Turning to aerobic exercise is the first thing most do when trying to lose weight. However, this is a big mistake because aerobic training is actually very inefficient at burning fat. This is illustrated by the fact that at rest a typical man weighing 180 pounds will burn roughly 2000 kcal. But during an hour of cycling he may only burn a few dozen kcal as a result of the exercise. To burn fat we therefore need to find a more efficient alternative.
Resistance training is far better at causing fat loss that aerobic exercise when compared in isolation. Resistance training increases muscle mass and this causes resting metabolic rate to rise. In contrast, aerobic exercise causes muscle catabolism and a reduction in resting metabolic rate. Studies show that fat loss is possible with resistance training even if calorie intake is increased. The high protein diets associated with weight training have also been shown to cause weight loss.
And There Is More
When you have finished running on the hamster wheel, you stop burning calories. Not that you were burning many to start with. However, when you leave the gym after lifting weights, you continue to burn calories. This prolonged calorie burning is caused by tissue remodeling due to muscle damage. Remodelling of muscle tissue is very metabolically expensive and this costs the body energy. This remodelling process can take up to ten days in the case of heavy lifts.
Lift Heavy Or Go Home
Another mistake people make is lifting light weight many times. Such training is better than aerobic exercise, but its not efficient at causing hypertrophy, and its hypertrophy we need to stimulate metabolic rate. Lifting heavy weights causes massive tissue damage in the major muscles of the body and it is this damage that leads to tissue remodelling. Consuming a high protein diet during such period increases muscle mass and this leads to hypertrophy and increased metabolic rate.
Comparing Resistance Training To Aerobic Exercise
Performing resistance training causes beneficial body composition changes. Performing aerobic exercise causes detrimental body composition changes. Adding aerobic exercise to a resistance training regimen attenuates the benefits of the resistance training. However, adding resistance training to an aerobic training regimen improves the overall benefits. Therefore resistance training is vital in producing the compositional benefits sought during weight loss.
Ditch The Aerobics
If you want to lose fat and gain muscle, look better and get stronger, you must perform resistance training. If you must perform aerobic exercise for any reason, be sure to add resistance training to you weekly training. ‘Dieting’ and eating lettuce leaves is not required if you hit the gym and train hard with weights. In fact, increasing protein intake and ensuring enough calories for recovery should satisfy the appetite and therefore increase the likelihood of success.