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The Importance of Strength Training During Weight Loss
June 28, 2024

The Importance of Strength Training During Weight Loss

At Sesh, we understand that many people set goals to lose fat not only to improve their health outcomes but also to feel and look better. But what does fat loss truly mean, and what are people really striving to achieve?

We spoke with Dr. Weiss Surkhabi, an Obesity Physician and Chief Medical Officer at Fridays to dive deeper into the importance of strength training during weight loss, and how it can support the unique effects of utilizing a GLP-1 medication like Ozempic or Tirzepatide.

Fridays is a company that guides thousands of patients in their weight management journeys through the usage of GLP-1 medication and lifestyle changes. Sesh recently partnered with Fridays to bring strength training programs directly to their members.

Dr. Surkhabi, could you talk to us about why fat loss is such an important goal for so many women?

"Many individuals aim to lose fat to improve their health, appearance, and overall well-being. Fat loss can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, while also boosting self-esteem and confidence. This goal involves achieving a healthier body composition by reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass. Typically, this requires dietary changes, more physical activity, and lifestyle adjustments. Ultimately, people strive for fat loss to enhance their quality of life through sustainable, healthy habits."

Can you explain the metabolic benefits of strength training during weight loss?

"Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue, meaning it burns more calories at rest. Resistance training helps preserve lean muscle mass during weight loss, thereby maintaining a higher Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Additionally, regular resistance training can improve the efficiency of metabolic processes, including better nutrient utilization and enhanced insulin sensitivity, which can positively influence overall metabolic rate."

With regard to fitness and working out, what would you recommend to a woman starting her GLP-1 journey?

"Every person's starting point is different because excess body fat can be caused by a complex interplay of genetics, hormones, environment, culture, psychology, and more. Addressing a patient's metabolic health appropriately requires a multifaceted and multidisciplinary approach.

Research suggests that as a patient loses body weight, it's important to incorporate resistance training to maintain muscle mass. When you distill this research down to its simplest point, it's your way of telling your body, 'take the fat, not the muscle.'"

Our Top Tips for Incorporating Strength Training into Weight Loss

We also discussed the importance of strength training for women who are looking to maintain and add muscle mass, while losing weight with our Programming Director, Bianca McCane. As the lead trainer and coach at Sesh Fitness, she’s worked with countless women on GLP-1 journeys. Here are her top tips on ensuring you retain muscle mass while losing fat.

  • Prioritize Nutrition: Fuel your body with a balanced diet rich in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Protein is especially important for muscle repair and growth.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to support overall health, muscle function, and recovery. Proper hydration also aids in metabolism and energy levels.
  • Get Adequate Sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Sleep is crucial for muscle recovery, hormone regulation, and overall well-being, all vital for weight loss and strength training progress.
  • Allow Time for Recovery: Incorporate rest days into your workout routine to prevent overtraining and injury. Muscles need time to repair and grow stronger after workouts.
  • Progress Gradually: Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the resistance as you build strength and confidence. This helps prevent injury and ensures steady progress.
  • Focus on Form: Proper technique is essential to maximize the effectiveness of your workouts and prevent injuries.
  • Track Your Progress: Monitoring your progress can keep you motivated and highlight areas for improvement.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can effectively integrate strength training into your weight loss journey, helping you achieve your goals in a healthy and sustainable way.

Remember, the key to successful fat loss is not just about losing weight, but about gaining health, strength, and confidence along the way.