Cardio may be the most effective way of burning fat during a workout session, but strength training is the most effective way to keep burning fats—even after exercise. Most people aren’t aware that strength training is the most efficient weight loss training because it produces muscles—muscles that are far hungrier for calories compared to fats.

Therefore, if you want to know which weight loss method is the most effective, opt for strength training. It may not seem as hot as cardio, but there’s no doubt that it’s just as effective—is not more. Here are six reasons why:

It’s anaerobic exercise

Anaerobic exercises use short intervals of demanding, high-intensity movements. These types of weight loss training are perfect, as they rely on energy stored in your muscles rather than oxygen.

Strength training belongs to this exercise category, and it’s responsible for the increase in muscle mass. How your muscle mass affects weight loss will be explained further as we go along. Anaerobic exercise basically builds muscles while cutting fat, which is really the most ideal way of losing weight through workout.

It produces muscles

5 Reasons Why Weight Loss Requires Strength TrainingBecause strength training uses energy stored in the muscles, you produce more muscles doing this type of training. Producing muscles burns more calories than shedding fat; 10 pounds of muscles burn 50 calories after workouts, while 10 pounds of fat will only burn 20 calories. More so, losing weight will initially be easier, but will eventually be hard without muscles.

Strength training specifically leads to gain lean muscle gain. These are fat-free tissues that are highly metabolic, allowing more caloric burns than any other tissue in the body. Essentially, this is why strength training works best: it loses fat while maintaining muscles that burn calories.

It allows the “after-burn” effect

Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) is the technical term for “after-burn” effect. Because your strength training works more on intensity than duration, it best stimulates EPOC. During after-burn, when you’re done with your exercises and you’re breathing hard, your body is doing its best to ease you back to your pre-exercise state—expending high levels of energy as it does so.

Studies also show a linear relationship between weight training—which is a type of strength training—and EPOC. As the weight training intensifies, the longer your EPOC lasts. Currently, weighted high-intensity interval trainings (HIIT) are the most efficient workout program in stimulating EPOC.

Accelerates Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

Your resting metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories while at rest. Weight loss requires strength training because this type of workout increases muscles which are more thermally active than fats. RMB is best increased with the help of muscles.

What makes RMR so important for weight loss? Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) has three key elements: 1) resting metabolic rate; 2) thermic effect of food; and 3) activity. Among these three, your RMR accounts for 60 to 70% of your daily caloric burn.

Improves strength, enabling you to do more

The goals of strength training, as the name suggests, are to increase your strength and build useful muscles. When these are achieved, you’re then able to do more work involving heavier loads in a shorter amount of time. This means more opportunities for calorie burn.

To put it plainly, strength allows a person to perform tasks. Your level of strength dictates your capacity to develop muscles; more muscles, more repetitions during workout.  Additionally, the larger the loads you can handle, the more repair your muscles will need; hence, more energy used during RMR.

While your cardio and strength training may vary in aspects, they’re both important in weight loss. However, strength training is reasonably awarded as more efficient for long-term weight loss. Steer clear from workout myths and start your weight loss training with a personal trainer to help you shed those pounds in a safe and timely manner.