You’ve probably already figured out through experience that upping the anti on your workout, even your core workout, will not produce the six-pack abs you dreamed of. Why is that? Because you just can’t reduce the body fat in that area no matter how much you work your core and until you remove the layer of fat over your abs you are not going to see that six pack you dream of.
You might be surprised to discover that strength training can really play a beneficial role in the belly. In fact, a study was just released by the Harvard School of Public Health that found men who did 20 minutes of weight training every day saw a smaller increase in belly fat than those men who spent the same length of time killing themselves on a cardio workout.
Harvard School of Public Health researcher Rania Mekary says that if you engage in resistance training or you combine aerobic exercise with resistance training you can lessen your abdominal fat and increase your muscle mass or preserve existing muscle mass. This is especially true in older adults.
This was a big study. It included 10,000 men and the results were published in the Obesity journal which analyzed the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study data over 12 years. During those 12 years the men who added additional aerobic exercise saw their waistlines get bigger than those who added lower intensity exercise to their daily activity. Those men who increased their sedentary time saw the biggest gain to the midsection, which was no surprise.
Of particular concern is the excess belly fat, because it is directly linked to an increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other conditions. However, since you cannot target fat around your middle, the best selection is to reduce overall body fat. When it comes to which is better aerobic exercise or weight training it seems a combination of the two will produce the greatest outcome.
The study emphasizes how important weight training if you want to reduce abdominal obesity. According to Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology This is especially true in the elderly.
“This study underscore the importance of weight training in reducing abdominal obesity, especially among the elderly,” Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health and senior author of the study says, “To maintain a healthy weight and waistline, it is critical to incorporate weight training with aerobic exercise.”
If you have been killing yourself with high intensity cardio workouts and you have not seen the results you want in the reduction of belly fat, now might be the perfect time to take a little different approach to your weight loss. It seems, at least according to this study, that you might benefit far more if you mixed aerobic exercise and strength training. Still not sure? Why not give it a try? And see what results you enjoy.