T Nation

Old post no longer needed


[Old post no longer needed]


Porb spot on for a competitive runner they need to run and put the strenght training as a second, when as most others would be better served running on separate days or times or after the resistance training



Runner’s World? Isn’t taking fitness advice from them a bit like taking nutritional advice from Ronald McDonald?

There are several problems with the article, most glaring is its utter failure to even attempt an analysis of what might happen to comparable people on divergent fitness programs.

For example, consider two 200# sedentary males: A does what every runner I know does and goes on a high carb / low fat diet while restricting his caloric intake; B decides to hit the weights and selects a low carb diet.

Two years later A has lost 30# while B has gained 30# of lean mass (assume no fat loss or that fat weight is “free” in a caloric sense). Going forward in year 3 how are A & B’s BMR’s affected?

Studies I’ve seen cited in the past (sorry I don’t have cites for you now) note that on a typical calorie-restricted low fat diet something like 2/3 to 3/4 of the weight lost is muscle. Thus A has lost 30# times something like 70%, or 21 pounds of muscle. So the net difference between A and B is 51 pounds of muscle (-21 for A and +30 for B) after two years on their respective programs.

Suppose that each pound of muscle burns 10 kcal/day (from other studies I’ve seen cited but don’t have links for at the moment - sorry) that’s a net difference of 510 kcal/day or 3570 kcal/week between A and B’s BMRs at rest after two years on their respective programs. Yikes!

The upshot here is that beginning in year 3 A will have to find time do an extra 3570 / 522 (522 kcal per workout for the runner according to the author) = 6.84 workouts per week to burn as many calories as B burns at rest. And the longer A runs and restricts calories the more time A will have to find to run in order to burn the calories B burns at rest.

The author’s real problem is that he began by presuming his desired conclusion, “The only big-time way to boost your BMR is to gain weight, which will do nothing to help you wiggle into a bathing suit.” In other words: all weight gain is bad. I’d hope everyone here would be smarter than that.


Are you asking about losing weight or what type of opinion on the article?

Within the authors here, you’ll see that some like “steady-state” and some like intervals for “cardio.”

Whatever gets you the results you want is the plan that works.

I remember running x miles a week and being skinny. If you want to be skinny, go out and walk/jog/run everyday. If you want to have some muscle and be relatively lean, combine lifting with the running.

I just don’t see what’s so confusing


I borrowed the following article from a blog I stumbled across a while back. Despite the fact that it contains one bit of information that’s likely quite incorrect it’s a pretty good rebuttal to the above Runner’s World piece:

[quote]You Don’t Need To Exercise To Lose Weight…Or Do You?
By Katrina McKenna, BA, CES, CSCS
There have been some reports on a recent research study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism that claims that diet and exercise are no better than dieting alone for weight-loss, fat-loss and body composition improvements. This report also says that exercise doesn’t preserve muscle mass.

Unfortunately, what the report fails to mention is what the participants of the study did for exercise. Apparently to most people exercise means steady-state aerobic training because that is the type of exercise used in the study, “Effect of calorie restriction with or without exercise on body composition and fat distribution.” So what the study did prove was that steady-state cardio exercise is equivalent to dieting for weight-loss.

I agree steady state aerobic exercise is not very helpful in fat-loss or muscle growth. So the study is really no big surprise. But the interpretation of the study does not specify the type of exercise and is very misleading. The suggestion is that all exercise is created equal which is absolutely wrong. The type of exercise is critical to losing fat.

Another study in Metabolism (1994 Jul;43(7):814-8), “Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism” demonstrated that high intensity interval training exercise created a 9 time greater loss in subcutaneous fat than the steady state cardio group.

That’s nine times, that means a 15 minute interval training workout creates more fat loss than a two hour steady state cardio workout out. Which workout would you rather do? This happens because high intensity exercise causes your body to burn excess calories for hours after the exercise session. On the other hand, steady state cardio just allows you to become more and more efficient at burning calories so you burn less and less each time for the same effort.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism study even mentions that high intensity exercise can have a greater effect on fat loss, insulin sensitivity and cholesterol profiles than lower intensity exercise. Why didn’t the report mention this?

Then of course, any legitimate weight loss program must include weight training. While the participants of this recent study did lose some muscle mass, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1993 Oct;58(4):561-5), “Muscle hypertrophy with large-scale weight loss and resistance training” demonstrates that even with extremely low calorie intake resistance training still causes an increase in muscle mass.

The report states that the one of the authors of the study, Ravussin, has published other studies that indicate that exercise does not increase muscle mass that increases weight loss. Well, here we are with what exercise means again. I agree, steady state aerobic exercise does not increase muscle mass. There is no question that resistance training does increase muscle mass.

Oddly the report states, “And their carefully controlled study added to the evidence that adding muscle mass does not somehow boost metabolism and help dieters take off even more weight.” Since both groups lost a small amount of muscle mass, this study could not possibly have come to this conclusion.

Additionally, muscle is metabolically active tissue, many chemical processes are occurring inside muscle tissue and muscle creates movement, these things require energy or calories. Little happens inside a fat cell, it just stores fat. It is estimated that for every additional pound of muscle your body has, you burn an additional 50 calories per day.

So while you could lose weight through dieting alone or even dieting and steady state cardio, why would you? You can lose significantly more fat, faster by incorporating interval training and a resistance training program along with your reduced calorie diet.

Steady state cardio does have other benefits. All exercise is good for your health and disease prevention or reduction. Plus if you love to run, run. Enjoyment is a perfectly legitimate reason to something.[/quote]

The interesting citation in there is the one to the of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism article. You can read the abstract of that one here (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17200169) but it basically says that calorie restriction alone is the equivalent of calorie restriction plus moderate intensity aerobic exercise in terms of fat reduction and body composition change.

Or, as I might be more inclined to put it, starvation and running have approximately the same effect on one’s body composition (there’s a thesis in there somewhere). :wink:

I won’t bore you with my own personal anecdotal evidence (at one point and for a few years I was a 30 mile / week runner) but suffice it to say that I’m a believer in HIIT and resistance training for those who want to change their body composition. If you like to run, then run; it beats the heck out of sitting at home on the couch but my experience is that it didn’t improve my own body composition at all, it just took up a lot of time.