Article from April 27, 2013 by Andrew Foehrkolb
What is the best exercise strategy to reduce body fat? Recently, researchers at Duke University performed a randomized, controlled study to compare changes to body composition by performing resistance training, aerobic training or a combination of both. Nearly 200 motivated men and women participated in the 8 month study. Participants in the aerobic training group exercised at 66-80% of peak heart rate by walking, running, using an elliptical trainer, or cycling 3 times per week. Participants in the strength training group performed supervised strength training exercises (3 sets of 8-12 reps) of the major muscle groups three times per week. Participants in the combined group performed both the aerobic and the strength training workout each week. The results were very interesting. The group performing resistance training alone did not reduce fat mass, but did increase lean muscle mass and strength. Aerobic training alone was the most successful at reducing body fat, but no increase in overall body strength was observed. If your objective is to decrease body fat, then an exercise regimen that contains aerobic workouts is critical to achieving this objective. If you want to increase lean muscle mass while reducing body fat, then an integrated program of both strength training and aerobic training personally designed for you may help you to achieve these goals.