. You can’t argue with results. I think a better way of putting it is that certain reps/sets/loads/intensities are not for fat loss.

You’re missing the point though PGA, sure you’ll lose fat because of the hypocaloric state, but with high volume strength training, your calorie deficit is gonna leave you in a catabolic state, so you’ll lose alot more LBM than a low volume, higher weight routine. No one is saying that weight training won’t produce fat loss, it’s just that if there’s too much volume while runnin a calorie deficit, it’ll produce LBM loss as well.
Wow, i think i said the exact same thing twice in a row…

P-dog, thanks for your input. Just another question for you and the rest of the members. I want to keep a low rep scheme to keep as much of the strength I have gained over the winter as possible while on a lower calorie diet and was wondering if JasonL’s suggestion for OVT was worthy. ie; cut the set scheme back to 3 instead of 5. Would this work(to reduce fat while maintaining strength and LBM) if combined with morning GPP and Running man on off days? Thanks everybody!!!

“He was on a ZERO calorie diet for 2 weeks while he was lifting and did cardio”…zero calorie is quite different from zero carb

ditto lsm6…activity burns calories, do more activity burn more calories. But most people here care about which ones they’re burning as much as how much they’re burning.

What kind of weight training are we talking about here? look at CT’s running man program, Meltdown 1,2,3 and EDT fat loss. All use weight training in different forms. None of these programs recommend high rep training per given body part per set. It actually is optimal to have some sort of weight training routine while you are doing any type of cardio/endurance/fat loss program to keep protein synthesis up and to for good hormaonal balance.

And just because you are going below calories does not mean that you will necessarilly lose muscle mass or strength. If the body has excess stores of fat it will be able to feed off these stores to maintain proper metabolic function, so clean calories of proteins and fat with well timed carbs will prove optimal.

laters pk

When CT did his Beast Evolves transformation he was using OVT, 5 heavy reps and 5 TUT reps supersets starting at 3 sets. Thats not low volume. So right there it shows you that lower volume may not be more beneficial to fat loss than medium (5-8) rep ranges. The only cardio I get is from a league B-Ball game on thursdays and twice a month pick up game on Saturday. I’ve lost BF and gained muscle. I’ve been training the past 2 months (switching after this week off) exclusivly 4x6ers (except for some specific movements). So medium range rep sets do promote fat loss. Should weight training be exclusivly for fat loss, hell no? But does it support fat loss and promote fat loss, hell yes. To out right say that weight training is not for fat loss like P-Dog said is wrong. I don’t know if he meant it to come out like that but whats written is not correct. Weight training DOES play a crucial role in fat loss its NOT only used for strength gains and hypertrophy.

Whoops I meant aero carb

In general, I think it is correct to tell people, especialy newer trainies, that they should use weights for strength development/maintenance and hypertrophy. This helps people who can not keep things straight to keep proper priorities in mind when working out. Also, low reps are not very metabolically challenging, and therefore they are a good way to preserve strength while loosing weight. In fact, if one has been training like a bodybuilder, and then moves to lower reps while loosing weight, they may experience a strength gain.

That said, I think it is moronic for people to make statements saying any given way of training is going to lead to significant catabolism for all trainees and not understand themselves to be making generalizations to help newer trainees. Furthermore, for someone who wants to get ripped, and who has the recovery abillity of a 22 year old, like me–and is not some tired old fart, or who takes steriods, like arnold, weights MAY be the best way too loose fat. Admittedly some strength will be lost, especially if one had been training with lower reps before, but just look at the way Arnold trained before a contest (which is excessive for almost all of us and probably also himself), or look at the recommendations of Vince Gironda (who both suggested easing up the workouts for fat loss for most people, and had others performing 8 sets of 8 reps for 2 to four exercises per body part, training each part two to threee times per week). Vince’s training, which I have slowly moved towards for myself, keeps the metabolism jacked up, it keeps blood constantly bringing nutrients to the muscles, and due to my previous history just focusing on very low reps (1-5) and strength, I have increased muscle size, at least for my arms, and in general my work capacity seems greater.

Finally, this may really piss off some people, but the idea of spot reduction, which science has so frequently dismissed, merely because it does not understand it, seems to me to have been empirically verified by thousands of bodybuilders, including Arnold, who noted that daily aerobics did far less to keep his abs shredded than thousands of reps of ab exercises. Of course I think spot reduction is not the quickest way to reduce a lot of fat, and it will not even work if diet and the rest of one’s exercise are not in line, but I do not think people should just blindly close their minds to it.

I usually agree with your thinking P-Dog, but not on this one. I lost 80 lbs in 6 months on a standard hypertrophy split. Most fat asses don’t have any LBM to lose anyway, I didn’t. I see what you are saying, but think maybe you could qualify your statement a little more. Regards, Odin