When most people think about exercising to lose weight, they think of grinding away on a cardio machine doing some sort of aerobic exercise. Go into any traditional gym and you’ll be amazed at the sea of treadmills, ellipticals, and other traditional cardio equipment.
However, recent research has shown that aerobic exercise may not be optimal to lose weight. The simple equation of calorie consumed and calorie burned is flawed. For those that use the elliptical for an hour (while watching TV…) to only realize that they burned the equivalent of half of a cookie, this can be quite counterproductive in motivating you to continue to work so hard for such little reward.
Resistance Training More Effective than Aerobic Training
A recent research report from Harvard was published in the journal Obesity. The researchers followed over 10,000 people for 12 years and compared resistance training and aerobic training and the impact on controlling belly fat.
The authors noted that strength training with weights had the largest impact on waist circumference.
Interval Training More Effective than Traditional Cardio Training
Another article publish in the Journal of Obesity in 2011 also discussed how aerobic exercise has been ineffective in controlling body fat. The report discusses the effectiveness of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on body composition, which has been shown to increase aerobic and anaerobic fitness while being much more effective on reducing body fat.
HIIT is the type of exercises performed for quick bouts of time, similar to what you would find in a bootcamp-style circuit training program.
In the graphs below, you’ll see that both fat and waist circumference are significant reduced using HIIT (first column) in comparison to tradition cardio (second column) and a group that did nothing (third column):
More importantly, HIIT training does all of this in significantly less time than traditional cardio!
One of the reasons many believe that strength training and HIIT are more effective for weight loss is the effect these exercises have on your metabolism throughout the day. Your resting metabolism increases significantly in comparison to traditional moderate intensity cardio.
The Best Type of Exercise for Weight Loss
Based on these recent reports and dozens of others, we feel it is important to include both strength training and interval training in our programs to maximize weight loss. Can running on a treadmill help with weight loss? Sure. But this will not have the biggest bang for your buck and will be much more time consuming.
Our goal is to get our clients stronger and ramp up their metabolism to lose weight. We feel this combination is the most effective for weight loss, and many other long term health implications. Plus, our #TeamChampion bootcampers will tell you that exercising like this in a group is WAY more fun than running on the treadmill!