What's the Best Lifting Method for Fat Loss?

Should We Lift a Certain Way to Lose Fat?

Weight training builds muscle and strength, but should you do it differently if your main goal is fat loss? Coach Thibaudeau answers.

Should you be weight training differently if your main goal is fat loss rather than muscle growth or hypertrophy? Are there any special methods that speed up the fat-loss process?

The Bullet Points

  • Lifting weights can help you get leaner, but programming it for that purpose makes it less effective.
  • Maintaining and increasing muscle mass should be your main goal when dieting or eating in a caloric deficit.
  • Charles Poliquin prescribed circuits for sets of 6, 12, and 25 reps to improve an athlete’s body composition. He referred to this as the German Body Composition (GBC) program.
  • However, the GBC program is best used to create mechanical tension and increase growth factors. The problem with it? The fatigue it creates and the lack of quality lifting accomplished when training in that manner.
  • Using weight training as a fat loss tool causes lifters to use too much volume and super-short rest periods, resulting in load reduction. This combination decreases the overall growth stimulus, resulting in less muscle.
  • Instead, use lifting as a muscle-growth stimulus, even when trying to lose fat. This requires you to pay attention to recovery and train in a way that doesn’t break down more muscle.
  • Remember, muscle contributes to leanness. The more muscle you have, the more insulin sensitive your body will be. You’ll also be able to store carbs as glycogen inside the muscle cells instead of storing them as fat.
  • Bottom line? Don’t lift for fat loss. Lift to build muscle and you’ll end up with a leaner body.

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