The study, led by researchers from North Carolina, USA, is believed to have the largest randomized trials that directly compare changes in body composition caused by aerobic and resistance training, among overweight or obese adult non-diabetic.
A total of 234 men and women, aged 18-70 years, followed by 8 months program: aerobic training (AT), resistance training (RT), or a combination (AT / RT). Of these, 119 participants successfully completed the trial and had complete data for the variables of interest in the experiment.
The researchers found that the group that is assigned to an aerobic training (AT) and resistance training plus aerobic (AT / RT), managed to lose more weight than those who do resistance training (RT) alone. Even those who do resistance training (RT) actually gained weight due to an increase in lean body mass.
Fat mass and waist circumference also decreased in the AT and AT / RT, but not in the RT group. However, the size of lean body mass increased significantly in the RT and AT / RT, but not on the AT. These findings indicate that aerobic exercise is more effective in reducing fat.
“Based on our observations, it may be time to seriously reconsider the conventional wisdom that states that resistance exercise alone can lead to weight loss and fat loss,” said Leslie H. Willis, an exercise physiologist at Duke University Medical Center and lead author of the study.
“If you want to increase muscle mass and strength, then endurance training is required. However, the best option to lose weight is to focus on aerobic exercise. When you lose fat, you lose the possibility of visceral fat, which is known to be associated with cardiovascular and other health benefits, “added Willis.
The study has been published in the Journal of Applied Physiology published by the American Physiological Society.