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Old 10-01-2011, 09:24 AM   #1
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Default Exercise and Fat Loss

Exercise doesn’t work for fat loss?

It’s no secret that diet outperforms exercise for fat loss. A recent study (that I mentioned HERE) confirmed that.

However some people have taken this concept and said that exercise just doesn’t work for fat loss period.
Not true. Not true AT ALL.

You see, all of the studies that look at exercise tend to look at aerobic exercise. The ones that look at weight training nearly always use machine based exercises and isolation exercises.


So let’s look at the findings –
After 8 months of aerobic training the participants lost 4.4lbs (total weight – they didn’t measure body comp)
After 8 months of resistance training they lost 1.76lbs

Obviously 4lbs is way better than 1.76lbs but I wouldn’t say either program really worked would you?
And if we point out what the researchers said – the resistance training program burned 33% of the calories of the aerobic program (seriously, what kind of weight training program is that?) – but actually lost 40% as much fat. Isn’t that a better “return on investment?”

Regardless, the aerobic group involved running 12-20 miles per week. The average weight of the participant was 195lbs. Considering the time spent running each week – this would average out to be around 1800 or so calories burned per week (I used an 11 min mile average).

The researchers stated that the aerobic group burned 67% more calories than the resistance group. That means on average (again I’m extrapolating the data) – the resistance training group burned around 594 calories.

And this is the part that doesn’t make sense. The resistance training group averaged 135-180 mins training per week. That’s at the high end, 4.4 calories per minute spent training. Again – what kind of resistance training program burns that few calories per minute? (Especially in light of Scott’s work showing that 8 minutes of weight training burned somewhere between 159 and 231 calories)

My conclusion? “A well structured high intensity cardio program at 80% max heart rate for 12-20 miles per week was just 60% more effective than a machine based weight training routine, particularly when the cardio program burned 67% more calories”

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