Will powerlifting burn fat?
No, your body will. Powerlifting can help to promote the need to burn fat for energy in your body. Swimming, cycling or running might be a better option to achieve this, as they can be maintained for a longer period of time.
What is your why
Before we go into the details of whether powerlifting burns fat, let me ask you a couple of questions:
- Why do you want to burn fat?
- Why do you want to lose weight?
- What happens when you do?
- What happens, if you don't?
While these questions seem trivial at first, they make all the difference between your success and failure. If you have a meaningful and detailed answer to why you want to burn fat you will ultimately do it. If your reasons and motivations are shallow and meaningless, you will drop the mater as soon as you get the first resistance. Life is busy and there are many different interests pulling at you. The ones who focus and stay on track will finally achieve what they set out to do. Many people go about their lives like this:
- What do I want?
- How do I get it?
- Why do I want it?
If you make what you want the centerpiece of attention, you will run in a hundred directions and arrive nowhere. What you want changes hundreds of times a day depending on whom you are with, where you are and what you are doing. Putting this front and center of your life will set you up for a consumer mindset instead of a producer mindset. You will fix your needs with a hundred different products and still not feel fulfilled. This dynamic changes, when you flip the order of these questions on their head:
- Why do you want something?
- How do you get it?
- What needs to be done?
This way you will focus on what is essential. Your thoughts and actions will become more connected and ultimately make things happen for you. If you want to know how this works on a psychological level read Daniel Kahneman's thinking fast and slow. Simon Sinek's TED talk on the golden circle will change your life.
If you change your question from "Will powerlifting burn fat" to "will powerlifting help me achieve my goals" you will have a small but impactful change for your life.
What does your body use fat for
Fat is the long term energy storage for your body. Whenever your body has more energy than it burns it will want to turn that energy into fat. Energy is usually described in calories when it comes to the body and food. Exercising will burn energy and also stimulate your cells to adapt to the stresses you put them under. If the stress is big enough, energy will be used to adapt instead of stored. This is a very simplified way of looking at it, but I also do not want to turn this into a long biology course.
Powerlifting will therefore not burn fat. Your body will when it needs to. Your body needs to burn fat when using up more calories than in your immediate energy storage. If you have a lot of fat already, just eat less and become more active. This way your body will start to reach into its resources. Powerlifting can be one of these activities.
How does powerlifting burn fat
Higher activity levels increase your bodies need for energy. Powerlifting can do this and therefore promote burning fat. However, this will only work, when at the same time you do not replenish energy by eating. Powerlifting, bodybuilding, and weightlifting are some of the most effective sports to burn energy. If you look at calories burned per second these are some of the best things you can do. The problem with moving weights is that you can not do it constantly for minutes or even hours. Humans have been built to travel across the country very fast. We are very effective to walk for long periods of time. As burning energy as a result of effort over time powerlifting and weightlifting lose out against running, swimming or cycling for burning energy. This is simply down to that you can do these exercises for longer. The downside of these activities is that they do not promote muscle growth. You need very little muscle to just simply run around. Long distance runners are the perfect proof for this.