Just read a very intriguing report issued by the Duke University Medical Center, in which they compared the effectiveness of cardio exercises (such as running, jogging, etc.) and weight training when it comes to achieving weight loss. The study they conducted took place over an 8-month period and involved nearly 200 adults, which were broken up into two equal groups.
The people in the cardio group performed the equivalent of 12 miles of running each week, and those in the weight lifting group responded with numerous sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of various strength training and weight exercises 3 times per week.
Miraculously, the researchers discovered that cardio exercise is significantly better and more effective in promoting weight loss, as compared with any weight-lifting or strength training routines. Most amazingly, they found that cardio plus weight training combined together achieved results identical to those of cardio alone.
Which begs the most apparent question, actually, two questions. One – why did these scientists even conduct this study, instead of simply calling me and getting to the same final answer without subjecting those poor souls to all that torture?! And two – why would anyone do ANY weight training exercises at all when trying to lose weight? Who would even suggest such a solution for this particular goal?! Weight and resistance training simply improve strength and increase your muscle mass – yet have nothing in common with weight loss, nothing at all!
I feel extremely bad for those participants in the weight-training group, as they have basically wasted their time. I hope they at least got paid, or were given free donuts for their troubles. However, in all honesty, I see the same travesty all the time when I observe overweight people in the gym, lifting dumbbells and doing bench-press variations in a vain attempt to lose weight… Typically, you will find a hot-looking female instructor or a guy with bulging muscles standing right next to them to encourage these poor people on and tell them they are on the “right track”. Of course, all they are doing is charging their credit cards for a complete waste of time, after which they tell them to buy a fruit shake at the gym bar and eat nothing else for the rest of the day. Then they send them on their way back to their continuously-miserable overweight lives, having experienced no change whatsoever, only a glimmer of hope.
Forget the gym! Well, actually, if you are looking to build up huge biceps, similar to mine (just kidding!), or looking to enter the next Mister Universe contest, please go ahead and grab those weights as soon as possible and don’t let go! But if you are unhappy with your weight, if you feel like your belly is a bit larger than it should be, if you have a difficult time putting on your socks in the morning – drop everything and get out there and run, right now! Nothing else will help you, no pills, no miracles, no good looking gym lady (well, maybe she could…) – there is but one answer to this puzzle:
Keep it running!