If you’re like most people, time is a commodity you don’t give up lightly. This can often be a difficult thing to overcome for those looking to lose a few lb’s. In a perfect world, we would all have time to commit to a full hour of training each day to reach our ideal physique. Unfortunately, we typically have to pick and choose our workout routines to fit our busy schedules. This begs the question then, as to what is the most effective form of short period exercise for losing weight? A recent study out of North Carolina just might have the answer you are looking for.
The study followed 119 overweight or obese men and women between 18 – 70 years old over a period of eight months. The subjects were divided into three groups: one engaged in a vigorous aerobic exercise protocol, the second in a resistance protocol and the third a combination of the two. Each group exercised three days per week, with the aerobic group going for 45 minutes at 70 – 85% maximum heart rate, the resistance group doing 8 – 12 reps on eight resistance machines targeting all muscle groups, and the combination group doing all of the above. At the end of the study, each participant was assessed for weight, waist circumference, body composition and cardio fitness. These figures were then compared to the results from the baseline tests completed at the beginning of the study.
The researchers found that those participating in the aerobic and combination groups lost significantly more weight than those that only did resistance training. In fact, some of the resistance participants actually gained weight due to the increase in muscle. Researchers did find that the combination group was able to decrease their measurements and fat percentage, as well as increase their lean muscle, allowing for a larger decrease in body fat percentage.
In essence, if you have the time for it, try to combine aerobic and resistance-based exercise to see the best results. If you’re crunched for time like most folks however, aerobic exercise is the answer for getting rid of those unwanted lbs in your limited free time, and stay away from resistance alone. That is, unless you don’t mind bulking up instead of slimming down. Now hit the gym and get that heart rate up!