Can You Lose Weight Lifting Weights? – Use HIIT Resistance Training and Workout Less

Man doing bicep curls

Whenever someone tells me they are trying to lose weight my first question to them is “Do you have a good weight training routine going?”. I can not count how many times the answer is no.

Most people associate weight lifting with getting big and muscular, and cardio with weight loss. But weightlifting plays a huge role in burning fat, and having a good weight lifting routine to go with a good cardio routine would accelerate your weight loss goals.

Even though weightlifting generally, for the most part, burns fewer calories than a cardio workout, weight lifting helps you burn more overall calories throughout the rest of your day even when you are sleeping.

Let’s dive in and take a look at how you can lose weight lifting weights:

Weight Lifting Raises Your BMR

What is BMR? Your Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR is the number of calories that your body needs to keep all of your vital body functions running at rest.

There are a number of things that could affect your BMR, things like your height, gender, age, weight, body fat % all affect your BMR. You can also increase your BMR by exercising or increasing your body’s muscle mass.

While doing cardio exercises like running or cycling is a great way to burn fat while you are doing it, weightlifting helps burn fat during and after your workout. Studies have shown that this effect could last hours or days.

As you continue to lift weights and gain more lean muscle mass, your body’s BMR will naturally go up. Lean muscle mass uses up more energy than fat. For every pound of muscle in your body, it burns roughly 6 calories per day, while the same pound of fat in your body would only be burning 2 calories per day.

The 4 calorie difference might not seem like much, but as you lose more fat and gain more muscle those extra calories are definitely going to be helping out. At the end of the day the more muscle you have on your body the higher your BMR is going to be and the more calories you are going to be burning at rest.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

You might have heard of HIIT before, some research shows that doing HIIT gives you almost the same benefits as if you were doing cardio, but HIIT can be done in a lot less time.

Now when I am talking about HIIT, I am talking about a HIIT weight lifting routine. There a study in which researcher had one group of participants do a HIIT weight lifting routine, and the other group did a moderate-intensity weight lifting routine. The routine consisted of various different weight lifting exercises.

The first group did 1 set of 5 reps as heavy as they could and the other group was doing more reps with more sets.

At the end of the study, the group that was doing HIIT saw more gains in some categories and similar body fat loss to the moderate-intensity group. The HIIT group also saw a decrease in their blood pressure and cholesterol readings.

The best thing between the HIIT group and the moderate-intensity group is the HIIT group’s workouts were averaging only about 20 minutes. While the moderate-intensity group’s workouts lasted an average of 45 minutes.

So using a HIIT weight lifting routine could be very beneficial to your weight loss goals. At the same time, you are going to be able to get stronger, get rid of some bad cholesterol, and lower that blood pressure. The best part about it is that if you do decide to use a HIIT weight lifting routine then your workouts are going to be shorter and that leaves more time for you to do other things.

Benefits of Weight Lifting

Weight lifting can benefit people of all ages, but many people only associate weight lifting with getting big and bulky. But weight lifting doesn’t only make you big and bulky, as a matter of fact, it doesn’t even have to make you big and bulky at all. You can still be slim and be very lean at the same time.

There are many benefits to weight lifting that we never think about but they have always been there, let’s take a look at some: 

  • Increases lean body mass without bulking up
  • Increases BMR to help with burning fat
  • Builds self-esteem
  • Decreases risk of injury
  • Increases balance and stability
  • Increases bone density
  • Help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol

With all these benefits why isn’t everyone lifting weights? Well, some people might not know about all these benefits, and other people might be scared to start lifting weights because they aren’t sure where to start.

Never Lifted Weights Before?

Everyone has to start somewhere, you are on this site reading this so you must be interested in it. Its never to late to start anything you can easily get started with a couple dumbbells. Let’s take a look at some Do’s and Don’ts:


If you are ready to start weight lifting so you can hit those weight loss goals then keep these tips in mind.

  • Pay Attention To Your Form – It is important to pay attention to your form. Use weights that you feel comfortable with and are not straining your body to lift it. The weight you choose you should be able to lift using the correct form without moving your entire body. If you can’t lift that weight with the correct form then that weight is too heavy and try a lighter weight.
  • Rest Between Sets – Don’t rest for too long, but don’t rush things between your sets. If you are doing lifts that workout multiple different muscle groups it is recommended that you give yourself about 2 minutes in between each set.
  • Stay Hydrated – As with any type of exercise, it is important to stay hydrated. Your body loses water while you’re working out so you need to replace it. Some people recommend weighing yourself before your workout and after your workout and drinking the difference in water.


These are common mistakes for people that are brand new to weightlifting.

  • Using Too Much Weight – Everyone is excited to get their weight lifting routine started but you need to be mindful of how much weight you start with, Weights are actually heavy! If you start with too much weight you could risk getting yourself hurt. When you are using too much weight you have a tendency to not use the correct form as well, which would make your workout less beneficial.
  • Using Too Little Weight – This is the other common mistake among weightlifters. You are not going to get getting stronger if you are not using enough weight to give your muscles a challenge. Look to lift about 3/4 of the maximum weight you can lift in the particular workout.
  • Not Getting Rest – It is important to give your muscles the time to repair and recover from your workouts. If you are doing full body weight lifting routines then you might need to take a day break. If you are targeting specific muscle groups on different days then you would just be resting those particular muscles.

Bottom Line

Weight lifting can be very beneficial if you are trying to lose weight. The days are gone where if you wanted to lose weight you just ran and ran until you got sick of it. Weight lifting can help you shed off that fat but at the same time reshape your body by adding on lean muscle mass.

What are your thoughts on weightlifting? Let me know below, as always thank you for reading and if you have any comments, questions or concerns, leave them below and I will get back to you.

About Tony 40 Articles
Tony is a California based health and wellness writer who has a passion for weightlifting, fitness, and nutrition. You can find him frequently publishing on when he is not at the gym working out, or at the movie theater watching the latest Marvel movie.

1 Comment

  1. Hey Tony,
    I like to play basketball as my cardio exercise and weightlifting have played a big part in staying strong but not bulky. I like to be lean so that I can move quicker during a basketball game but strong enough to be able to absorb some physicality of the game. I heard about HIIT from my cousin who was trying to lose weight. From what I saw from him, HIIT with weightlifting routine has worked wonders for him. He lost weight by getting rid of his fats and gaining more muscles. He now competes in the SPARTAN RACE and has been doing very well ever since. I agree with you that weightlifting can be very beneficial if you are trying to lose weight as myself and my cousin are a true testament to this statement. Great stuff!

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