As part of their off-season training program, athletes cut back on their aerobic activity and increased their anaerobic activity to see if there would be a significant change in body fat. They eliminated stationary bike rides and increased sprints, medicine ball throws, Olympic lifts, squats, and bench press. The result1: they reduced their body fat 27% over three years.
It helped that the subjects were possibly uniquely suited for this change to anaerobic exercise. The subjects were professional hockey players – the best of the best in a sport that requires extraordinary anaerobic effort. The average shift in a hockey game is 45 seconds of all-out anaerobic exertion.
For non-elite athletes anaerobic exercise is still an effective compliment to diet for losing fat. After aerobic exercise your body’s resting metabolic rate returns to baseline in short order. Anaerobic exercise, on the other hand, will result in a raised metabolism for at least 21 hours after the exercise session is over.
With persistent daily aerobic exercise your body will lower its resting metabolism; it is the body’s biological imperative to preserve its energy stores (fat). In contrast, anaerobic exercise (strength training) will make you stronger, and a stronger more muscular body will burn more calories even at rest.
At our Austin Personal Training and New Orleans Fitness Training locations we offer high intensity training to increase strength, muscle and metabolism. While exercise can help, it is important to note that only with changes in eating habits can you lose fat and keep it off.