The amount of time I get asked this question tells me that it is on many people’s minds. So which exercise is best for weight loss: aerobic work or lifting weights? Well, according to a collaborative study of 234 overweight/obese and sedentary performed by Duke University’s Medical Center , Durham Veterans Affairs and East Carolina University, participants who performed aerobic training or a combination or aerobic and resistance training lost the most weight. The study states the parameters of the aerobics group as “reaching between 70 percent and 85 percent of maximum heart rate — for about 45 minutes three days a week. Those assigned to resistance training also exercised three days a week, completing 8-12 repetitions on eight different resistance machines that targeted all major muscle groups. Participants in the combination training group performed all exercises assigned to both the aerobic and resistance groups.”
The people in the study who performed resistance training exclusively actually gained weight from the lean muscle mass they built. Even more, those who used aerobic training exclusively or mixed it with resistance training saw more fat loss from their waist than the resistance training group whose waistline remained steady. So the moral of the story here is that you can’t skip the aerobic cardio if you want to lose fat ( especially belly fat) and you will get better results if you mix it with resistance work as opposed to lifting weights exclusively. CONS: the sample size of this study is fairly small so it would be great if it could be repeated in a larger population; it would have been helpful to compare the difference between the workout pace of the resistance group and aerobic group to see if resistance work done at an aerobic pace would be comparable. WEIGHT should not be the only only barometer of getting healthier as inches lost count too. Rx = lift weights and run/walk/bike!