|Specifically for teenagers it may be important to work out in both aerobic and anaerobic workouts. So, this would be another reason to favor the combined over the other regimen.|
So, what I actually wanted to tell you is that a recent study from the Universities of Ottawa and Calgary (Alberta. 2015), clearly contradicts the average commercial gym chain trainer's recommendation and shows that belly fat loss is better achieved with diet + resistance training.
The subjects of the study were youngsters, 304 (! the high number of participants is a huge plus of the study) 14-18 year-old overweight and obese teenagers (mean body fat almost 50%!), to be specific, who were randomized to four different treatments for 22 weeks:
|Table 1: Training progression in the Aerobic|
and Resistance group (Alberga. 2015)
- aerobic training (Aerobic),
- resistance training (Resistance),
- combined aerobic
+resistance training (Combined) or
- non-exercising control group (Control)
- Resistance: The duration of each session progressed to a maximum of about 45 min. Exercises were primarily performed on weight machines, and when required with dumbbells (lateral raise, shrugs, bicep curls, front raise, preacher curl, dumbbell pullover) or by using one's own body weight as resistance (lunges, sit-ups and abdominal crunches).
Table 2: Overview of the individual workouts in the Resistance group (Alberga. 2015).
- Aerobic: Participants randomized to the aerobic training group underwent a 22-week program (Table 1, left) wherein the exercise intensity and duration increased progressively to a maximum of 45 min per session. Exercise was performed on a cycle ergometer, elliptical or treadmill and participants were free to vary the machine(s) used. Exercise intensity was standardized using heart rate monitors (Polar Electro Oy, Kempele, Finland).
- Combined: This group performed the full exercise programs done by both the aerobic and resistance training groups (Table 1, left + right) during each session for a total of 4 times per week for a maximum of 90 min per session.
Now for simplicity we assume that you'd actually achieve not just similar, but rather the exact same results as the virtual "average" study participant from Alberta's trial. In this case, I bet that most of you would prefer to lose -22.7 cm² subcutaneous body fat with resistance training than -16.2 cm² or -18.7 cm² with either aerobic or combined training. Specifically in view of the fact that only resistant and combined training triggered measurable reductions in visceral body fat, too.
|Figure 1: Changes in subcutaneous (SAT) and visceral (VAT) body fat at different regions; L4L5 represents area between 4th and 5th Lumbar vertebrae; * indicates sign. difference to control; # sign. difference to aerobic (Alberga. 2015).|
On the other hand, a closer look at the body fat data in Figure 1 also shows that aerobic training is the only form of training that will reduce the deep subcutaneous fat, significantly. Plus: When it's done in combination with resistance training the reductions in subcutaneous fat at L4L5, which represents the area between 4th and 5th Lumbar vertebrae, are still statistically significant and not significantly smaller than those the subjects in the resistance training only arm of the study achieved.
|Figure 2: Changes in Apo-B and Apo-B/A ratio in the three exercise and the control group (Alberta. 2015).|
- Alberga, A. S., et al. "Effects of aerobic and resistance training on abdominal fat, apolipoproteins and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in adolescents with obesity: the HEARTY randomized clinical trial." International journal of obesity (2005) (2015).
- Dansinger, Michael L., et al. "Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone diets for weight loss and heart disease risk reduction: a randomized trial." Jama 293.1 (2005): 43-53.
- Thompson, A., and J. Danesh. "Associations between apolipoprotein B, apolipoprotein AI, the apolipoprotein B/AI ratio and coronary heart disease: a literature‐based meta‐analysis of prospective studies." Journal of internal medicine 259.5 (2006): 481-492.
- Walldius, G., and I. Jungner. "The apoB/apoA‐I ratio: a strong, new risk factor for cardiovascular disease and a target for lipid‐lowering therapy–a review of the evidence." Journal of internal medicine 259.5 (2006): 493-519.