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The Point of Lifting is NOT to “Burn Calories”

Within the fitness industry their is a common idea / narrative that a form of fitness is only valuable if it results in high heart rates, end zone intensities & lots of calorie burn.


Often I see people say “well isn’t cardio better because it burns more calories” completely missing the point of WHY we lift and WHY we do cardio & their unique adaptations.

The point of lifting is NOT to burn calories. And while you WILL expend energy it’s often less in the moment than cardio — yes. But is additionally costly in its energy requirement (calories / protein) to repair and grow new muscle.


Lifting is an anabolic process (a fancy way of saying promotes the building of new muscle tissue) and is required to set off (“turn on”) the muscle signals that tell our bodies to make or repair muscle. As well as help train our bodies to use our nerves to recruit more muscle cells so we can produce more force output or increase our skills or ability.


Trying to quantify your calories burned during lifting is redundant and missed a lot of this with your basic smart watch tracker or estimations through your food tracking apps (im looking at you MFP).

You’re far better off using your lifting to simply get stronger + gain muscle NOT trying to expend energy. While all exercise supports healthy fat cell distribution and physiology — let’s let our lifting be LIFTING.


Increasing muscle tissue and strength has far better + cooler benefits that “calorie burning” like increased bone density, tendon health, energy expenditure, glucose regulation, insulin sensitivity, and quality of life + longevity.


Our muscles are some of the largest stores of extra glucose in our bodies! And the more muscle you have the harder your body has to work to grow and maintain it. The are houses of our metabolic machinery which IS enhanced with cardio.


But the goal of lifting is not and has never been to “burn calories”. Turns out — when you make it NOT about that … you’ll likely get all the benefits you were dreaming of and more 🤘🏻🤍

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Hey, I'm Lyss!

I’m Exercise Physiologist, sports nutritionist, weight lifter, and ultra runner. I am here to bring science to your training in a no-nonsense way. I have helped thousands of women crush big lifting goals, cross race finish lines, and even do both. I’m here to help you do the same!

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