Dr. Chirag Sethi* and Dr. Swarna Anchal**
*Director, Classic Fitness Academy, New Delhi.
**Technical Writer, Classic Fitness Academy, New Delhi.
Bodyweight is always a concern in modern society as large proportions of the population struggling to control their weight. However, losing weight or maintaining weight loss is extremely difficult, and new approaches for weight loss attract a significant number of people. There is no doubt that diet and exercise are significant factors for weight loss. Anyone can lose weight by simply changing the quantity and composition of the diet, but it will be difficult to keep fat loss results for a longer duration without exercise.
The persons who try to slim down through diet alone will finally reach a saturation point as metabolism adapts the process-calorie restriction. It leads to adverse effects on health also.
The health benefits of exercise are hard to deny and one of them is to lose weight healthily. So the question arises of what type of exercise is the best for weight loss. In the present article, we will understand the effects on parameters like lean body mass (LBM), fat loss, and metabolism by strength training, endurance exercise, and cardio. Also, we will conclude that does one exercise offer an advantage over the other?
It is more focused on fat loss and muscle gain. Muscles are gradually overload by weights to increase their size which results in significant fat loss. By increasing the weights in weight training, it causes wear and tear of muscles which is build up by a protein-rich diet hence LBM is increased. When LBM is increasing it also enhances metabolism which makes our body use fat as fuel even at rest also. Thus fat loss will be highest in this case and results can be maintained for a longer duration as long as you do weight training and maintain LBM. Weight training can enhance resting metabolism by as much as 10%.
These exercises include higher repetitions (15-20) with lightweight or light to moderate activities for a longer duration of time such as marathon, cycling so that body continuously uses fat as fuel. It also delays fatigue and enhances performance. Endurance exercises also helpful in increasing capillaries and mitochondrial numbers in muscle cells.
Based on various studies, it is proved that fat loss in endurance exercises is similar to weight training. LBM will remain the same but the bad thing is that it reduces metabolism by 2% as compared to weight training because LBM is not increasing which would likely make it more difficult to maintain weight loss.
Aerobic training is performed at a moderate intensity, 65 to 80% of VO2 max. Various studies show that aerobic training leads to greater fat loss than resistance training but LBM and strength of muscles will be extremely low. Aerobic exercises can improve metabolism for a short duration only.
The above graph shows the relation between LBM, fat loss, and metabolism during various forms of exercise.
As you can see that endurance exercise won’t lead to noteworthy strength gains or offset the loss of strength and power that comes with aging. But strength training can enhance or maintain it. Strong bones and muscles are essential for staying functional as you age. Being in shape just by doing aerobics won’t give you strong bones and muscles. By strengthening your muscles, you also reduce another risk such as back injuries and can keep your joints healthy by strengthening the muscles that support them.
On a concluding note don’t take the short-term approach and try to lose weight by pumping out an hour of cardio a day. Give equal attention to strength training so you can build stronger muscles and bones and boost your resting metabolism. Endurance training may lead to faster fat loss initially, but resistance training pays off long-term by helping you burn more calories at rest.
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