Olympic Weightlifting and Fat Loss
Written by Fritz Nugent

It’s a fact. Training in general doesn’t burn much more fat than not training. Crazy, you say? Blasphemy? The research currently suggests that weight and fat loss occurs mostly through how much you eat relative to how many calories you use each day. And if you track caloric burn across three programs, weightlifting would actually come out on top because it’s a 90-minute session and others (Performance & Fitness; Muscle & Motor) are 60 minutes. Don’t believe me? Test it out.

Wear a HR monitor that has a calorie-burn feature and take my Oly class and compare it to taking the others, and let me know what you find!

However, I want to caution you: The purpose of training is not to burn calories!

What is the purpose of training? 

The purpose of training IS to drive adaptations: muscle protein synthesis, heart and lung adaptations, muscle enzymes, changes to muscle fiber type…These are what come from intelligent and consistent training. And you can get all of these adaptations from every program we offer at Invictus. Burning calories is simply a side effect of exercise. You also burn calories when you sleep…

Effects of Nutrition and Training on the Body

What’s the difference between the effects of exercise and nutrition? Sumo wrestlers.

Are Sumo Wrestlers Healthy?

Did you know that sumo wrestlers, the largest athletes on the planet, don’t suffer from chronic diseases even though they are categorized as obese? How can this be? It’s due to the amount of training that they undergo. They eat A TON because physical size, namely a large body weight, is a performance advantage in their sport. All that consumed food causes them to gain weight and body fat. And yet minimal negative side effects that sedentary obese people experience – all because sumo wrestlers train rigorously. 

So what does it all mean, Basil? Nutrition and training have different effects on the body!

Training’s Effects on the Body

Training drives adaptations to body systems (and helps increase metabolism through accrual of muscle mass).

Training alone won’t save you (if you train hard and overeat, you will become a sumo wrestler ;).

Nutrition’s Effects on the Body

Nutrition drives body composition and body weight changes (and helps support adaptations from training).

Nutrition alone won’t save you (if you eat well and don’t train consistently, you could become weak and unhealthy, low in muscle mass, bone density, and energy).

How Long Do Training Adaptations Last?

One more important fact about sumo wrestlers: once they stop training, the chronic diseases come rolling in quickly. So the protective effects from training adaptations only last as long as you are able to keep training! So make sure you approach both training and nutrition as they are both important!

Benefits of Olympic Weightlifting

Lastly, you will gain muscle mass by doing OLY. You will burn calories. You will also improve your muscle strength and endurance. So show up for a class today and drive some adaptations! And then go home and eat well!

Invictus Weightlifting Program

For more coaching tips on your lifts, join up with our online weightlifting program! The sessions can be added as a supplement to your current training program, or used as a stand-alone program. You will also have access to the Invictus Weightlifting Facebook group, where our coaches will answer questions about the programming and review videos for technique critique.


learn more about the Invictus Weightlifting Program

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