Weight loss is a hot topic, and there are many opinions about what works and what does not work. This current trend in how to achieve weight loss is not limited to popular media, but it is also being actively studied from many different angles in the realm of research.

In a new study, “Effects of Aerobic Training, Resistance Training, or Both on Percentage Body Fat and Cardiometabolic Risk Markers in Obese Adolescents,” the authors attempted to discern what type of training, or combination of training achieved the greatest results in lowering total body fat and risk for diseases related to obesity in teenagers from 14-18 years old.

This study compared four groups, one having completed only resistance 22 weeks, one having completed aerobic training for 22 weeks, one group completing a combined resistance training and aerobic training exercise regimen for 22 weeks, and one control group who did not change their exercise habits.

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All three groups who completed exercise training showed decreases in body fat mass.

This study also showed that participants in the combined aerobic and resistance training group achieved the greatest changes in decreasing body fat mass and lowering BMI.

Research has shown that exercise plays a major role in regulating body mass and decreasing risk for cardiometabolic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Although research supports the use of resistance training for more effective weight loss through decreasing fat mass, aerobic training also has many benefits.

Resistance training works to decrease fat mass, thereby decreasing total body mass by creating a caloric deficit greater than that of aerobic training.

Heavy and intense resistance training for thirty minutes a day will not only burn more calories in that single thirty minute window than will aerobic training, but it will also cause an increase in calorie burn through a stimulated metabolism over the course of the day. This effect is much less pronounced or even non-existent with aerobic training alone.

Aerobic training, however, is also beneficial by stimulating other metabolic pathways that may not be stimulated through resistance training. Aerobic training is more endurance based and requires the ability to maintain exercise for longer durations than resistance training.

aerobic exercise routine_2

By combining aerobic training and resistance training, an individual can achieve weight loss through a reduction in fat mass and also increase lean body mass.

If seeking to decrease fat mass through a combined exercise program, resistance exercises should be completed first in order to avoid the fatiguing effects of aerobic training on resistance exercise.

By avoiding the fatigue, more weight can be lifted, achieving a greater calorie burn both then and throughout the day. By adding aerobic training to that after the resistance training is complete will increase the calorie burn and stimulate more blood flow to the tissues, while sufficiently fatiguing them.

As always, diet is a key component of any exercise regimen and should also be considered. In a previous article, the amount of protein needed to achieve weight loss without exceeding healthy limits was explored.

Research has shown that increasing the amount of protein consumed, while decreasing carbohydrate consumption is very beneficial in decreasing fat mass while increasing or maintaining lean mass.

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Before beginning any new diet or exercise program, it is important to discuss your plans with your physician.

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