Thursday, March 14, 2013

Aerobic Exercise Is More Efficient At Weight Loss Than Resistance Training


I have been preaching that resistance training raises your metabolism for a longer period of time and burns more fat, and now I have to reverse what I have been teaching. According to a study conducted at Duke University in 2012, it has been found that aerobic exercise burns more fat and contributes to  greater weight loss than resistance training and the combination of the two(aerobics and weight training).

In recent years, it has been suggested in the fitness world that resistance training raises the body's metabolism by increasing muscle mass, which allows one to lose more weight than doing aerobic exercises.  And it has been demonstrated that weight training does help with improving glucose control, but studies on weight and fat loss with weight training versus aerobic exercise were non-existent.

The researchers at Duke University set out the clear up this issue.  According Leslie Willis, MS, an exercise physiologist at Duke stated, "Given that approximately 2/3 of adults in the United States are overweight due to excess body fat, we want to offer clear, evidence-based exercise recommendations that truly help people lose weight and body fat".

The researchers recruited 234 obese and overweight subjects and randomly assigned them to 3 different workout groups.  Group 1 worked out aerobically 3 days per week and 3 miles per workout.  Group 2 strength trained 3 days a week and performed 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.  Group 3 did the combination of the two, they did 3 days of weight training with the same reps and sets and 3 miles of aerobic activity for 3 days a week.

The exercise sessions were supervised and body composition measurements were taken at the beginning and the end of the study.  Of the 234 subjects that started the study, 115 dropped out before the study concluded.

The people assigned to the aerobic and combination group lost more weight than the people assigned to the resistance training group, whereas the resistance group gained weight due to an increase in lean(muscle) body mass.

The study also proved that aerobic exercise trumps resistance training when it comes to body fat.  The subjects in the aerobic group lost the most body fat and they even worked out less than the weight training group.  The aerobic group exercised about 133 minutes a week and the weight training group averaged 180 minutes a week.

The combination group worked out the longest per week and they did lose body fat and body weight but not significantly higher than the aerobic group.  The combo group did lose the highest fat in the waist area. They contributed this to the duration of hours to do the combination program a week.

Even though, it has proven that aerobic workouts are the best for fat loss and weight loss, but by no means, you should not do resistance exercise.  Strength training is a component of being physically fit and should not be omitted from your workouts. However, if your goal is to lose weight, maybe your concentration should be on aerobic exercise.


13 comments:

  1. That makes sense to me because if you look at runners they tend to be thinner than most people, IMO.

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  2. Are there more studies to confirm their findings. Also, did they discuss how they eliminated any confounders. I'd be interested to know what they diet plan was for each group and how they ensure that it was followed. For example, were the aerobic exercisers more likely to eat more vegetables in an attempt to maximize the results versus the resistance training group eating poorly or eating meals that limited the results. I'd have to agree with you that one should do both.

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    1. I'm trying to get the study now. I have some questions about the combo group's workout. From what I see, its best and of course to do both but for those just starting out maybe you can jump start with aerobics and add weight training in later. I don't think they had them change their diet so it wouldn't skew the results but maybe the runners naturally started eating better?

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    2. Yeah, that's one of the factors that we observed in the studies we looked at for my MPH courses. With exercise students and health related studies in general certain groups would naturally begin to change their diets on their own. So I wonder if this study took that into consideration or assess the before and after diets. Just a thought. Once we learned about confounders and all that I always look at ways to refute a study LMBO.

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  3. Thanks for some helpful info! I have trouble sticking with ANY form of exercise, but have been pretty pleased with myself for just walking on the treadmill regularly lately. Thanks for a little encouragement : )

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    1. Keep up the good work Anna! Yes, try to make walking on the treadmill as a natural routine for you and you can always add weights later.

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  4. Super interesting! I wonder if the cardio aspect has anything to do with it?

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  5. I didn't know this. As a weightlifter/bodybuilder, I have always been told that weightlifting was more efficient at weight loss. However, I recently upped my running more and noticed that my abs are looking more ripped than they have since baby A was born. Thank you for this helpful info!

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    1. I also upped my cardio but on the elliptical by duration and speed.

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  6. Regular aerobic exercise improves your cardiovascular fitness by increasing your capacity to use oxygen. It does this by increasing your heart’s capacity to send blood to the muscles.

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  7. My father has over weight and he want to lose his weight. I think aerobic exercise is more gainful than other type of exercises for him. I am going to tell him about the exercise.

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  8. Aerobic exercises are best ways to give you ultimate fitness. I am also doing an aerobic exercise to burn my fat and lose weight rapidly.

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  9. chuẩn là những điều tôi vẫn đang tìm, rất là biết ơn bạn với nội dung bài viết vừa xong
    Một vài ý kiến đóng góp thêm: áo quần tập aerobic

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