Are you the typical person who is running around like a headless chicken due to life’s pressures? Where do you find the time to still squeeze in a gym session?
11 November 2011 | SEAN VAN STADEN | SPORTS COLUMNIST
May I answer that for you?
You seldom do or don’t at all.
As this is not a priority in your life everything else takes preference. When you get dressed in the morning and complain about your pants size not fitting, it’s about time you do something about it.
Knowing that you are in a constant hustle and bustle, is there a way in which you could exercise for a shorter period of time but still loose the desired fat?
This is not one of those infomercials you are thinking about but rather scientific research.
A nutrition scientist from the University of Connecticut, Jeff Volek, took a group of overweight people, divided them into three groups and placed them on a calorie reduced diet.
One group were commissioned not to exercise, the other only did aerobic exercise three times a week and the third group did a combination of aerobic and weight training three times a week.
Volek and his team found that each of the three groups lost on average 9,5kg in 12 weeks but what was interesting was that all weigh loss was not created equally. The group that did a combination of aerobic and weight training lost 2,3kg more fat than the other two groups.
Volek further found that the two groups which did no weight training not only lost weight but lost muscle mass as well, whereas the lifter group lost almost all pure fat.
“For the same amount of exercise time, with diets being equal, the participants who lifted lost almost 40% more fat,” said Volek.
This almost seems hard to believe.
Before you dart off to the gym with some new found energy, let me explain what the Volek research is saying.
A typical gym session would be walking in to your local gym and sussing out the joint for friends to chat to. When you realise that they have all deserted you, you are forced with a dropped lip to walk on over to the spinning bicycle to start riding for 20 to 30 minutes.
You proceed to the water tower where you give a big tired sigh and try motivate yourself to get onto the treadmill for another 15 minutes followed by some stair climbings to work those buns.
You huff and puff after almost an hour of training and you decide to hit the shower or home.
What Volek is saying, that yes, you will lose weight over a 12 week period by just doing aerobic exercise but you will also lose muscle mass which means, when you look in a mirror you could see “skinny fat”.
This means that the scale says you are the right weight but the mirror says otherwise.
Christopher Scott, an exercise physiologist at the University of Southern Maine researched calculating the energy expenditure of exercise.
His studies found that by performing an aerobic and weight training circuit of eight exercises in eight minutes, you can burn 151 to 231 calories. More or less the same time it takes you to burn 30 minutes of cycling on a stationary bike on a slow to moderate level.
The answer is simple. You can burn more calories and fat in less time by using a combination of aerobic and weight training.
Now stop procrastinating, put your training gear on and go get ’em tiger.
Sean is a sports scientist and director of Advanced Sports Performance.
Catch his column in The Citizen every fortnight.
Follow me on Twitter SeanVStaden.