Is it better to lose fat by aerobic-type training or by strength training?

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To optimize fat loss and at the same time minimize other side effects, exercise must be integrated with a reduced calorie diet program. The type of exercise to be integrated is where the debate begins. The question posed is the question of overall effectiveness of aerobic training versus strength training for fat loss.


Dieting (without exercise) appears to be a highly effective way to lose a large amount of weight over a relatively short period of time but unfortunately much of the weight a person will lose through dieting is weight that they really do not want to be losing. Walberg (1989) included two studies that showed that around 58% of the weight a person loses through dieting is actually fat but the remaining 42% of loss is from their Lean Body Weight (LBW), the non-fatty components of the body including water, muscle and internal organs such as the kidneys and liver.

Dieting alone is not necessarily a good technique for weight loss because nearly half of what is lost is lean weight. In addition to this, Laurie Grubb's report (1993) mentions that dieting reduces a person's metabolism so unless the diet is made a permanent lifestyle change, the result is the "yo-yo" effect. This happens whereby a person will gain back the weight, often more than they started off with, however, instead of gaining back 58% fat, they gain back nearly 100% fat thus putting them in an even greater dilemma. These two reason are the primary reason why exercise is so crucial for more permanent fat loss as it creates much more of a lifestyle change and helps to facilitate the loss and reduce or prevent the loss of LBW.

The addition of aerobic exercise appears to increase the rate at which fat...