With the arrival of the Christmas holidays , there is an obsession almost common in many people: try to keep the line before the avalanche of social commitments, burn the excesses that we can commit, enter the new year ” a little bit in shape ” … And The most common way that people have to approach this situation is through endless sessions of cardiovascular exercise.

However, in recent years a new approach to the subject of weight loss is having a boom, and is to seek weight loss through strength training, that is, training with machines and weights in the gym. And if we look at the studies and opinions that have been coming out about it, perhaps the trick lies in combining both approaches: cardiovascular exercise and strength training to maximize weight loss (both before, during or after the holidays).

Hours and hours of cardio will not work

For many years, weight loss has been focused from the point of view of cardiovascular exercise as the main means (today we will only focus on the section referring to physical activity, without entering into the concepts of caloric deficit and types of diets), and it was thought that the more cardiovascular exercise we did , the more fat we would burn and therefore the greater the weight loss.

A very repeated question when we talk about losing weight through cardiovascular training is “how many calories do we burn during one hour of aerobic training?”. Unfortunately there is no exact answer, since the calories burned will depend on several factors such as the intensity of training or the metabolism of the person. Still, we could say roughly and taking into account that the number may vary, that in a session of 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at a speed of 9.6 km / h , we can be burning around 450 calories.

Why, then, do more hours do not mean losing more weight?

Let’s try to explain it with a practical example: suppose that at the moment of beginning to carry out cardiovascular exercise, our body burns 500 calories in 50 minutes of cardio. As time goes by and we continue to train, the total number of calories burned in those 50 minutes will decrease due to a process of metabolic adaptation . For example, when we have 20 training sessions, our body will be burning 420 calories in those same 50 minutes, so to get to the 500 calories we burned at the beginning we could need 60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise.

It is through this process of metabolic adaptation of our body that doing more and more hours of cardiovascular exercise is not going to be the miraculous solution to continue losing weight. In addition, as we said in his day, running is not always the solution to lose weight .

An example of this that we say is the article ” Caloric expenditure, life status, and disease in former male athletes and non-athletes ” published by Quinn and collaborators in the year 1991 in which they talked about more cardiovascular exercise and more exercise in general , it did not necessarily mean having a better state of health .

The importance of lean mass gain

If there is an irrefutable fact that we can ensure about the human body is that a kilo of muscle mass burns or spends more energy in its maintenance than a kilo of fat (in addition to occupying much less volume in our body). For this reason, if we are looking for a weight loss, part of the solution would be to locate us on the gain of lean muscle mass (in the following video we will see the comparison between five pounds of fat, 2.26 kilos, and five pounds of muscle).

And to achieve this increase in lean mass, our second route enters the scene: strength training. This type of exercise will allow us to lose weight in the first place through the caloric expenditure that is the exercise with weights and, secondly, creating muscle mass that “occupies” the space that is leaving that fat we lose. In this way the ” aesthetic quality ” that we will achieve while losing weight will be considerable and will motivate us to continue with our training.

In the study ” Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health ” one of the main data pointed out by its authors was that “inactive adults experience a loss of muscle mass of 3% to 8% per decade, accompanied by a reduction of the resting metabolic rate and fat accumulation Ten weeks of resistance training can increase the lean weight by 1.4 kg, increase the resting metabolic rate by 7% and reduce the weight of the fat by 1.8 kg . ” This gives us an idea of ​​the importance that weight training can have when it comes to losing weight and increasing our lean mass.

So COPD helps you lose weight

In previous articles we have already talked about the EPOC effect , consisting of the oxygen consumption that our body makes after the exercise is finished. But how does the COPD effect work and how does it help us burn fat?

The EPOC effect that is generated after physical exercise is based on generating oxygen debt in our body through physical activity performed previously. This happens especially when we perform HIIT-type routines , in which a high oxygen demand is created due to the high energy expenditure during exercise. For this reason, as there is not enough oxygen to meet this demand , typical gasps are produced, among other things, after an intense sprint.

And how does the body manage this effect? Very easy: to get enough energy during this period of oxygen deficit , our body is not stupid, and will go to the largest energy market we have: our reserves of fat. Therefore, during a period of time that can last up to 72 hours , our body will increase its metabolism and, therefore, burn more fat to try to reduce that oxygen deficit and get the energy it needs .

In the study ” Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption: implications for body mass management ” it was possible to verify how the effect of COPD could increase the metabolism up to 20% during the 48 hours following term of the exercise. That, in terms of calories for a man of average build, could mean up to 800 calories more burned.

An example of training that will help you lose weight

In September of this year, CNN published an article under the title ” Cardio vs. weights: Which is better for weight loss? ” In which one of the main conclusions of its author was that the best option to maximize weight loss Through physical exercise was to combine both methods, cardiovascular training and work with weights , which led to the eternal debate on whether it is better to perform cardio before or after our weight training .