Can Aerobic Exercise – Running – Actually Be Better For Fat Loss Compared To Resistance Training?
That’s what Duke University researchers are claiming.
They say that running approximately 12 miles a week will help you lose weight with more success than resistance training or a combination of the two.
Let’s break this study down and then talk about some facts that were conveniently left off as well as exercise types missing from the study.
The Fat Loss Break Down:
The researchers too 234 overweight and obese adults. Ages and sex were not specified nor was the length of their workout program. They put them into three groups.
- Group 1 would run approximately 12 miles per week.
- Group 2 would do weight training, three sets per day, 8 to 12 reps per set (exercise not defined… red flag!)
- Group 3 would do both.
All of the exercise sessions were supervised so they could make sure they participants were doing things correctly. By the end, only 119 people completed the study and had complete body composition tests done.
And this is where things start to get strange.
The Fat Loss Results:
According to the study, the runners – Group 1 – lost the most weight. They don’t say how much weight was lost and they don’t say how much body fat was actually lost. Even though they apparently had this data from the composition tests.
Group 3, which did the combination lost weight but not as much. However, they did see the biggest decrease in inches lost from their body. This was key and we’ll come back to this.
Also keep in mind that Group 3 had to exercise twice as long as the other groups.
Group 2 which was the weight training group lost some weight, but other participants gained weight. Again they didn’t say how much and they didn’t compare the inches lost in this group.
What Does This Study Show That Can Help You?
I actually emailed the researchers media people because they left out all the key data in this study. Not a single average weight change was actually published… not a single body fat change was published… or body measurements.
This is pretty strange considering the fact they had the composition tests.
They also left out how long these people were doing the exercise sessions for. That is some pretty important data.
Why didn’t they publish these numbers?
Proof 1 – Aerobic Exercise Is Effective
There is not doubt that aerobic exercise is highly effective at burning fat. However, what this study does not do is show the long term affect of steady state aerobic exercise.
Your body will adapt to this running and you’re going to be left with the some options.
- Run further and further
- Run faster and faster
- Mix in other forms of exercise and run less
Why they didn’t comment on this as well is interesting to me. I know it’s outside of the study but it’s a very important consideration as people expecting results will find them short lived.
Bottom line. Aerobic exercise when done right… i.e… high intensity interval training can burn fat like crazy.
Proof 2 – Weight Training Burns Inches
Weight training burns inches and builds lean muscle mass. In group 3, the weight went up in many cases. This was due to lean muscle mass being built. The fact that the researchers were bias against this was pretty shocking.
We’ve talked a lot about weight loss before and how not all weight loss is good weight loss.
What you can learn is the combination group burned fat and inches. That’s what you have to do but it doesn’t have to be long like the study suggests.
Through real training, circuit resistance training (which they didn’t test) and high intensity interval training will trump any form of exercise for fat burning. And the total amount of time per week would be less than 2.5 hours per week maximum.
Proof 3 – Weight Loss (True Weight Loss) Comes From Diet
Finally if you want to lose weight and keep it off, it happens from the foods you eat mixed with the right exercise. When you make the necessary small changes in your diet, you’ll burn fat faster than anything else.
There is not getting around the fact that 80% of weight loss is the foods you eat. The 20% is the exercise so you get stronger, build lean muscle mass, and increase your health.
I will update if and when I hear back from the researchers about this study. I think it’s fascinating but the fact they left out all the actual numbers is very fishy. You would think that would be the most important part of the study.
Let me know what you think and make sure you sign up for my newsletter. I’ll help you burn fat fast and the proven way. Proven through real world training and real women making the changes.