Starting a new exercise program can be overwhelming. What should you do? Cardio? Resistance training? Both? Is it different for men and women?

In a randomized clinical trial, researchers studied 65 untrained overweight and/or obese adults for 12 weeks. One group performed only aerobic exercises throughout the study. The other group did aerobic exercises plus resistance training for the lower and upper body. Participants were instructed not to change their diets.

The results showed:

  • Body composition improved the most for the group doing both cardio and resistance training.
  • Lean tissue (fat free mass) increased for the cardio plus resistance group in the arms, trunk, and whole body.
  • Gender affected the location of fat loss for the group doing cardio and resistance training.
    • Men lost more fat in their trunks.
    • Women lost more fat in their legs.

Researchers concluded this study may be useful to trainers as they design exercise programs for clients. Optimal weight loss programs maintain lean tissue while reducing fat. Including cardio and resistance training can help reach that goal.

While nutrition did not play a role in this study, keep in mind nutrition does impact weight-loss.

  • Nutrition is key for weight-loss. Exercise can help.
  • Exercise is key for weight maintenance. Nutrition can help.

The battle of the sexes apparently also affects the battle of the bulge, or at least, where you lose it!

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