To lose weight, most people get in a lot of cardio conditioning and cut way back on calories. The thing is, on most diets, you’ll lose almost as much muscle mass as fat. A study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness offers an alternative that builds muscle mass to change body composition.
Sixty three overweight young adults took part in a resistance training program that incorporated one set of between 3 and 6 reps for 9 different exercises. Training sessions took place 3 times a week. After 6 months, both male and female subjects had gained about 3.3 pounds of muscle which helped prevent the additional fat accumulation seen in a control group that didn’t exercise.
True Strength Moment: Although these subjects did not actually lose any fat mass, the weight they gained was muscle mass. They didn’t get any fatter either. Imagine what could have been achieved if researchers had put them on a reduced calorie diet and introduced a cardio element to this program. To get an idea of what can be accomplished with HIIT and steady state jogging, see today’s Performance Blog.