The effects of strength training in women

By: Remco Vervloed - Gym101

This is a study conducted among women between the ages of 30 and 40. These women were followed for 16 weeks and divided into the following 4 groups:

  • 10 women were only prescribed a diet
  • 10 women only did strength training
  • 10 women did both, diet and strength training
  • 10 women were in the control group(no diet and no strength training)
  • These women were in their thirties and lost 1 kilogram of fat for every 0.5 kilograms of muscle mass they gained.

After taking a DEXA scan, the women were given a calorie goal based on fat percentage and muscle mass and resting metabolic rate. The women ate 3.1 grams of protein per kilogram of fat-free mass. So not based on total body weight! 20% of all calories were fats the rest were supplemented with carbohydrates.

The women who did strength training were in the gym 2-3 times a week and used various forms of resistance training.

In all groups except the control group there was fat loss. The group of women who only did strength training and did not have to watch their diet lost the least amount of fat. The group in which there was a combination of strength training and diet lost the most fat!

physio fitaal physiotherapy
physio fitaal physiotherapy

The group of women on a diet alone was in a 500 calorie deficit. The group that also did strength training was in an average deficit of 630 calories due to the extra workouts during the week. This group also gained another 0.5kg of muscle mass for every kilo of fat lost. So this group lost fat the fastest and also gained muscle mass. This makes it seem like strength training is less successful for weight loss. But you do lose more fat mass! In the women who only dieted, resting metabolism did not change. In the women who did strength training(both groups) the resting metabolic rate went up!

Now how to use this info: if you are one of those women who thinks you can burn fat through cardio training? Then stop doing that. With this you will only burn a little bit of fat but you will start losing a lot more muscle mass. On the other hand, only cardio without adjustments in your diet is worthless means of burning fat. A good and appropriate diet is many times better, but even better is having and keeping a good diet together with training with weights. From science, the combination of the two appears to work best anyway. You gain weight, in the right way through more muscle mass, while at the same time losing the right weight, namely fat!

Remco Vervloed - Gym101

Resistance Training Combined With Diet Decreases Body Fat While Preserving Lean Mass Independent of Resting Metabolic Rate: A Randomized Trial," Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2018 Jan 1;28(1):46-54.

Making an appointment