SATURDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- If you want to burn fat and lose weight, aerobic exercise beats resistance training, a new study says.
"We not trying to discourage people from resistance training," said study author Leslie Willis, clinical research coordinator at Duke University Medical Center and an exercise physiologist.
Previous studies have shown that resistance training has many benefits, including improving blood sugar control, she said, but the effects of it on fat reduction have not been conclusive.
The new study, published Dec. 15 in the Journal of Applied Physiology, compared resistance training to aerobic exercise to determine which is best for weight and fat loss.
The new study results suggest for people short on time, focusing on aerobic exercise is the best way to lose weight and fat, Willis said.
Willis' team assigned 234 middle-aged men and women, all overweight or obese, to one of three groups for the eight-month study. The resistance-training group worked out three times a week, with instructions to exercise about three hours total. They used eight different weight machines.
The aerobic group put in about 12 miles a week on elliptical machines or treadmills, putting in about 133 minutes a week, or about 2 1/4 hours.
The combination group worked out three days a week, putting in the combined effort of the resistance training and the aerobic groups.
In all, 119 finished the study. Those who did aerobic exercise or the combination reduced total body mass and fat mass more than those in the resistance group, but they were not substantially different from each other, Willis said.
For instance, the aerobic only group lost 3.8 pounds and the combination group lost 3.6 pounds.
The combination group did notice the largest reduce in waist circumference. A large waist (over 35 inches in women, over 40 in men) is
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