Does Lifting Heavy Weights Burn Fat? Yes, if Done Properly

Does Lifting Heavy Weights Burn Fat

If you have been asking yourself the question, does lifting heavy weights burn fat, you have come to the right place. Not only does lifting heavy weights burn a lot of fat, but you could even lose weight and get shredded by lifting alone.

Let’s get one thing straight. The best way to lose fat rapidly is to combine a low calorie diet with high intensity interval training (HIIT). If you are looking to become shredded, this is the best option.

With that being said, we can still burn fat by lifting weights. When it comes down to it, calories burned is really all that matters. I have said before in many of my posts, there is no secret to getting in epic shape.

There is only hard work and dedication. If you are not going to put in at least 1 year of consistent dedication, then this might not be for you. I will say, after 1 year of dedication, your body will look so different, that you will want to keep going.

Learn how to calculate your maintenance calories, and eat at a caloric deficit if you want to lose weight and fat.

The next thing to do is to pick a workout plan. I recommend downloading our app All Workouts: Personal Trainer (iOS | Google Play). It has many FREE workout plans, and 10 built in HIIT workouts. If you combine weight training with HIIT, you will be an unstoppable fat loss machine!

How does lifting heavy weights burn fat?

Weight training has many health benefits. Not only can you build muscle, but as we mentioned, you can burn fat.

Burning fat occurs when your heart rate is elevated to between 50-85% of your maximum heart rate. Learn how to calculate your maximum target heart rate.

For example, a 30 year old has a maximum target heart rate of 190 bpm. So your target heart rate for fat burn will be between 95-162 bpm. I always aim for the higher end of the spectrum when I am going for fat burn.

When you are lifting heavy weights, your body is struggling to engage all of your muscles and really push the weight around. Your body has no choice but to start working harder to pump more blood to the muscles in order to help them work harder.

This of course is when your heart rate goes up and when the calories and fat will be burning.

Weight lifting exercises that burn fat

By now, you understand the science behind fat burn. Eat at a caloric deficit, lift weights, and do HIIT. That’s fine and all, but what if you can’t do HIIT, or what if you don’t want to? Well, you can just lift heavy weights and ensure to crank up the intensity with every rep.

As I mentioned in the previous section, I aim for the higher end when it comes to my calorie burn when lifting heavy.

Don’t let weight lifting fool you. During an average 1 hour weight training workout, I usually burn an average of 350 calories.

It might not seem like a lot, but you will find that weight training increases your metabolism to ensure that you burn calories at an elevated rate throughout the day.

If you want to make sure that you are hitting your heart rate goals on the higher end, I recommend getting an Apple Watch from Amazon. This is a great way to monitor your calorie burn in a workout, and also make sure you are hitting your desired heart rate.


If you don’t already know, the deadlift is on the list of my all time best exercises for building muscle.

Deadlifts are no joke. They focus first on legs, second on back, and work out your whole entire body. If there was one exercise that you could do for the rest of your life, I would definitely go for the deadlift.

The heavier you go here, the more calories you will burn. Obviously, if you have never done deadlifts before, don’t go too crazy at first. Learn proper form before anything. Keep your back straight, feet shoulder width apart, and core engaged.


Why would I include pullups in a post about lifting heavy weights? Well, they are such a good exercise for burning calories, that I couldn’t resist. Also, you could even buy a weighted vest from Amazon if your body weight isn’t enough.

Pullups have a lot of different grip types, but the one I recommend most here is the standard grip. Start with your arms facing away from you on the bar about shoulder width apart. Try to explode up to the bar as hard as you can and squeeze your back muscles together at the top.

If you perform pullups correctly, your heart rate will definitely be very high by the end of the set. Pullups are an incredible way to build muscle and burn fat if you are limited on gym equipment.

Barbell Overhead Press

By now, you should be noticing a trend. All of the exercises in this list are compound exercises. Meaning that they workout more than one muscle group. The barbell overhead press is no exception.

The main muscle group we are targeting here is the shoulder, but you must engage your core here. Also, your arms and other upper body muscles will be involved.

Find a barbell, add some weights, add some clips, and get ready to go to work. If your gym doesn’t have clips for olympic barbells, I recommend these.

Take the barbell from the ground and pull it up to your shoulders in front. Move your head back and push the barbell up with force, pausing at the top to squeeze your muscles together.

Landmine Press

The landmine press is the most unsuspecting exercise of this list. It might not seem like it’s a big deal, but it is an intense exercise.

Designed to build chest muscles, the landmine press has many other benefits. You will feel it in your arms, your core, your back, and maybe even your legs.

Most gyms will have a place for landmine presses. I have even seen a barbell stuffed in a corner. I definitely do not recommend this if you are working out at home. Amazon actually sells landmine press anchors.

In order to perform the landmine press, put some weights on your barbell (that is in a corner or anchored) and lift with both hands. Rest the end of your barbell right around collarbone height. Switch to just one hand and start pushing up.

You should really feel this in your upper chest. Don’t forget to switch sides and do equal reps!

Main Point: Does lifting heavy weights burn fat?

The answer is pretty simple. Does lifting heavy weights burn fat? Yes it certainly does. In fact, you can get completely shredded by lifting weights alone. There is no secret to losing fat. All you have to do is eat less calories than you burn, and supplement with working out.

Learn how to make exercise a habit, and you will come out on top. I promise that if you workout 3-4 times per week for the next year, you will not remember what your past self was like.

I left you with 4 of my favorite exercises for burning fat with heavy weights. This is obviously not an exhaustive list. There are a ton of exercises that you can do.

The main point here is just to lift heavy weights, eat right, be consistent, and reap the rewards. What has been your experience with lifting heavy weights? Do you like the idea of lifting weights only and no cardio?

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