Is Weight Loss and a Fitness Regime Just a Myth?

December 9th, 2011
Is Weight Loss and a Fitness Regime Just a Myth?

Well, some people are starting to think so. What’s more there is apparently a lot of evidence to back up these claims.

Certainly doctors recommend that an obese individual should start eating correctly and follow a proper regime of exercise as part of a weight loss programme. However, for a number or years now it has been realised that just ‘pumping iron’ to get the heart working harder is not as beneficial as some try to make out.

For instance, in 1989 Danish scientists got a group of obese men and women to train for a marathon for 18 months. After that time, the researchers were horrified to realise that the men had only lost 5 pounds in weight while the women hadn’t lost any at all.

In a more recent study in Australia in 2008, women were asked to take part in a 40 minute cardio workout for 3 days per week for 15 weeks. The results were startling and not what was expected. All the women gained weight.

So, what is behind the myth?

Some experts believe that the idea behind this work the heart hard approach and lose weight relates to the fact that athletes tend to be nimble and thin and more to the point remain that way during training. Stop training and they put weight on; start training and they lose it.

But the rules are not the same it seems with obese people.

So, how can individuals who are over weight, lose their fat?

The paradox is that exercise does work, but it has to be the right kind of exercise. Simply getting the heart work harder isn’t, as indicated above, completely effective. What matters is varying the type of exercise you do and altering the body’s metabolism.

Called metabolic resistance training or MRT, this is resistance work which is designed to start changing the metabolic rate of the individual. Doing so helps to burn off excess fat. However, this must also be combined with something called high intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves carrying out high impact exercises such as sprinting, fast pedalling on a bike or a fast dance around the room. A warm up should always be initiated before carrying out any hard aerobic exercise.

HIIT is said to have a similar effect as MRT on the metabolism, although not as much. However, when the 2 are working together a dramatic loss in weight in a matter of weeks has been found. A sharp contrast to the ‘pump iron and lose weight’ approach. The latter essentially just strengthens the muscles. In fact it is this aspect that is probably the reason for gaining weight as muscle weighs heavier than fat.

It should be pointed out though that in order for this MRT-HIIT regime to work properly, individuals must take advice from exercise professionals.


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