You asked: Cardio versus strength training for fat loss

I am not sure if you have heard, but you do not need to run to be thin. But cardio, more accurately aerobic exercise, is often promoted as THE BEST STRATEGY for weight loss. Aerobic exercises are touted as:

  • Burning more calories in a shorter period of time.
  • Cheap, all you need is a pair of shoes and ground to walk all.
  • Supposedly higher fat burning.
  • And more.

The truth is that long duration, aerobic activities are not the most effective, efficient strategies for fat loss.

I could tell you all the benefits of strength training. But you can Google that and come up with some pretty respectable answers. What I want to tell you are a few reasons  WHY strength training is better than aerobic exercise for fat loss and weight maintenance.

EPOC

After exercise , the body continues to need oxygen at a higher rate than before the exercise began. This sustained oxygen consumption is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Because of this, the body continues to expend energy after exercise and therefore burn calories. Research shows that EPOC is greater after resistance training than it is after aerobic exercises – likely as a result of greater intensity and disruption to the body’s homeostasis.

While you may burn more calories during 30 minutes of aerobic training than you will with 30 minutes of strength training (not always the case!), you will burn more calories in the hours following strength training than you will in the hours following aerobic training because of EPOC.

MORAL: Strength training ultimately burns more calories than aerobic training.

Muscle burns calories – fat does not

I know you have heard it, “Muscle burns more calories than fat.” I hate this phrase – because it implies that fat would burn some amount of calories. It does not!

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Want to see results from only working out 3-5 hours a week? It’s possible! I have done it and so have many of my clients.

Like what you read? I’ve moved my blog! Please visit me at Better By Becca for more content.

The ups and downs of the kipping pullup

There is a lot of hype surrounding kipping pullups. I recently had a group of guys impressed by the fact that I could perform kipping pullups – although I am not sure why. You see, they had not been impressed with my deadhang pullups – completed just prior to the kipping pullups. And what is a kipping pullup? Cheating on a pullup.

I do kipping pullups, so I am not opposed to them. I just do not want anyone believing that they will help them be capable of doing strict or deadhang pullups. They are different exercises – with completely different emphases. Here are my ups and downs of the kipping pullup.

The ups

  1. Increased confidence as a result of personal achievement and ability to quickly improve reps and yield a high volume of reps.
  2. Friendly competition (due to the ease in achieving volume compared to deadhang).
    pullups
  3. Mastery of the technique requires self-trust.
  4. They are fun.

The downs

  1. Increased risk of injury – particularly crucial for athletes to be conscientious about – due to the joint strain and repetitive nature.
  2. They do not translate into the ability to perform deadhang pullups. You can argue with me if you want to, but especially as they are taught at CrossFit gyms, there is no lattisimus dorsi recruitment in a kipping pullup. A deadhang pullup is initiated by this recruitment. The kipping pullup is momentum based, not strength based.
  3. It requires greater than average gripping ability (not necessarily grip strength).
  4. They are cardiovascularly exhausting (oh, have I mentioned that as a momentum-based exercise it is therefore a predominantly cardiovascular exercise – like most CrossFit exercise designs).
  5. They will not generalize to anything else in life – except maybe gripping ability on monkey bars???
  6. They will not improve fitness.

The bottomline

A kipping pullup is not a progression towards a strict, deadhang pullup. Hence, why kipping pullups are not part of my training for my 2013 pullup goal. My goal specific training is all pullups, assisted pullups, and lat pulldowns! I just do kipping pullups for fun.

Have anything to add to my ups and downs?