Research carried out by the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas investigated the effect of high intensity weight training and intensive endurance training on body fat and resting metabolic rate.
The study looked at the effects of either 12 weeks of high-intensity endurance or resistance training on resting metabolic rate were investigated in 47 males aged 18-35 years.
During the study subjects were randomly assigned to either a control group (i.e. no exercise), weight training resistance-trained (RT) or endurance-trained (ET) group.
After training, both exercise groups showed a significant reduction in relative total body fat either by reducing their total fat weight and maintaining fat- free weight (ET) or by reducing their total fat weight and increasing fat- free weight (RT).
Resting metabolic rate did not significantly change after either training regimen although a small decline in energy intake was observed along with an increase in energy expenditure [ET, 2.721 MJ (650 kcal) per training day]. This research seems to suggest that one a basic level exercise does not significantly raise metabolism enough to really burn more calories. But the act of exercising itself is enough to burn more calories.
These results also suggest that both endurance and resistance training may help to prevent a reduction in resting metabolic rate normally observed during extended periods of negative energy balance (energy intake less than expenditure) by either preserving or increasing a person’s fat-free weight.
Weight training has for a long time been shown to help reduce body fat, and many people believe that it is attributable to an increase in metabolism, which helps to reduce body fat further – however this research reveals that it can only prevent metabolic rate declining, and not actually increase it.
One again some research into weight loss and exercise seems to conclude that they real key to losing weight is to follow a healthy lifestyle and take regular exercise. They actually type of exercise does not make a huge difference in metabolic rate and therefore daily calories needs.
If you are looking to lose weight (or more specifically to lose total body fat) then you should change your eating habits permanently (go on a lifelong diet) and also learn to exercise on the regular basis. There appears to be no “best way to exercise” though. Personal experience suggests that following a range of activities, such as weight training, cardio workouts, HIIT and sports can help your to manage your weight well. Take a look at out fitness section to find many articles which provide a range of different fitness workouts, from bodyweight circuits through to plyometric training and resistance training.