Why Strength Training is Important for Body Transformations

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Why Strength Training is Important for Body Transformations

Almost everyone wants to workout to look better physically. This is 10 out of 10 times the case for all people that walk in our door. People are looking for body transformations and that’s what we do best. But the issue is, when most people come in the door, what we tell them is the best way to achieve these results goes against their instincts. Most come in thinking they need more cardio to burn more calories. We do think a certain amount of the right “cardio” is important to create a caloric deficit however, that is just one of the three main components of body transformations. 

The three components we talk about are:

1) Afterburn (aka HIIT cardio)

  • 5-10min bursts of higher intensity work to create a bigger oxygen deficit not just over the 10min but over the next 4-8 hrs. The elevated heart rate you achieve pays divends for a long period of time. Compared to steady state cardio (running, ellipticals, biking), high intensity interval training (HIIT) gives you a ton of calorie burn with way less time needed.

2) Nutrition

  • This is pretty broad and has many paths to go down, but the simple idea here is the old adage of calories in vs calories out.

3) Strength Training (really resistance training concepts)

  • This is what we are going to tackle in this article, this is the missing piece that most successful transformation miss and it the key to keeping the weight off long term and looking the way you want to look.

We are going to call it strength training during this article, but for all intensive purposes it really is resistance training. What is the difference, strength training is categorized in a rep range of 3-8 reps and focuses strictly on developing strength, where resistance training can be strength or hypertrophy work. Hypertrophy work is creating muscle size and definition. We like to use the word strength because we are looking for our members to continue to use heavier and heavier resistances over time to develop muscles and saying strength encourages them to think get stronger by lifting more. You can’t get stronger and build definition by using those same 5lb dumbbells all the time, you have to work your way up over time and keep challenging the weights you are using or else your muscles won’t continue to develop and build definition.


All of us have some level of wanting to look better naked. It’s what gets us to eating more veggies, get into the gym at crazy hours and not buy that ice cream to keep in the house. These things all help us continue to increase our calorie deficit and get positive nutrients in our body. Because we do need to get rid of the body fat so we can start to see those muscles underneath. But how do we make sure their actually are defined muscles underneath.

Well that’s where strength training comes into play. We need to progressively overload our muscles over a long period of time to create some shape (aka toning) to them. I know the very first thing that will pop in mind, but I don’t want to get too muscular, I don’t want to look veiny or bulky. The main thing I can say to that, is you aren’t going to spend the crazy amount of time working out that the people that look bulky or veiny are doing so lets just get that out of our head. There are other things like hormonal responses, time under tension, etc that are other reasons why 99% of people (especially females) won’t get bulky but I think that is more complex then we need to worry about. Just know that the people you are referring to are resistance training 8-10hrs a week and your doing resistance training for 20min max about 3-5 days a week. So you aren’t going to get big, just not enough time to do that for the muscles. 

Now back to the real point, if we don’t put a level of stress on the muscles they won’t grow. Lots of body weight reps can definitely help towards the overall volume but after a while you have to keep increase the amount of reps to get the same results so then it comes down to creating unbalanced movement issues (such as tight hips, rolled shoulders, etc). So the best way is to keep this in the 5-15 rep range so we can build up enough tension on the muscles without overworking that muscle group either. Then our goal overtime is to slowly increase the DB, KB, band resistances so we can get those muscles consistently overloaded so they are forced to grow.

As you are losing weight from the caloric deficit, and you having your muscle get more shapely over time (from resistance training) your body will start to transform into the look you were wanting. Instead of losing weight and having nothing underneath, just loose skin, you’ll come out of your transformation with your bodies looking more fit and toned if you are consistent with resistance training. We like to measure this on our InBody 270 body fat tester. What it does it shows our members increasing Lean Body Mass while at the same time losing body fat. Whereas, if you aren’t doing the resistance training, your weight might be decreasing buy your body fat might not decrease much because it’s a relationship of Lean Body Mass and Body Fat Mass and body fat doesn’t always go down with weight loss.


A way under looked benefit of strength training is your actually have less injuries, less aches and pains. You normally start to find that your lower back has less tightness, you aren’t as stiff in your hips, and you can physically do more things without compensations so you put yourself in less compromised positions. I know this is the least sexy of the concepts but when you start strength training at 40 and are still strength training at 45 but you physically feel younger and better than you did 5 years before. That’s an incredible life changing idea. Your friends are looking older, moving worse, getting injured all the time and you are becoming more bulletproof. Many talk about a better standard of life!!


Every pound of muscle you put on your body, you burn 50 extra calories a day. So that number looks super small right? But think about it this way. You weigh 150lbs and your concentrate on gaining muscle but also watching your calories to a certain amount. Over the next 3 months you stay the same weight, but you step on an InBody and it says you went down about 5% body fat and gained 10lbs of lean muscle. So you still weigh 150. For most people, that super discouraging to spend 3 months and not lose any weight, even though they know they lose the 5% BF and their clothes fit amazing. But what people don’t realize is, since you switched that “fat” over to muscle you now burn 500 extra calories, every day forever. In a year thats, 500 x 365 =182,500 calories extra you burn. It takes 3500 calories to burn a pound a fat. So over the next year, you’ll be able to lose 50lbs by adding they weight on, if you eat how you were before. Realistically those equations aren’t perfect, but what we are showing you is that adding muscle has huge long term benefits to fat loss. You can get away with a few more eating mistakes, you can make bigger drastic transformations quicker, and overall you’ll be stronger because you have 10 more lbs of muscle!! That’s pretty incredible.


Make strength training a portion of your workout. I recommend about 20 minutes a day, 3-5 days a week. This doesn’t mean you need or should eliminate some version of cardio but if rushed for time, strength training has more bang for your buck. You won’t get bulky, you’ll burn more calories over time and you’ll build a bulletproof healthy body!! 


If you live in or around the Mundelein area, please click our request more information on the website and we would love to give you a FREE consultation and help you start your body transformation.

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