The opening lines from this article, Why you shouldn't exercise to lose weight, explained with 60+ studies: "'I'm going to make you work hard', a blonde and perfectly muscled fitness instructor screamed at me in a recent spinning class, 'so you can have that second drink at happy hour!'
At the end of the 45-minute workout, my body was dripping with sweat. I felt like I had worked really, really hard. And according to my bike, I had burned more than 700 calories. Surely I had earned an extra margarita."
She exercised “really, really hard”. It would be nice if all those calories burned on exercise translated into fat loss. That equation does not take into account that exercise can stimulate the appetite, or that strenuous exercise lends itself to less activity (compensatory behaviors) and fewer calories burned for the remainder of the day. It does not account for the body’s response to exercise. The body adapts to a daily dose of running or other aerobic activity by becoming more efficient. It is inefficient to lug around a lot of muscle on long runs; muscle is metabolically expensive to maintain. The body will catabolize calorie-consuming lean muscle tissue to conserve the body’s energy stores (metabolic compensation). One researcher called it part of the survival mechanism. A quote from the article: "A review of exercise intervention studies, published in 2001: It found that after 20 weeks, weight loss was less than expected, and that 'the amount of exercise energy expenditure had no correlation with weight loss in these longer studies." Other meta-studies reach similar conclusions. A quote: "Adding physical activity has a very modest effect on weight loss — 'a lesser effect than you'd mathematically predict'". Other quotes: “You cannot outrun a bad diet”, and “There are all kinds of reasons to exercise that are good for your health”.
Good health is the reason. Our focus at New Orleans Personal Training and at Austin Personal Training is on the long list of health benefits provided by strength training. Additional calories burned are just an added bonus, and strength training produces the largest added bonus. Strength training burns calories four ways and burns calories long after exercise has been completed. For more on the subject of strength training and calorie burning go here.