Strength training also helps burn fat

Madrid, September 26 (Europe Press) –

New research from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia is now raising questions about the widespread knowledge to date that trains you to gain muscle strength and lose fat, as you do cardio. The new study, published in the journal Sports Medicine, suggests that it doesn’t have to be this way.

In fact, the study — a systematic review and meta-analysis that reviewed and analyzed the existing evidence — shows that we can lose about 1.4 percent of all body fat from strength training alone, which is similar to what we can lose with cardio. or exercise. “A lot of people think that if you want to lose weight, you should go for a run,” says study author Dr Mandy Hagstrom, an exercise physiologist and senior lecturer in medicine and health at the University of New South Wales. When strength training is done alone, it continues to cause body fat loss without the need to go on a conscious diet or go for a run.”

Until now, the relationship between strength training and fat loss has been unclear. Studies have investigated this relationship in the past, but their sample sizes tend to be small, which is a side effect that many people don’t want to volunteer to exercise for months. Small sample sizes can make it difficult to obtain statistically significant results, especially since many bodies may respond differently to exercise programmes.

Hagstrom admits, “It can be really hard to discern if there’s an effect based on just one study. But when we put all of those studies together, we effectively create a large study, and we can have a much clearer idea of ​​what’s going on.”

Dr. and her team combined the results of 58 research papers that used highly accurate methods for measuring body fat (such as body scans that can tell the difference between fat mass and lean mass) to measure the results of strength training programs. In total, the studies included 3,000 participants, none of whom had previous experience with weight training.

Although strength training programs differed between studies, participants exercised approximately 45-60 minutes per session, an average of 2.7 times per week. The programs lasted about five months.

The team found, on average, that participants lost 1.4 percent of their total body fat after the training programs, which is equivalent to a pound of fat mass for most participants.

While the results are encouraging for strength-trainers, Hagstrom says the best approach for people who want to lose fat is to eat nutritious food and follow an exercise routine that includes cardio/aerobic and strength training. “But if cardio and aerobics aren’t your thing, the good news is that you don’t have to force them. If you want to exercise to change your body composition, you have options,” says Hagstrom. with her “.

Part of the reason many people think strength training isn’t up to the mark when it comes to fat loss is due to inaccurate fat measurement methods. For example, many people focus on the number they see on the scale, that is, the total body weight. But this number does not differentiate between fat mass and anything else the body is made of, such as water, bone, and muscle.

“Most of the time, we don’t gain muscle mass when we do aerobic exercise,” Hagstrom recalls. “We improve our cardiorespiratory capacity, we get other health and functional benefits, and we can lose body fat. But when we train for strength, we gain muscle mass and lose body fat, so the The number on the scale won’t look as low as it does after aerobic exercise, especially since muscle weighs more than fat.”

The research team focused on measuring how much total body fat — the amount of body fat mass — changed after strength training programs. This measurement showed that fat loss appeared to be equivalent with aerobic and cardiovascular exercise, although the numbers on the scale differed.

He says, “Many recommendations about fitness come from studies that use imprecise measurement tools, such as bioelectrical impedance or scales. But the most accurate and reliable way to assess body fat is by DEXA, MRI, or CT scan. They can break down the body into Portions and separation of fat mass from lean tissue”.

Although this study did not show whether variables such as exercise duration, repetitions, intensity or specific volume affected the percentage of fat loss, the team hopes to investigate next whether the form of resistance training can alter the amount of fat loss.

As part of their study, the team conducted a sub-analysis comparing how different methods of measuring lipids might affect study results. Interestingly, it has been shown that when jobs use more accurate measurements, such as body scans, they tend to show lower overall changes in body fat.

“Using accurate lipid measurements is important because it gives us a more realistic idea of ​​what changes to expect in the body,” says study lead author Michael Wewege, a doctoral candidate at UNSW and NeuRA. These are more accurate body measurements.”

Rethinking how progress is measured applies not only to mathematical researchers, but also to ordinary people. “Resistance training does a lot of great things to the body that other forms of exercise don’t, like improving bone mineral density, lean mass, and muscle quality. Now we know it also brings a benefit we previously thought could only be achieved through Aerobic exercise,” Hagstrom adds.

“If you do strength training and want to change the appearance of your body, you shouldn’t focus too much on the number on the scale, because it won’t show you all the results,” he suggests. “Instead, think about all of your body composition, how your clothes feel and how your body will start to feel, and move differently.”

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