"Aerobics better for Fat Loss"

  1. "Aerobics better for Fat Loss"

    From Science Daily

    A new study led by North Carolina researchers has found that when it comes to weight- and fat loss, aerobic training is better than resistance training. The study is believed to the largest randomized trial to directly compare changes in body composition induced by comparable amounts of time spent doing aerobic and resistant training, or both in combination, among previously inactive overweight or obese non-diabetic adults.

    The study is entitled "Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults". It is published in the December 2012 edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology published by the American Physiological Society.


    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.

    Key Findings and Conclusions

    The researchers found:
    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.

    Importance of the Findings

    According to Leslie H. Willis, an exercise physiologist at Duke University Medical Center and the study'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."

    Willis added, "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."

    In addition to Leslie Willis, the study was conducted by Cris A. Slentz, Lori A. Bateman, Lucy W. Piner, Connie W. Bales and William E. Kraus of the Duke University Medical Center; and Joseph A Hourmard and A. Tamlyn Shields of East Carolina University.

    Story Source:
    The above story is reprinted from materials provided by American Physiological Society (APS), via Newswise.
    Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

    Journal Reference:
    L. H. Willis, C. A. Slentz, L. A. Bateman, A. T. Shields, L. W. Piner, C. W. Bales, J. A. Houmard, W. E. Kraus. Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults. Journal of Applied Physiology, 2012; 113 (12): 1831 DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01370.2011
    From AM.com itself.

    What are your thoughts on this? Seems to be counter-indicative of what is majorly thought on the regular fitness world. I'm assuming largely due to the fact that these were sedentary individuals and their training wasn't spot on / they didn't have the same form and drive as the average "bodybuilder"?
    Androhard + Andromass Log

  2. That's quite the age range, and also some serious attrition (234 started, 119 finished). I checked the full text and the mean (SD) ages were similar for all groups. So were kcal consumption and BMI. It's not a badly set up study, and externally valid if trying to apply it to the general population.

    Here is what pisses me off:

    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.
    A. The results of the study show that resistance AND aerobic training produced the greatest results. More body fat loss, greater improvements in body composition.
    B. Sarcopenia and dynapenia have some seriously negative health consequences for our older population. We find that survival time and independence are both predicted by hand grip strength and ability to stand up from a chair without the use of the hands. We also know that osteopenia increases with reduced axial loading. So down playing the importance of resistance training when research shows that the ability of older adults to express power is a significant predictor of survival and independence, much more significant than muscular endurance, is sad. And may even be a little....bias.


  3. Just saw this posted on another forum a couple of days ago.

    Remember that when a lay person desires to be lean and improve their body composition, they use "weight loss" as a barometer. Of course this is a very poor indicator, just as much as BMI is a poor indicator of obesity. What the lay person actually wants is to decrease their bodyfat %. Remember that increasing lean mass = reduction in bf%, and reduction in fat mass = reduction in bf%.

    Therefore, the best route even by that study's standards would be combined resistance training and cardio.
    Check your form: http://anabolicminds.com/forum/exercise-science/190675-proper-techniques.html
    Log: http://anabolicminds.com/forum/workout-logs/235436-tossing-weight-torobestia.html

  4. Great posts, guys.

    I think it's also important to remember that the body adapts very quickly to cardiovascular training. The more you run or do liss the more efficient your body becomes so for someone who has not trained for endurance, they will see initial recomposition but such a trend is not sustainable long term. Short term, running etc will lean you out effectively but in the greater scheme of lean mass vs body fat, a balanced approach is best.

  5. I discuss something similar in my sport nutrition class when we do the body composition section. I will admit, I am HIGHLY bias in my teaching that women, all women, should be lifting weight...and not little pink weights, but a respectable load for their goals.

    I'll copy and paste the slides here:

    On the effects of muscle on metabolism:

    •Training increases the resting metabolic rate of muscle tissue
    –Protein synthesis, enzyme synthesis, repair, etc. (adaptation)
    –Resting muscle burns 5.7 kcal, trained burns 7.2 kcal
    Consider weight training

    •155 pound woman
    –57 lbs of muscle tissue
    –Her RMR is about 1600 kcal/day
    –Of that, 325 kcal of energy are required by muscle
    •6 months of resistance training
    –Gains 6 lbs of muscle
    •All skeletal muscle is trained and adapting
    –New muscle increased her RMR by 43 kcal
    –Training + new muscle increased energy requirement of muscle
    •454 kcal/day required by skeletal muscle
    So what?

    •Her previous RMR was 1600
    –Muscle contributed 325 kcal
    •Trained muscles + muscle gain = 454 kcal
    –New RMR 1729 kcal
    •129 Kcal difference
    She decreases body weight by 1.2 lbs per month without changing nutrition
    Then I show video's of Jessica North snatching and cleaning upwards of 75-100kg and try not to salivate over her too noticeably.


  6. You could also throw in the likelihood that a cardio-only routine will likely lead to LBM loss in addition the BF loss.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys

  7. What are these aerobics you speak of?

    Never heard of them as I tend to eliminate useless knowledge from my brain.


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