What’s Better To Lose Weight: Cardio or Resistance Training?

17 Mar

Here’s an inconvenient truth: Many people do not believe based on facts. They pick a side based on any number of other things (what sounds right to them, a celebrity endorsement, their past experiences, etc.) and then emotionally defend their stance… NO MATTER WHAT.

The examples of this are endless, and not the point of this newsletter. The point IS to separate fact from fiction, which is often much more difficult than one would think.

For example, a new study (done at Duke University Medical Center) is out that compared aerobic training, resistance training, and a combination of the two to determine the optimal mode of exercise for obesity reduction.

Researchers said that few studies have compared the effects of similar amounts of aerobic and resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight adults.

The study, published in the December 2012 edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, started with previously sedentary overweight or obese males and females between the ages of 18-70. 119 completed the study and had collectable data.

There were three groups: Group 1 did resistance training (RT) only 3 days a week, 3 sets a day, 8-12 repetitions/set. Group 2 did aerobic training (AT) only – calorically equivalent to approximately 12 miles/wk at 65-80% peak VO2. Group 3 did aerobic training PLUS resistance training (A T/RT). Aerobic was calorically equivalent to approximately 12 miles/wk at 65-80% peak VO2 Plus Resistant: 3 days/wk, 3 sets/day, 8-12 repetitions/set.

RESULTS: The groups assigned to aerobic training and aerobic plus resistance training lost more weight than those who did resistance training only.

Fat mass and waist circumference significantly decreased in the A T and A T/RT groups, but were not altered in the RT group. However, measures of lean body mass significantly increased in the RT and A T/RT groups, but not in AT group.

Having the benefit of both modes of exercise allowed the A T/RT group to decrease body fat percentage significantly more than either the AT or RT groups, due to decreased fat mass combined with increased lean body mass.

One researcher said that after seeing the results of this study, “it may be time to seriously reconsider the conventional wisdom that resistance training alone can lead to weight and fat loss.”

One Response to “What’s Better To Lose Weight: Cardio or Resistance Training?”

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