The variability in your Resting Metabolic Rate or “Basal Metabolic Rate” (the number of calories required to support normal bodily functions; this is the number of calories you expend each day when you aren’t physically active or exercising) is attributed solely to the amount of muscle tissue that you possess. The decline in your metabolic rate that occurs as you age is not due to chronological aging or menopause; it is due to a wasting away (atrophy) of muscle. If you strength train and regain or retain your muscle tissue, your metabolic rate will be restored.
Cardio-respiratory exercise does NOT increase your metabolic rate (as is commonly assumed). In fact, metabolic rate decreases for a few hours after a bout of “cardio.”
Strength training has a positive, acute effect on metabolic rate. When you strength train, your metabolic rate is elevated between 7-11% for the next 3 days. This effect exists for beginners or experienced exercisers alike.
Strength training has a positive, chronic effect on metabolic rate. When we add muscle tissue to any part of our body, we burn more calories constantly to support that new muscle.