Regular exercise helps with weight loss, though nutrition is more important. But, we will discuss the role of exercise to lose weight in this article. There are plenty of exercises to lose weight. But, some exercises are definitely better than others. So what are the best exercises to lose weight?
Exercises to lose weight focus on two main mechanisms. First, exercise increases the burning of calories, but the amount of calories burned is relatively small. For instance, we burn about 75 to 100 calories whether we walk or run a mile. That’s not much when you consider that there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat. That’s a lot of walking or running to lose just one pound. And, the second mechanism centers around hormonal changes that occur with exercise. These hormonal changes affect calorie utilization.
If you goal is to lose weight then high intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training are more effective than aerobics. More calories can be burned with high intensity interval training and strength training than performance of aerobic exercise. And, both HIIT and strength training trigger favorable hormonal changes that facilitate weight loss.
Boosting Growth Hormone and Testosterone
High intensity interval training and strength training stimulate production of certain hormones like growth hormone and testosterone better than aerobics. Moderate to heavy strength training is a powerful stimulator of growth hormone and testosterone production.
This enables our bodies to build muscle mass, which is far more metabolically active that fat. That means even when we are not exercising our bodies continue to burn calories at a higher rate. Muscle burns about 2 to 3 times as many calories pound for pound than fat. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn.
More calories are burned during moderate to heavy weight training than a session of cardio training of similar duration.
Growth hormone and testosterone are produced in response to high intensity interval training. This is exercise that is performed at high exertion for short periods, 20 seconds to a minute, followed by a period of rest or lower intensity performance, and then repeated over and over again for an exercise session lasting 4 to 20 minutes.
Nearly any type of cardio exercise can be used for high intensity interval training, including stationary cycling, stair-climber, elliptical trainer, treadmill, and rowing machine. Also, high intensity interval training can be performed with dumbbells and calisthenics. Because the intensity of performing the exercise is high, it is not possible to perform the exercise very long, again 20 seconds to a minute is typical. This is then followed by a rest period that might range from 10 seconds to a minute or two depending on the fitness level of the individual.
Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training
Greater improvements in VO2 max, the best indicator of cardiovascular fitness, can be obtained by incorporating high intensity interval training into one’s exercise program, than by not.
High intensity interval training also leads to excess post oxygen consumption or EPOC. After a session of high intensity interval training our bodies consume higher levels of oxygen and for a longer period of time (sometimes for 40 hours) than they do following the typical constant pace aerobic exercise. This additional oxygen is needed to restore the body to its resting state and bring about the adaptive changes that occur to the body in response to exercise. Simply, this means we burn more calories after high intensity interval training, than from performing the more traditional aerobic exercises.
Tabata training is an excellent protocol of high intensity interval training that can be performed with nearly any exercise. Tabata training involves performing an exercise at near maximal effort for 20 seconds followed by a 10 second rest. This is then repeated 8 times for a 4 minute workout. Below is a video demonstrating the Tabata Protocol.
Exercises to Lose Weight: Puming Iron
To improve body composition and obtain weight loss, moderate to heavy weight training should be performed at least 3 times a week focusing on the major muscle groups of the arms, chest, back, and legs. Three to five sets performing 8 to 10 repetitions is typical. There should be a day of rest between strength training days.
Various programs and protocols exist. In general, it’s important for a body part to have fully recovered from the previous training session before it is exercised again. The benefits of strength training are realized during recovery, and the body needs time to recover. Good nutrition including increased amounts of protein is essential for strength gains to be optimal. Muscle is broken down during moderate to heavy strength training, and needs time to recover and repair before the next training session.