Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fat Loss- Listen up! Weight training trumps cardio

Everyone seems to have this sense that weight training equals heavy bulky muscles and cardio equals weight loss. Most of the time this is how every women thinks and believes it like the bible. Society, magazines, tv and numerous other things have shaped our belief that cardio is king when it comes to fat loss. The two go hand in hand, you want to lose weight then do cardio. Ask someone what they are going to do to lose weight and they will tell you that they need to start doing more cardio. Can all these people be wrong? The answer is YES!

Cardio burns calories and will help you lose weight but it is not the best method. If you are looking to achieve something wouldn't you want to do it with the most efficient and best way possible? Well of course you would, so then why are you doing nothing but cardio. Weight training helps maintain lean muscle which elevates your metabolism allowing you to burn calories at rest. Weight training causes something known as Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC for short. EPOC is essentially a post exericse increase in enegry or fuel consumption, which also can be characterized as an increase in metabolism. Cardio will burn calories while your working out and then that is it. Weight training will burn calories both while working out and multiple hours afterward! Take a look at some of these studies that prove the above points
  • 1999 study compared a resistance training and aerobic training program with a very low-calorie liquid diet and looked at it’s effects on lean muscle and resting metabolism. Both groups lost the same amount of weight but the resistance training group lost significantly more fat and did not lose any lean muscle. Additionally, the resistance training group actually increased metabolism compared to the aerobic group which decreased metabolism.

  • Another study from the same year assigned overweight subjects to three groups: Diet Only, Diet plus aerobics or Diet plus aerobics plus weight training. The Diet-only group lost 14 lbs of fat in 12 weeks but when they added in the aerobic program – that group lost only one more pound than the diet group.However the Weight Training group lost 21 lbs of fat in the same time frame.

  • A 1992 paper compared 40 mins of high intensity aerobic training, a circuit-training routine and a heavy weight-training routine. The heavy weight training and circuit routines both burned more calories post workout than the aerobic routine.

  • Another group of researchers compared the short term EPOC effect of two resistance training modalities: A standard weight training program using 80% of RM (3 x 6, six exercises, two minutes rest between sets) and a circuit based weight training program using 50% RM (3 x 10-12 reps, six exercises – 30s between sets). The total work volume was similar.However the circuit training group had a bigger EPOC effect. Basically – there were more calories burned with the shorter, lighter workout – probably because minute for minute the actual workload (or density) was higher in the circuit group.

  • A paper from 1994 showed that resistance training resulted in a higher post workout metabolic increase than aerobic exercise.

  • A study published in 2005 compared a treadmill workout and circuit weight training at the same intensity and found a higher increase in calories burned post workout with the circuit group. In other words – despite working at the exact same effort level – a circuit training model burned more calories overall than treadmill exercise.

  • A 1997 study looked at two groups over 8 weeks – a strength training group and an aerobic training group (both workouts were designed to burn the exact same amount of calories Both groups followed the same diet and lost the same total amount of weight – 19.8lbs However the strength training group lost significantly more fat and maintained more muscle than the aerobic group.

  • A 2003 review from Norway noted that “Little is known about the mechanisms underlying EPOC after resistance exercise.”"The relationships between the intensity and duration of resistance exercise and the magnitude and duration of EPOC have not been determined, but a more prolonged and substantial EPOC has been found after hard versus moderate resistance exercise” – basically there is a longer, bigger post-workout elevation with heavier training

So don't go and completely drop your cardio work, just make sure you make weight training a big part of your program for the best results. Check out some of my H4 fat burner workouts which are routines that use weight training in a high pace manor.


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  2. Thanks for posting this. i really had good time reading this. Best Weight Training for Women