The combination of weight training, aerobic exercise and sound
eating habits have shown to be the most effective for fat loss
and toning. Toning is simply the restoration of muscle
and the simultaneous decrease of fat. Every year, after
the age of 25, the average American gains one pound of body weight,
yet loses one third to one half pound of muscle (Evans 1992).
Consequently, our resting metabolism decreases approximately
one half of a percent every year. Proper exercise and sound eating
habits can reverse this process.
While aerobic exercise
burns fat during exercise, anaerobic exercises, like weight
training or sprints (see HIIT),
utilize fat, hours after exercise. Weight training can also increase
the metabolic rate a second way: It restores muscle tissue that
had been lost over the years from a sedentary modern lifestyle,
thus improving the aesthetics of the body by accentuating its
curves and shape.
The average adult adds 3 pounds (1.36 kg) of muscle after
2 months of strength training (Westcott 1995) and consequently
increase their metabolic rate by 7% (Campbell 1994, Pratley 1994).
It has been estimated that one pound (0.453 kg) of muscle burns
approximately 30-50 Calories per day. In contrast, a pound of
fat only burns about three Calories per day. After 3 months of
strength exercise, the average adult loses 4 pounds (1.8 kg)
of fat despite eating 15% more Calories (Campbell 1994).
Conversely, Elia M (1992) suggest muscle's
metabolic rate is considerably lower, yet it still contributes
about 20% to Total Daily Energy Expenditure versus 5% for fat
tissue (for individuals with about 20% body fat).
In any case, weight training exercises that use large muscle
groups (e.g. Gluteus
Chest, and Back
exercises), with a progressively greater resistance, have the
most potential for restoring lean body weight and raising the
metabolism hours after exercise.
Most people do not have to be worried about getting too big
when training with weights. Evidence suggests that less than
20 percent of men, and very few women, can develop
large muscles, even if they wanted to, regardless of what program
they follow. Bodybuilders
seen on TV have usually trained for years, possess a certain
degree of genetic aptitude and, most likely, have used anabolic
steroids sometime in their careers.
When beginning an exercise program, muscle mass increases
may initially outpace fat loss, resulting in a very small, temporary
weight gain. When exercise can be increased over time, more significant
fat loss can occur. Unless an exerciser is highly motivated and
performs extreme volumes of activity, actual weight loss is usually
only seen with particular dietary