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    Aerobic Exercise Beats Resistance For Weight And Fat Loss
    By News Staff | January 2nd 2013 11:41 PM | 2 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    A new study, believed to the largest randomized trial to directly compare changes in body composition induced by comparable amounts of time, has found that aerobic training is better than resistance training for weight- and fat loss. 

    They measured time spent doing aerobic and resistant training, or both in combination, among previously inactive overweight or obese non-diabetic adults.  

    Methodology

    A total of 234 previously sedentary overweight or obese males and females, age 18-70 years of age, were enrolled in one of three eight-month supervised protocols: aerobic training (AT), resistance training (RT), or a combination (AT/RT). Of the total, 119 participants completed the trials and had complete data for the variables of interest in the article.

    Those assigned to aerobic training exercised vigorously, at about 70-85% of maximum heart rate. They exercise approximately 45 minutes three days per week throughout the study period.

    Individuals assigned to resistance training also exercised three days a week, completing three sets of 8-12 reps on eight resistance machines that targeted all major muscle groups. Resistance was increased throughout the study to maintain a steady level of challenge as the participants gained strength.

    Individuals who were assigned to AT/RT performed all the exercises assigned to both AT and RT groups. At the end of study each enrollee was assessed for weight, body composition, waist circumference, cardiopulmonary fitness and strength compared to their baseline.





    The results showed: 

    • The groups assigned to aerobic training and aerobic plus resistance training lost more weight than those that did resistance training only. In fact, those who did resistance training only actually gained weight due to an increase in lean body mass.

    • Fat mass and waist circumference significantly decreased in the AT and AT/RT groups, but were not altered in RT. However, measures of lean body mass significantly increased in RT and AT/RT, but not in AT. The finding suggest that aerobic exercise is more effective in reducing these measures.

    • Lean body mass increased with both RT and AT/RT, but not AT. Having the benefit to of both modes of exercise allowed AT/RT to decrease body fat percent significantly more than either AT or RT due to decreased fat mass combined with increased lean body mass.




    According to Leslie H. Willis, exercise physiologist at Duke University Medical Center and the paper's lead author, "Given our observations, it may be time to seriously reconsider the conventional wisdom that resistance training alone can lead to weight and fat loss. 

    "If increasing muscle mass and strength is a goal, then resistance training is required. However, the majority of Americans could experience health benefits due to weight and fat loss. The best option in that case, given limited time for exercise, is to focus on aerobic training. When you lose fat, it is likely you are losing visceral fat, which is known to be associated with cardiovascular and other health benefits." 


    Published in the Journal of Applied Physiology


    Comments

    The groups assigned to aerobic training and aerobic plus resistance training lost more weight than those that did resistance training only. In fact, those who did resistance training only actually gained weight due to an increase in lean body mass.

    Did you measure the amount of muscle mass lost in the aerobic training? Also did you measure the amount of inches lost during the study for your groups? Gaining lean muscle is not a bad thing.

    Fat mass and waist circumference significantly decreased in the AT and AT/RT groups, but were not altered in RT. However, measures of lean body mass significantly increased in RT and AT/RT, but not in AT. The finding suggests that aerobic exercise is more effective in reducing these measures.

    What was the rest periods and what was the average heart rate while resistance training? Where they working out a low or high intensity? This can make a big impact on their fat loss.

    Lean body mass increased with both RT and AT/RT, but not AT. Having the benefit to of both modes of exercise allowed AT/RT to decrease body fat percent significantly more than either AT or RT due to decreased fat mass combined with increased lean body mass.

    It seems the results from your own study suggest that you must have resistance training in your program to increase lean body mass which should be the goal for everyone. It’s my professional opinion that you need to change the title of your article to “The combination of R/T and A/T provide the best results for overall health.” If you do resistance training at a high intensity you benefit both the heart and muscle at the same time. It’s the most efficient way to work out

    This is a great article. How long did the individuals that did the A/T and R/T combination workout for? I also agree with Chad Derowitsch comment: "If you do resistance training at a high intensity you benefit both the heart and muscle at the same time. It’s the most efficient way to work out" High Intensity R/T will burn more fat due to building more muscle as well.